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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The beautiful unknown beach of Gialopotama is formed west of a small hill, on which a few small houses and apartments for renting are built. The beach is sandy and has deep cool water. The rocks lying around it make it ideal for snorkeling.
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 of Kamari is located about 7km west of Rethymnon, near the village Gerani, at the exit of Vederi Gorge. The highway connecting Chania and Rethymnon runs along the shore and above the bridge of Gerani, next to the beach.
Koumbes is located 2km west of the center of Rethymnon and is actually the only beach in the west part of the city. It has wonderful views to the imposing fortress of Fortezza, which is located a few hundred meters on the east. It is named after the Turkish word Kubbe that means “dome”.
Between Gialopotama and the harbor of Agia Fotini, there are two adjacent beaches with fine pebbles and sand, surrounded by huge rocks. These beaches, called Pirgos, are ideal for snorkeling and nudism. There is a bad dirt track heading to Pirgos, starting 500m north of Gialopotama
Pighianos Kampos (or Kambos) is located 8km east of Rethymno, in the middle of the vast beach of Rethymno Gulf. The name means “Plain of Pigi” in Greek, taken after the fields of the residents of Pigi village, which is located in close proximity.
The beach has sand and fine pebbles, while in several places there are rocks, making it perfect for fishing and snorkeling. It is completely unorganized, so make sure that you have anything you need with you. There is a small taverna located in the neighboring Peristeres beach (3-5' minutes walking distance).
Pervolia, Misiria and Platanias (or Platanes) are three consecutive suburbs of Rethymnon, located 3-5km west of the city, respectively. They were separate settlements, which have been incorporated into the urban fabric of Rethymnon, due to the residential development.