The southern side of the prefecture of Heraklion is home to a range of stunning and remote beaches that visitors can explore at their own leisure. Reaching the southern coast takes only about an hour from the north, but the scene and vibe cannot be any different. Rugged mountain peaks forming narrow gorges and vast plateaus and plains open up in front of you, as you navigate twisting roads and discover coves of unparallel beauty. Whether you are a nature or beach lover, this region of Heraklion is an absolute delight to explore!
The beach of Voidamato is formed at the mouth of Mesosfini Gorge, a challenging one to navigate that requires proper equipment and should only be attempted by experienced canyoners and climbers. The beach at the end has soft sand and deep translucent waters. It owes its name to a large cave at the east end of the beach that is called “the Eye of the Ox“. To get there, you must first reach Pyrgos and Treis Ekklisies, passing through Charaka and Paranymfi. Once at Treis Ekklisies, follow the dirt road, which after 5 km gets you to the beach. Having parked your car, you descend a short way down some rocks to arrive on the beach. To the west of the beach, you will spot the small island of Thetis. The area is great for scuba diving, snorkelling and underwater exploration.
Continuing east the next beach is Aspri Paralia. Αfterwards, there are a couple of stunning beaches that are only accessible by boat or on foot like Kaminaki and Mavri Paralia. On the west side, you find the beaches of Treis Ekklisies, the closest settlement for basic amenities and the beach of Pachia Ammos. Further west, the scenery is framed by the Asterousia mountain range, which is much different from other mountains in Crete. These mountains are the kingdom of many predators and vultures. Among them, the endangered vulture Gypaetus Barbatus or “Kokkalas” (for his tendency to throw the bones of animals he has just devoured while in flight), the golden eagle Aquila Chrysaetos, the spotted eagle, the peregrine falcon, and the black peregrine falcon.