The beach Skotini is located 32km northwest of Agios Nikolaos, north of the village Finokalias. It is formed at the exit of the gorge Skotini, which crosses one of the most remote and wild places of Crete. Indeed, in this solitary place, a sampling station of the University of Crete was established for the study of aerosols. Such a station could be constructed only in such a remote area, away from the polluted cities and from human activity.
To reach the beach you can walk into the small canyon, until you meet the sea. From Finokalias follow the short path that leads northwards, until you see the bed of the gorge. While walking along this, you will cross one beautiful and wild landscape with bare rocks, low vegetation and numerous spices and herbs. In the gorge you will see 2-3 wells with water, while the tall walls of the gorge host many caves. Indeed, in one of them locals say that an eerie woman called Datserolenia lived. The cave has a stone wall that still protects its entrance. A few yards away, you'll meet the small beach of Skotini.
Alternatively, from Finokalias you can follow the dirt road leading to the pine-forested monastery of St. Andrew, based in Cape Drepani. A part of the church is built in the rock of the mountain, with an inscription that reminds that it was repaired at the expense of Spinalonga patients. In order to approach the beach from there, you need to walk eastwards, along the shore. Indeed, at some point you will see an old fountain still flowing with water.
The beach is pebbly and has many rocks in places. The rocky seabed in conjunction with the frequently wavy sea, make swimming difficult and sometimes dangerous. However, if you reach the beach on a windless day, it is sure that you’ll enjoy your bath in the cool waters of Skotini, possibly all alone.
The name Skotini means Dark in Greek and it probably derives from the fact that the walls of the canyon in some places are very high and come very close together. This fact, combined with the shade of the trees hanging over the edges, reduces the intensity of light and the gorge is “dark”. Another version says that it comes after the many caves of the canyon.