Tripiti beach (Asterousia)
Tripiti (or Trypiti) is located 73km south of Heraklion and 12km east of Lendas, in a small plain at the exit of the gorge of Tripiti (not the homonym gorge of Sfakia area). The name is taken after the church of Panagia Tripiti, which is built inside a cave at the base of the canyon.
To get there there are two alternative routes, both on long dirt tracks. The first route is through a rough dirt road that starts near Lendas harbor, 6km long, and heads eastern to Krotos village. On the 2nd kilometer of the dirt road, you will find a cross junction, where you should turn right. The road crosses the Cape Trafoulas and reaches Tripiti after much dust and car-trembling, but also views of the genuine wild Cretan countryside.
The second alternative is to drive 9km from the village of Vassiliki in Messara plain, where you arrive through the village of Agii Deka. The good dirt road crosses the wild Asterousia Mountains and passes through the gorge of Trypiti and the olive wood of Saint Savvas, with its beautiful karstic formations. Moreover, at a point close the beach, the canyon becomes very narrow and fits only one car. This point, with the high walls about to "kiss" each other above your head, is really amazing and worth visiting, even if you follow the first route. Indeed this point is called Steno Faragi (Narrow Canyon), but most people call erroneously as Steno Faragi the nearby gorge leading to the beach of Trafoulas (which is named Gorge Pidimatou).
On a hill northeast of the beach (Kalokambos area), close to the tavern, you can visit the ruins of the Minoan settlement of Papouri. The windows and doors were tiny, thus it is believed that dwarfs lived there. The view to the Libyan Sea is stunning.
Whichever way you choose, it is sure that the landscape will amaze you. Moreover, the contradiction between the peaceful scenery on the beach and the the wild mountainous landscape around is breathtaking. When you reach the beach you will see a quiet beach with fine pebbles and clean dark green waters. Near the beach there are a few tamarisk trees, several meters away from the shore, under which you can camp. Moreover, the beach is protected on the west by the Cape Fylakas (i.e. Guardian), on which there are several cavities.
Tripiti, as expected, is not organized, but there is a small tavern. Furthermore, especially in August, it gathers quite a lot people for such a secluded beach. The only incongruity in the landscape is the illegally-built rooms for renting and the numerous caravans, which have been permanently installed here by locals.
If you feel like Trypiti beach is too crowded for your tastes, especially on August, you should not worry as there are two tiny beaches closeby, where you can seclude yourself. As all the beaches of the area, these two beaches have coarse sand and calm water.
In order to locate them, you should drive in the seaside dirt road leading to Lendas. 500m west from Trypiti, you’ll meet the first tiny cove with the green-blue colored water and the rocky seabed. The beach is ideal for nudists, as they can hide under the shade of the surrounding rocks. Although, from the first sight it seems inaccessible, you can get on the beach from the trail on its east end
The second secret beach in the area is located about 1km later. The beach of Vyzaroplaka, as it is called, is formed at a small bay aside the Trafoulas Peninsula. The colors are amazing and the rocky seabed is ideal for snorkeling and fishing. The beach is very well protected from Trafoulas Peninsula, thus being wavy is almost impossible on usual days.
First secret beach
|Tripiti Gorge (Asterousia)||0.9km||Saint Savvas Gorge||1.8km|
|Saint Savvas Olive wood||1.8km||Trafoulas beach||2.2km|
|Katarti beach||2.3km||Loutra beach||2.8km|
|Salamia beaches||3.3km||East Tsigounas beach (Petrakis)||4km|
|Dyskos beach||6.4km||Agios Ioannis beach||6.8km|
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