Asterousia beaches



Loutra beach
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Loutra (i.e. Baths) is located 3km east of the seaside village Lendas, 77km south of Heraklion. It is known to locals because it hosts the port of Lendas, which is protected by the Cape Trafoulas on the east. Next to the harbor, some coves are formed that have sand and rocky seabed, ideal for snorkeling and fishing. It is quite unorganized and not very busy. However, there are few restaurants and rooms to rent nearby. Before the port of Lendas was built here, Loutra was very popular to naturists. Nowadays, nudists feel less comfortable here.

The small beach that is non adjacent to the harbor, west of the main beach, is called “Pasiphae's Baths” or Hammam. This is called so, because according to the legend, this beach was used by the female, headed by the queen Pasiphae, i.e. the wife of Minos, the legendary King of Knossos. On the other hand, Minos and his men were used to go to Trafoulas beach.

Near Loutra, you could visit the picturesque chapel of Panaghia (i.e. Virgin Mary) Vithanos, which is built inside a rock. There is a legend about the church: a shepherd once found an icon of Panaghia in the rocks over Loutra, close to the canyon over there. He told the happening and somebody stole the icon, that was before placed in a church in the Plain of Mesara. Nobody could find the guilty nor the icon, but the shepherd, after sometime, went again in the gorge and found the icon in the same place where he primarily found it. For thanking Panaghia for the miracle, the shepherd and his friends decided to build a church at this place. For this purpose they had to bring the water up there from the valley and it was so hard that Panaghia helped them. She made it possible to have water spring from the bare rock. That’s why the icons and frames in the hidden beautiful church represent Panaghia surrounded by water.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture, Central Crete, South Crete, Messara area (Kainourgiou)
  • Sea water color: Blue
  • Sand type: Sand, Fine Pebbles
  • Depth: Normal
  • Sea surface: Usually calm
  • Crowds: Quiet
  • Facilities: Accommodation options nearby, Food / water nearby
  • Other Information: Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing, Tree Shade
  • Accessibility: Paved road
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