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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Panormo is situated about 20km east of Rethymno, in the region of Milopotamos. It is a tranquil resort, which has met a fast development in recent years, without however losing its traditional face. The wild beauty of the pure Cretan landscapes, the picturesque village, the beautiful beaches and easy access, have contributed to this development.
One of the best kept secrets in Rethymno aside from Akoumiani Gialia or more popularly known as Triopetra beach to tourists and locals alike, are the breathtaking Melissa Cape Sandhills, by Agios Pavlos, which is considered as among the best beaches in Crete.
The beach that stretches in front of the resort is a long bay with beautiful turquoise waters and coarse white sand. Here you will find all the services of a very well organized beach like umbrellas, snack bars, showers, changing rooms, water sports, scuba diving centre, great hotels, restaurants, horse riding centre etc.
Ligres is located 51km south of Rethymno and 7km south of the village Kerames, at the foot of the imposing mount of Siderotas. It is actually the northbound part of the beachfront called Akoumiani Gialia.
The coastal village of Agios Pavlos (St. Paul) is located 58km south of Rethymno, west of Agia Galini, and on the edge of Cape Melissa. You can access the area by driving from the villages Akoumia or Sachtouria.
Skaleta beachfront starts 11km east of Rethymno and stretches 3km to the east. It is the last part of the vast beach of the Gulf of Rethymno. The first beach after Pighianos Kampos is Sfakaki, a very well organised resort.
The beach Episkopi is located 45km east of Chania and 14km west of Rethymnon, in a fertile valley with lowlands. It takes its name from the nearby village, Episkopi, located 2km southern. Almost no-one Greek knows this place, but everybody knows the family Vardinoyannis, originating from here. This is one of the richest families in Greece.
Paximadia Islands are two small uninhabited islets off the Gulf of Messara, 12km (7.5 miles) south of Agia Galini. By far they seem like a single island because they are very close. You may also hear locals refer to these as "Elephant", since from afar they remind of a lying elephant. Their total length is about 3km.