The seaside resort of Bali is located in a large gulf, 30km east of Rethymno and 43km west of Heraklion. Next to the village passes the National Road linking Heraklion and Rethymno, making Bali accessible from any part of the island. It is ideal for family and romantic holidays. Bali has four beaches, which are formed in sandy coves with nice greenish waters. The beaches are almost always calm since the bay of Bali faces the west. They all are suitable for children and well organized. Moreover, water is cool because of the several springs around that carry fresh water into the sea from Psiloritis Range.
Bali is built on the site of the ancient city Astali, which was the port of Axos. Astali is linked to the town where the legendary giant of Crete, Talos, stopped during his journeys. Thus, the mountains south of the village are called Talean Mountains, after Talos. During the Venetian Era, this name was paraphrased to Atali, a name that is still lives in the nearby monastery of Attali. The present name originates from the Turkish era; balli in Turkish means "honey" and the area was named so because of the many beehives. According to another version, the fishing village was named Bali after the Turkish word ballik, which means fish.
Today, Bali is a modern resort with a wide variety of taverns, restaurants, small shops, a diving school, bars, discos, a clinic and a pharmacy. Moreover, buses from Heraklion and Rethymnon run to Bali. Furthermore, from the local harbor, excursion boats run daily to Rethymnon. The passengers have the chance to admire a unique coastline with beautiful caves and rock formations. The main attractions of the region are the Monastery Atali (1635), dedicated to St. John, and the church of Panagia Charakiani.
Bali has four beaches, which are formed in sandy coves with nice greenish waters. The beaches are almost always calm since the direction of Bali is western. They all are suitable for children and well organized. Moreover, water is cool because of the several springs that carry fresh water into the sea.
The Cave of Melidoni is located approximately 1,800 meters northwest of the homonym village of Mylopotamos. Gerontospilios, as also called, is very important due to the archaeological findings, some of which are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon. Moreover, the cave has played a tragic role in the history of Cretan revolution against the Turks, in 1824.
Charakas is a area located about 36km east of Rethymno and 44km west of Heraklion, close to Bali. Half a kilometer east of the Church of Panagia Charakiani, a small peninsula is formed on the side of which there are the small beaches of Glaros and Katevati. The highway connecting Heraklion and Rethymno passes nearby.
The Monastery Attali or Bai is built over the hill of Agia Ypakoi, west of Bali, with panoramic sea views to the sea and close to the main road connecting Rethymnon to Heraklion. The region was isolated till 1970, when the highway was constructed, and thus monasticism and asceticism flourished till then.
At the coast between Panagia Charakiani and the hill Kefali, with the archeological findings, a bit west of Holy 318 Fathers, we meet the area of Propatoumenos. Propatoumenos means the area that can be walked, as there was a trail to the nearby ancient town of Astali, by Bali.
In the middle of the distance of Heraklion and Rethymnon and just before reaching Bali, right on the highway we meet the church of Panagia (Our Lady) Charakiani. It is the largest pilgrimage in the entire prefecture of Rethymnon. During the first 15 days of August many people gathered, especially on the old days, and stayed in small huts around the temple till the day of the Assumption during which the small church celebrates.
Agios Nikolaos beach is located in a remote area just west of Bali, province Mylopotamos. The name comes after the Byzantine double-nave church of Saint Nicholas, which is located in a green creek that leads to a beautiful cove.
In front of the village center, there is the enclosed bay of Varkotopos with a beautiful beach with sand and gravel in front, which is very well organized and busy. It is ideal for young children.