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Plakias / South Crete


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Excursions

The Kourtaliotis gorge with it's cataract is 5 kms away.

The monastery of Preveli and the unique palm-lined Preveli beach are 8 kms away.

Both the gorge and Preveli are connected by a "Road Train" from ▶ Plakias, and there are daily boat excursions to Preveli Beach.

The excavation site of Phoenix is only 2 kms from Plakias.
 
distance Preveli: View of the beach and the bay
The more famous sites of Knossos, Gortys and Phaestos reveal themselves for a day's trip.
 
Spili
is a small town counting only approx. 700 inhabitants and belonging to the prefecture of Rethymnon.
 
distance Spili: The lions fountain
It is located some 30 kms south of the city, at 421 meters above sea level. The south shore is just behind the coastal mountains.

The surroundings are composed of particularly exciting landscapes. Mt. Vorisis (878 meters) towers above Spili, and the town itself is said to be most picturesque.

The landmark of Spili is a Venetian style fountain with 25 water-spitting lionheads, and there are even some old houses which originally remain from the Venetian era.
 
Road distance: 24 kms *)
 
Rethymnon
on Crete's north coast is the capital of the governmental district of the same name.
 
It ranks as the island's cultural center and gives home to several museums, to the philosopical branch of the University of Crete, and other facilities.

The landmark of Rethymnon is the Fortezza, a fortress from the Venetian aera, standing on an exposed rock that reaches into the bay.

Further inland, the Venetian Old Town attaches to the fortress.
 
distance Rethymnon: The fortress with evening light
distance Sundown: Port of Rethymnon and Cape Drapanon
In it's crooked lanes there are unnumbered small shops, arts and crafts workshops, restful bars, and restaurants of varied cuisine.

Right below the fortress there is the picturesque Venetian Port which is framed by the modern port's piers.

Every Thursday, the eastern pier also hosts the legendary weekly market of Rethymnon. During the years before, the place changed several times but that could not impair the colourful buzzle at all.
 
Road distance: 39 kms *)
 
The Valley of Amari
is one of the most scenic ways to approach Crete's central mountain range.
 
It spreads from Prasses (10 kms from Rethymnon on the north coast) in south-east direction to Adopoulou (10 kms from Aghia Galini on the south coast).

Between the two villages of Vizari and Kouroutes, the valley runs in only 7 kms air-line distance below the 5 highest summits of the Ida Massif:

Stolistra / 2,325 m, Timios Stavros / 2,456 m, Angathias / 2,424 m, Vouloumenou / 2,267 m und Koussakas / 2,209 m.
 
distance Amari Valley: View of the Ida mountains from Meronas
In New Greek language, the Ida Massif is also called "Psiloritis" which means "the tall one".
 
Road distance: 41 kms *)
 
Chora Sfakion
on the first glance gives the impression of a sleepy south coast village where time stands still.
 
distance Sfakia: Port of Hora Sfakion
Twice per day, things however change when the ferry boat from Paleochora via Sougia and Agia Roumeli arrives.

One can then experience how the infrastructure of Crete was organized during the Minoan Age when country roads did not exist: Ships were steadily travelling around the island and connecting all the bigger and smaller ports and townships.

In the meantime, you can make yourself comfortable in one of the tavernas by the port, and watch cars and trucks assembling for the next boat.
 
Or you can fit in a side-trip e.g. via Anopoli to Aradena and it's famous valley bridge, or follow the uncounted serpentine bends up to Imbros village which is famous as well, for the pancake with cheese and thyme honey.
 
Road distance: 41 kms *)
 
Agia Galini
lies on the south slope of the small Vouvala Massif, which parts the bigger Kedros Massif from the south coast.
 
The most scenic road to Agia Galini runs from Nea Kria Vrisi via Melambes around the summit of Mt. Vouvala (947 meters).

First open views of Mt. Kedros (1,776 meters) which frequently decorates it's summit with a small cloud, and of the Ida Massif (up to 2,456 meters).

Then the road winds down the slope and opens views of the fishing village, it's port, and the entire Messara bay until Matala on the opposite coast.
 
distance Agia Galini: View from the road to Melambes
Right above the port there are some comfortable tavernas and kafenions with typical Mediterranean flair.
 
Road distance: 49 kms *)
 
Agios Pavlos
When leaving the road from to Agia Galini near Kria Vrisi and turning South, one will pass the village of Saktouria and then approach to the Cape Melissa.
 
distance Agios Pavlos: View of the western beaches
Left hand splits a road down to the eastern beach of Agios Pavlos. There are some tavernas with guest rooms, another one with a mini market, and a beach bar.

Right hand a new road leads down to the western beaches. The sand dune is remarkable, and so are the views over the Libyan Sea, towards Preveli, and with good weather conditions even of the White Mountains ("Lefka Ori").

Since 2006, the paved road makes all the dream beaches of this section of the south coast accessible.
 
Triopetra (a.k.a. the beach of Akoumia) is right ahead, and from there the road continues via Agia Paraskevi and Ligres (the beach of Kerames) until Finikas (the palm beach of Preveli).
 
Road distance: 51 kms *)
 
Matala
is famous from the 1960-ies when Hippies from all over the world used to settle here, staying in the caves by the beach.
 
Today, the caves must not be used for accommodation purposes anymore as they do not fulfill the minimum standard criteria as issued by the Greek Tourism Authority.

Matala his however still worth a visit. It has deep blue sea and a white sandy beach which is framed by yellow rock (with abandoned caves in it).

A blue sky covers the place, and views range over the Messara bay to Agia Galini, to Mt. Kedros, and with clear weather even until the White Mountains ("Lefka Ori").
 
distance Matala: The Hippies' caves
It is easy to understand why they settled right here ...
 
Road distance: 78 kms *)
 
*) All data show the shortest respective road distance from Plakias
 

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Contact / Site notice
Villa Domenico
Manolis Pattakos
Maroulas
GR-74100 Rethymnon
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GR-74100 Rethymnon-Pighi
Fax 0030 28310 20011
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