Central Crete beaches



Tsoutsouras beach
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Tsoutsouras or Tsoutsouros (deriving from the Venetian word Zuzzuro) is located 63km south of Heraklion, at the exit of the imposing Gorge of Mindris. It is built on the site of the ancient city Inatos, which was the port of Priansos (located near Kasteliana village). More precisely, Tsoutsouras consists of the two united settlements of Pera Tsoutsouros and Tsoutsouros, which today are the harbor of Arkalochori. The area is very well organized and developed touristically, but still is a destination for quiet holidays.

In front of the village, there is the small harbor of Tsoutsouras. East and west of the port, there are two long sheltered bays with a total length of 2km, which have lovely coarse sand and crystal clear water. The beach is slightly organized with umbrellas and several tamarisk trees around. It is ideal for family holidays because all the necessary facilities for accommodation, entertainment, and food are in close proximity. To remain secluded, you can walk to the east end of the beach with the sandhills. The easternmost part is called Limniara and hosts the sea cave Pourgonero. You can also use Tsoutsouras as a base for exploring the other surrounding beaches.

It is noteworthy to mention that swimming in Tsoutsouras has been traditionally considered therapeutic and healing by many Cretans, because of its high concentration of salt and iodine, assisting with healing musculoskeletal and orthopedic problems.

The area of Tsoutsouras

Tsoutsouras is an area with energy in the atmosphere and a strong presence of myths and folk narratives, tales of dragons, wild beasts, tales of illegal excavations in the past, and modern fantasy stories and paradoxes. In ancient Inatos, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth was worshiped. You may visit the cave where the goddess was worshiped for many centuries. In the cave, located in the center of the village, many offerings on the goddess have been found, such as bronze and clay figurines of men, pregnant women, sexual complexes, jewelry, clay double axes, clay models of ships, and Egyptian faience statuettes. Especially, the latter shows the influence of the sanctuary around the world. In recent years, this unknown cave came to the fore, making Tsoutsouras known throughout Greece. According to reports, in the cave and the region, objects of incredible technological development of the Minoans were taken by the American army in complete privacy, in order to provide them with special knowledge. A Greek television show named "Gates of the Inexplicable" dealt with this issue and Tsoutsouras became famous throughout Greece. No matter how true this story is, the fact is that the area actually emits a special and unique energy.

West of Tsoutsouras, you can see two parallel mountains, which locals call Zeus and Hera because they remind of two lying bodies. According to mythology, king Asterion brought up in these mountains the sons of Zeus, namely Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon. They later reigned at Knossos, Pheastus, and Malia respectively, ruling the first great European civilization. West of the harbor, in the Kerkelos area (or Zeus’ paw), traces of ancient Inatos, in and out of the sea, have been found. South of Kerkelos, the coast is full of beautiful and unique karstic cave formations. Locals have reported that in one of them, called Drakospilia, they had found a dragon skeleton, which they burned in order to make space for seeking ancient treasures. The story seems fantastic, but the several testimonies of people who had seen the dragon have confused the researchers. A Minoan settlement has been excavated in the area of Aliori, the east end of the beach.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture, Central Crete, South Crete, Monofatsi area
  • Sea water color: Blue
  • Sand type: Sand
  • Depth: Shallow
  • Sea surface: Usually calm
  • Crowds: Normal
  • Facilities: Accommodation options nearby, Food / water nearby, Umbrellas / beds, Sports, Showers
  • Other Information: Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing, Tree Shade
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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