The southern coast of Rethymnon hosts some of the most beautiful, untouched exotic beaches of Crete. At Agios Pavlos, huge sand-hills descend steeply and vanish into the sea, forming a beach, where one may sense the most positive vibrations of the island. On the adjacent beaches of Ligres and Pahia Ammos by Kerames the scenery remains mysterious. However, the most brilliant turquoise waters in Rethymnon are found on the beaches of Skinaria, Ammoudi and Damnoni, all located near Plakias.
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In front of the suburbs of Rethymnon stretches a long sandy beach, which is an extension of vast beachfront that starts near the harbor of Rethymno and extends to the east for 13km. It is very well organized, with a plethora of choices for food, drink and accommodation.
Adelianos Kampos (or Kambos) is located 6km east of Rethymnon, near the village of Adele, on a flat plain. The name means “Plain of Adele”. It is actually a seaside suburb of Rethymnon, as the small village has grown so much in the last century, that it is now a part of the city.
Louros is a rocky area between the settlements of Agios Georgios by Agia Galini and Agios Pavlos, hosting several small beaches. There is a road running above them all. Driving west from Agios Georgios, we soon meet the small beaches of Armenopetra (i.e. sailing rock) named after a lonely boulder in the sea. The beaches are ideal for snorkeling.
The valley of St. George is located 3km west of Agia Galini, 69km southeast of Heraklion and 60km south of Rethymno. There are two small bays with wonderful pebbly beaches, which are separated by a rocky shore. The weather here is always mild, making the beaches ideal for swimming all year round.
Kalo Horafi is located approximately 37km east of Rethymno and 43km west of Heraklion, at the former position of 318 Agii Pateres (318 Holy Fathers) monastery. The monastery does not survive today, but there is a newer chapel commemorating that. “Kalo Horafi” is the name of the wider area, characterized by the wild Cretan landscape with high mountains and green gorges.
The beach is actually divided into two large beaches and is secluded, since access is not as easy as the nearby beaches of Korakas and Polirizos. On the beach there are no facilities, just a small tavern (and another one on the west part of the beach).
The Pirates’ Fjord is located 33km south of Rethymnon, in a secluded cove south of Mouri or Karavos Cape, near Plakias. It is a very narrow cove, formed between enormous vertical cliffs. The tiny beach shaped here has sand at its starting point and doesn’t exceed 2m in width.
The poor asphalt road that leads to Keramiani Gialia stops near the local harbor of Agia Fotini, also known as Agia Fotia. Agia Fotia has some stunning tiny pebble beaches, ideal for snorkeling and swimming. These are surrounded by marvellous huge rocks.