Skinaria beach (or Shinaria) is located 33km south of Rethymno, 3km south of the village Lefkogia, in the east part of the wider Plakias area. The beach is relatively unknown to most locals, but for its few visitors it remains a heaven and some of them regard it as one of the best beaches of Crete.
Skinaria is a small beach with soft gray-beige sand and fine pebbles, with crystal blue deep water. The seabed is rocky, but on the north part of the beach, it is sandy. Life thrives in the area, in and out of the sea. On the beach there are small ponds with fresh water that comes from springs that carry water from the surrounding mountains. Around these lakes lush vegetation has been developed, reminiscent of tropical landscapes. Moreover, locals say that the life in the sea is as vivid as that on the beach. Indeed, the seabed of Skinaria is one of the richest on the island. It hosts huge morays, blackfish, octopus and generally all types of local marine biology, in abundance. Furthermore, water clarity is really impressive, exceeding 40m in horizontal direction. Indeed, it is no coincidence that a scuba diving centre works here and accepts tourists from all over the world.
The beach is slightly organized, with a tavern offering a few umbrellas and refreshments. The last time we visited the beach, umbrellas and sunbeds were free if you bought refreshments. The place is also ideal for camping.
The beach can be accessed via a narrow road that starts from Lefkogia. As you head to Plakias from Rethymnon, when you meet the taverns "Stelios" and "Vassilis" in Lefkogia turn left. There are also signs showing you the way. The very narrow road that starts from Lefkogia leads to the beach after 2km. On the way to the beach, you'll see an amazing cylindric cave on your left hand, inside a rock.