Asterousia beaches

Kali Limenes

Heraklion

Kali Limenes beach
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Kali Limenes (i.e. Good Ports) is located 75km southwest of Heraklion and is the largest seaside village in Asterousia Mountains. It is one of the very few coastal areas of Asterousia, where you can get through asphalt road. To get here, you have to drive from village Pompia, in Messara Plane and follow the road to village Pigaidakia. The road is quite narrow and has several sharp turns, but is surely worth the effort. There's also a dirt road that heads to Kali Limenes from the Monastery of Odigitria that can be combined with a visit to the beach Agiofarago.

Once you get to Kali Limenes, you will see the oil tanks of SEKA located opposite from the settlement on the island Mikronisi, which locals call "Apostle Paul". Only a few Greeks know Kali Limenes, but surely everyone knows the Vardinoyannis family, one of the richest families in Europe. This family started its business in 1961, with the construction of these reservoirs, which serve as a refueling station for ships that cross the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. These facilities are causing visual pollution, but fortunately the sea remains very clean.

If you exclude the repelling landscape of tanks, you will certainly be enchanted by the beautiful beaches of Kali Limenes, which are suitable for swimming all year round. As its name name suggests, sea in Kali Limenes (i.e. Fair Harbors) is almost always calm, except in winter. This was one of the reasons for the construction of the tanks here. If you visit the place on weekend, all its beaches are crowded by thousands of people, despite the tiring route in Asterousia.

Makria Ammos

The first beach you come across on the east, when coming from Pigaidakia, is Makria Ammos (i.e. Long Sandy Beach). It's a long beach with fine grayish pebbles and dark deep waters. On the east there are some rocks in the sea. The first on the east, close to the shore, is called Aspros Volakas (i.e. White Rock), while the second one, far from the coast, is called Mavros Volakas (i.e. Black Rock). As you move eastwards, the coast gets quieter. Indeed, in the east part of Makria Ammos, you will meet a large number of nudists, enjoying their seclusion. Makria Ammos is also known as “Tamarisks” or “Trees” because of the several tamarisk trees along the coast, providing shade to visitors. These are very popular to free campers. Moreover, you may hear locals refer to Makria Ammos as Sissamolakos, a placename derived from the cultivation of sesame during the Venetian Times. The beach is not very well organized, but on the west there are few restaurants and some hotels-rooms.

Psili Ammos

West of Makria Ammos is the village of Kali Limenes, surrounded by dense olive groves. In front of the village a small bay is formed, with the small harbor of the settlement and a nice beach, called Psili Ammos (i.e. Fine Sandy Beach). Indeed, the beach has fine sand and is ideal for children. Next to it, there are several restaurants, mini market and rooms. Psili Ammos is the busiest beach of the area and is generally crowded, especially on weekends. If you're lucky, you might take part in the beach party held every August at this beach.

On the west of Kali Limenes, on the hill, you will meet the chapel of St. Paul, built on site of an earlier church of 1700, in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that visited Kali Limenes on November 15, 1992 and later in 2008. Next to the church, you can visit a small cave, where Apostle Paul is said to have lived for two years, before continuing his journey to Rome. Indeed, Paul himself reports in Acts that he once landed in “Limniones” after a big storm, but it is unlikely that he lived in the region for that long. West of the Church, you could visit the beautiful beach of Stena.

Karavovrysi beach

In the east of Kali Limenes, if you follow the road that leads to Chrysostomos, then after 2km you will find the fantastic beach Karavovrysi where you go from a small path. Karavovrysi is a beautiful beach with coarse sand and usually calm water. It is not organized, but unfortunately there is no shade from trees.

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Additional Info

  • Prefecture: Heraklion
  • Sea water color: Blue
  • Sand type: Sand, Fine Pebbles
  • Depth: Normal
  • Sea surface: Usually calm
  • Crowds: Normal
  • Facilities: Accommodation options nearby, Food / water nearby, Umbrellas / beds, Sports
  • Other Information: Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing, Tree Shade
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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