In this prefecture you will find some unique landscapes – the sand-dunes of Aghios Pavlos and enchanting Triopetra (Three Stones), as well as the unusual ecosystems of the Preveli-Lake area and of the Kourtaliotis river-estuary. Unknown, but just as attractive, are the beaches like Ligkres and Rodakino (Peach Beach!).
In the Plakias region too a number are being ‘developed for tourism’: some secluded, some more fashionable – Ammoudi, Damnoni and Souda amongst them.
The beach of Agia Marina is located 47 km southwest of Rethymnon and 84 km south of Chania, and 2 km south of the village of Rodakino, in the southern coast of Rethymno prefecture. A church to the east of the beach gives it its name.
This beach is located 47 km southwest of Rethymno, west of Kastelos hill. The beach is isolated and open to the southerly winds. It has sand, pebbles and some rocks: a spot well suited to fishing and snorkeling.
Set amidst olive groves that run on down to the sea, this is a sandy beach, with shallow crystal water: cliffs and some caves are to be seen.
It is the first beach located at the mouth of a now largely dry river, that runs through a steep gorge descending from Mount Kryoneritis (Cold Water). Its name was taken from some rocks which prior to erosion could be interpreted as a crow’s beak.
This lies between Plakias and Rodakino: a large enough stretch enveloping three deserted beaches. Its name comes from the number of vines that exist hereabouts.
This is on the small side: quiet with deep, clear water, as well as rocks and stones. It is favoured by the locals and those keen on fishing. Access is only possible from Plakias.
Skinos beach is next to the main beach of Plakias: sandy and with enough rocks to make it an ideal location for those interested in diving and spearfishing.
This is located on a narrow bay within the grounds of a hotel, and it is here that the torrents from the Kourtaliotiko gorge pour into the sea. Its name is owed indeed to some pirates, who in the Byzantine times took refuge in the narrow natural gulf.
A string of bays enclose the beaches of Ammoudaki, Kleisidi and Large Ammoudi (or just Ammoudi). A little further off is Schoinaria.
Preveli with its riverside palm-groves (burnt in the summer 2010) is one of the most famous and beloved beaches in Crete. Its name – and that of the broader region – is taken from the historical monastery nearby, dedicated to St. John the Theologian.
Those on the road as it leaves Kerame are the ones in question. Small, with sand and pebbles, surrounded by massive rocks. Going from east to west along the beaches of Keramiani Gialia, the first one meets is that of Gialopotamos (or Gialopotama).
Here are the strands of Ligkres and Akoumia. Leaving behind the beaches of Keramiana Gialia and entering those of Akoumiani Gialia – proceeding from west to east, the first one comes across is that of Ligkres.
Its name comes from its dominating feature: three impressive rocks that emerge from the blue sea: two strands make it up – Large (at the west) and Little (at the east).
These are set on the frontage, at the exit of a road to Sachtouria village. The successive sandy beaches present gigantic sand-dunes, sea-worn caves and blue waters. Beginning from the western beaches, the first we come to is that of Stomio.
These two islets, in all some 3 km long, lie some 7.5 nautical miles off the south coastline of the Rethymnon Prefecture and are visible from all along its length. Their name comes from their shape – this resembles an old Cretan product, the paximadi (a double-baked rusk of bread).
West of the Gulf of Messara, close to Aghia Galini, lies the valley of Aghios Georgios. In it is the sacred Monastery of the same name: you can admire the wall-paintings within, of an old style and so rarely surviving on the island.
Aghia Galini is on the enclosed Messara Gulf, at the border with the Heraklion Prefecture. Built on a low hill above the sea, the settlement has a small harbour and a large beach a kilometer long east of the same. The beach runs on to Kokkinos Pyrgos.