Plakias beachThe Blue Flag awarded beach of Plakias is one of the most famous and at the same time one of the longest beaches in Crete (1.3 km length). Every year thousands of visitors enjoy its turquoise, crystal-clear, cool waters and sandy coastline. It is a well-organized beach with many comforts (sunbeds, umbrellas), while, at the same time, it is perfect for scuba diving activities (scuba diving tours, scuba diving lessons), windsurfing and much more. The road along the beach is ideal for walking or cycling. Every September, the famous alianthos flower spreads a beautiful white “blanket” all over the beach.
The eastern part of the beach is called Paligremnos. It is actually a group of huge vertical cliffs that rise to a great height above the sea. These cliffs are suitable for climbing. As such, they attract many enthusiasts of the sport, from all over Crete, not only in the summer but during the winter as well.
On every full moon, from September to January, a strange phenomenon occurs at Paligremnos: the moon light is reflected on the mirror-like towering cliffs, enticing many squids to come out on the coast. Of course, the locals seize the chance to collect them.
Damnoni BeachDamnoni beach is located about 5 km east of Plakias. It has turquoise waters and crude white sand and it is surrounded by high mountains. At the west end of the beach, there is a small stream with water all year long. Damnoni is the best organized beach around Plakias, offering a wide range of water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, banana and ringo inflatable, water skiing, wakeboarding, water polo, canoeing, rowing and pedalo. Those who prefer quieter spots can move either to the east end of the beach, which connects to Ammoudaki beach via a short dirt road or to the west end of the beach featuring small coves with sand and pebbles.
Ammoudi, Kleisidi & Ammoudaki beachesAmmoudi is located 7 km east of Plakias, 10 minutes on foot from Damnoni beach. The beach has crude white sand, rockbound seabed and deep green waters. It is great for scuba diving or snorkeling. West of Ammoudi, between two long rocks, there is an amazing tiny little sandy beach with turquoise waters. This beach is called Kleisidi. The landmark of the beach is a large rock emerging from the sea. Kleisidi is probably the most “well hidden”, wind-free place in Southern Crete. West of Kleisidi, there is Mikro Ammoudi or Ammoudaki beach, with turquoise waters and thick white sand. These two beaches are interconnected through an underwater hole that gets you from the one to the other with just a plunge! Be careful though. Do not try it unless you are highly confident.
Souda beachSouda is located at the west end of Plakias seafront. It is an organized beach, which lies into a verdurous vale crossed by the Foinikas river. Souda beach has thick sand and very clear, cold waters. On both ends there are rocks ideal for fishing or scuba diving.
Shoinaria beachThe beach of Shoinaria is located almost 3 km west of Lefkogia Village. It is the only place in South Crete, with such impressive natural characteristics both above and under the sea. On the beach, you can see little lakes formed by the surrounding mountain streams. The first thing you will notice is the light blue colour of the sea and the sculpture-like marble rocks. The beach has thin grey-beige sand and pebble, with deep and clear waters, while its seabed is very rocky. Nowhere in Crete will you encounter such rich marine life. The water clarity here is really impressive out to 40m. This is why Shoinaria beach is considered one of the best scuba diving destinations in Crete. An international scuba diving school is located here, accepting students from all over the world.
Preveli beachIt is definitely the most popular beach in South Crete, but also one of the most popular beaches all over Greece. It welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The beach is formed at the exit of Megas Potamos (Great River), which crosses Kourtaliotis Gorge. The majestic rocks along with Theofrastos Palm Trees create an amazing landscape. On the eastern side, there is a beautiful rock that resembles a mast. The beach is sandy with pebble seabed and very cool waters because of the river. It is not organized - no umbrellas -, so as to protect and preserve the beauty of the natural environment. Years ago, it used to be hippies’ favorite destination.
There are three different ways to get to the beach;1. By car until the parking lot of the lake (turn left 500m before the monastery) then on foot walking downwards for 15 minutes (stairway and path)
2. By car until the beach of Drimmiskiano Ammoudi (west of Preveli beach) and then on foot through the short path (5 minutes)
3. By ship/boat from Plakias (departure at 10.00 am – return 15.00 pm)