The secluded bay of Pera Galini is located 48km east of Rethymno and 39km west of Heraklion, near the village Sisses. The name “Pera Galini” is famous to most Cretans because of the local garbage disposal center, which accepts the garbage of the city of Heraklion. Almost nobody knows that there is a beach nearby, however severely degraded by the local landfill.
The two adjacent beaches of the area are accessible via a bad dirt road that starts from the highway near the village Sisses. They are secluded and open to norther winds. Here, you will sometimes find a few swimmers mainly originating from the region. Both beaches are sandy and have rocks in most places. The sea was very severely infected several years earlier by the nearby disposal center, but with the new configuration of the landfill it is now cleaner and somehow safe for swimming.
On the east edge of the longest beach, the small cape of Kefali is formed. The ruins of a Minoan settlement at Kefali, which is thought to have been an important port in the region, have been discovered there. You will see the excavations with plastic covers reminding of greenhouses, which are still in progress and have brought a sanctuary to light. It is considered that the settlement was destroyed by an earthquake.
Moreover, close to the beach there are the ruins of a former monastery dedicated to Saint Anthony, from which only the chapel survives. This monastery was probably abandoned and deserted due to the constant pirate raids in the Venetian Era. The monastery is built next to a beautiful river with platan trees, which concludes at the beach, however water is contaminated due to the landfill.