Asterousia Range is the southernmost massif in Europe that stretches from Matala to Anapodaris River. The wild beauty and the remoteness of most places are the basic reasons to attract many visitors that believe that this is the place with the best beaches in Crete.
The majestic black beach of Aspes is located about 58km south of Heraklion, in one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Asteroussia Mountains. It is situated 4km east of the hamlet of Treis Ekklisies.
Kaminaki Beach is located 58km south of Heraklion, in the southeastern outskirts of Asterousia Mountains. The surrounding mountains form a purely Cretan landscape, with inaccessible gorges, bare rocks, steep cliffs and remote beaches accessible only on boat. The beach of Kaminaki is formed at the exit of the wild Perivoliano Gorge.
Voidomatis or Vouidomatos (i.e. ox’s eye) is located 62km south of Heraklion and 2.5km east of the hamlet Treis Ekklisies. The area is situated on the southern slopes of Asterousia Mounts. The impressive gorge of Mesosfini with towering walls and wild cliffs, a very common landscape for Asterousia, stops in Voidomatis.
Tris Ekklisies (i.e. three churches) is a secluded seaside village located 64km south of Heraklion, amid the wild and inhospitable landscape of Asterousia Mountains. The surrounding area, one of the most isolated in Crete, is difficult to access, but has some amazing beaches. To get to Treis Ekklisies you have to drive through a rough dirt road, about 10km long, from the village Paranymfi.
Behind the big hill west of the settlement Tris Ekklisies, there is a second stunning beach with fine sand, which is completely isolated and surrounded by the largest carob wood in Europe. The beach is called Pahia Ammos and is shaped at the exit of Agia Paraskevi Gorge, which also houses an unknown 105m high waterfall (only in winter).
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.
Agios Antonios (St. Anthony) is located 71km south of Heraklion, between the hamlet of Agios Ioannis and the Monastery of Koudoumas. The area is very isolated and can be accessed only via a footpath that connects Agios Ioannis with the monastery. The trail passes between pine trees.
Agios Ioannis (St. John) is a small coastal village located 73km south of Heraklion, south of the village Kapetaniana. Kapetaniana is very close to the highest peak of Asterousia Mountains, Kofinas Peak. In Kapetaniana, you can visit the Byzantine Church of the Panagia and the Church of the Holy Cross, or climb in the local climbing track.