The Beaches of Aghios Pavlos

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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.

Stomio Beach (Diplonopetra and Ammolofoi of Aghios Pavlos)

The sand dunes of the charming Ammolofoi of Aghios Pavlos beach compose one of the best beaches of Crete. A few umbrellas and sunbeds are to be found; nudists frequent it too

The beach complex, collectively called Gialia, runs east of Small Triopetra, taking in Diplonopetra and Ammolofoi. Access is by a dirt-road, which only 4-wheel drives can manage, that connects Triopetra and the settlement of Aghios Pavlos. Those with normal cars must leave them at the main roadside and continue on foot for some 10 minutes. Once there, you may choose to amble along the sandy beach to reach Diplonopetra and Ammolofoi.

This is basically a continuation of Stomio itself – a most lovely place, enclosed by rocks and by the many dunes all along the front. A few umbrellas and sunbeds are to be found; nudists frequent it too. To get there by car, leave from Cape Melissa (Bee).

The sand dunes of the charming Ammolofoi of Aghios Pavlos stand next to the Melissa cape, behind a sheltered harbour. The vast dunes that enclose the beach are the chief attraction: they can attain 30 feet in height!

Do not try and to negotiate these on foot with open shoes, the sand is far too hot under the midday sun!

The beach itself is, naturally, sandy, with very clear water and a wonderful sea-bed, begging to be explored. At the middle of the beach you will find the interesting sea-worn caves.

Magnificent sunsets can be appreciated from here – making it a perfect milieu to relax in! Indeed, one of the hotels near the beach has set up a programme of yoga, tai chi chuan, hung kar (kung fu), shiatsu and butoh dance routines.

Umbrellas and sunbeds are on offer. The great extent of the beach (and the privacy so created) bring in the nudists.

To appreciate best the magnificence of the going down of the evening sun, one should go up – some 300 m onto the Thronos mountain. To get there, follow the dirt-road which runs off west at the road-junction from Aghios Pavlos to Triopetra and Aghios Pavlos to Sachtouria. At its end, park the car and continue some 50 m on foot. There, at the edge of the mountain, the views over the Libyan sea are bewitching.

East from Ammolofoi of Aghios Pavlos you will encounter the beach of Aghios Pavlos itself, right in front of the village of that name.

Beach of Aghios Pavlos (Sachtouria)

The beach located in front of the village at the point where the road to Sachtouria leaves it is a lovely and sheltered one: sandy with green deep waters and smooth flat rocks in them.

Near it are umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, pedalos and enough tavernas and rentable rooms.

Eastwards are some small pebbly and rocky beaches, suited for experiencing some peace and quiet.

A steep wooden ladder, west of the beach, will take you up onto Cape Melissa, where you can admire the large vertical cliffs with their impressive geological formations – the work of the abrasive effects of wind and water.

  • Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
  • History, Culture
  • What to do (Activities)
  • What to see (Culture, Nature)

Additional Info

  • location Aghios Pavlos, Aghios Vasileios, Rethymno
  • free camping Yes - in some areas
  • nudism Yes - in some areas
  • beach type Sandy
  • accommodation Yes - plenty of choices
  • dinning Yes - plenty of choices
  • other facilities

    There are sunbeds and umbrellas. On the beach of Agios Pavlos (Sachtouria) there are showers and sea-bikes

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Access Info

relevant routes & paths:

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Distance: 55 & 58 km From Rethymnon.

By car/motorcycle - from Rethymnon: Take the main road leading from Rethymnon to Agia Galini, passing through the village Spili. After Spili continue on the same main road, heading southeast. After 12 km turn right on the road leading to the village of Sachtouria. After Sachtouria continue on the road leading to the beach. In the harbour of Agios Pavlos, park your vehicle and continue on foot (about 10 minutes). A steep wooden staircase takes you to Cape Melissa, where you will see and admire large and steep rocks with impressive geological formations eroded by wind and sea.
By car/motorcycle - from Heraklion: Take the main road out of Heraklion, leading south to Tymbaki, passing through Moires. After Tymbaki, continue on on main road, heading north and turn left on the road leading to the village of Sachtouria. After Sachtouria continue on the road leading to the beach. In the harbour of Agios Pavlos, park your vehicle and continue on foot (about 10 minutes). A steep wooden staircase takes you to Cape Melissa, where you will see (and admire) large and steep rocks with impressive geological formations eroded by wind and sea.

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