Driving on dusty dirt roads across rocky pastures and hiking in the canyons usually end up in a refreshing swim at a splendid secluded beach. The hues of the sea play their color game with the stones and the sun. Some of the most popular beaches are Agiofarago, while there are still impressive beaches at Vathy, Trafoulas near Lendas, Aspes and Agios Nikitas. Those preferring to stay close to “civilization” can swim below the legendary caves of Listis by Kastri and the dunes of Komos by Matala. Οn the north coast, in the coves of Sarandaris at Hersonisos, Potamos by Malia, as well as on Dia island one comes across heavenly beaches, where the water is azure blue.
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Kastri is located 72km southeast of Heraklion, in the sheltered bay of Keratokambos. It is the biggest of the two settlements of the region (the second is Keratokambos), which are now united. In recent years Kastri has faced considerable development, mainly because the surrounding beaches are a magnet for visitors.
Vathianos River empties in the area, but it gets dry on the summer. The area has several adjacent coves with gold sand and shallow waters. Because the beach front is facing north, waves are quite common. That's why in some places you will see several small piers, breaking the waves.
It is located at the exit of a small valley, a rare phenomenon in the wild Asterousia Mountains, which starts from the village Antiskari and ends in settlement. The fertile valley is used for growing early vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc., since the temperature here is always high. Characteristic of the warm climate is that the swallows do not leave the area in winter.
Pourgonero beach is located at Krassas area, just 500m east of the port of Tsoutsouras, in the area where the houses of the settlement stop. It is actually the eastern part of Tsoutsouras bay, located in front of the hill Sarakinos. According to the legend, the eternal sarcophagus of King Minos, the mythical king of Crete, is burried below this place.
Loutra (i.e. Baths) is located 3km east of the seaside village Lendas, 77km south of Heraklion. It is known to locals because it hosts the port of Lendas, which is protected by the Cape Trafoulas on the east.
Kladissos is located 21km northwest of Crete, west of the resort of Agia Pelagia. The beach is situated in front of the largest hotel of the region that spans the entire area of the Cape of Souda.
Dyskos is located 75km southwest of Heraklion, just 1-2km west of Lendas. It is a small settlement, known also as Dytikos, which is separated from the village of Lendas by the famous Cape Lion. Lion is said that was one of the lions carrying the chariot of the goddess Rhea and was petrified here.
The monastery of Koudoumas is located 74km south of Heraklion, on the western side of Cape Martelos and south of Kofinas Peak (the highest peak of Asterousia Mountains). The whole area is full of cavities where hermits used to live. To reach the monastery, you have to drive in a passable dirt road of 20km, starting from the village Sternes, which descends from an altitude of 1000m to the sea level.