Beaches of Crete

Asterousia

Agios Onoufrios beach (Tsigounas)
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Between the settlements Tsigounas and Platia Peramata there are several beaches with the characteristic black pebble of southern Crete. One of the most unknown and secluded is the long beach of Agios Onoufrios, in a secluded location with many greenhouses almost hanging from the cliffs.

The beach gets its name after the church of Saint Onuphrius (Agios Onoufrios), which is built in a rock shelter. Although the temple looks modern, as it has been restored, Saint Onuphrius was a small monastery in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the scattered ruins of buildings and traces of cultivation. In this inhospitable environment of the Asterousia Range the monks were able to cultivate the stoney grounds using the precious water from the springs that still exist today.

Access to the beach is difficult, as there are cliffs preventing descent. The only way to get there is from the greenhouse at the west end of the beach. Next to this greenhouse there is a small stream with large rocks, through which one can descend down to the beach carefully.

The beach is full with large boulders and the bottom is suitable for fishing, and in some places there are reeds that indicate the existence of fresh water. Due to the difficult access and the long distance from urban centers, the place is ideal for complete isolation. If you ever find yourself here, it's worth swimming behind the cliff at the east end, where you'll find a stunning cave with a small very nice beach. Even further to the east the is the small beautiful beach of Alatsoharakas, where one can descend from a dirt road.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
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