The Wild, Unknown Beaches of Crete (photos)



Shores of the exotic beaches in the south of Rethymno Prefecture (Courtesy of Zarpanews.gr).

Visitors to Crete have always been surprised by the wild Mediterranean landscape made up of stunning blue waters, golden beaches, and amazing landscapes. However, this huge land hides many secret places. Among them are the wonderful shores of Agios Pavlos, located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) south of the city of Rethymno.

Probably one of the best beaches in the center of the island, the so-called Melissa Cape Sandhills are on the south side while the River Akoumianos and the better-known beach of Triopetra beach are on the north.

Unique formations of the Cretan landscape (Courtesy of Zarpanews.gr).

Alatsogreni (or also Alatisogreni, meaning ‘salt cliffs’), as the locals call the place, reveals a sea with unique shades of blue and an almost-hidden beach. The place has long been home to all kinds of visitors, naturists included, thanks to the relative privacy and seclusion offered by the coves and caves.

Southern waters tend to be colder and deeper than the northern shores of the island, however, the stunning beach with huge sand dunes as well as the sea caves add an exotic flavor to the area.

Shores of the exotic beaches in the south of Rethymno Prefecture (Courtesy of Zarpanews.gr).

There are limited accommodations and eating options nearby where umbrellas and sunbeds can also be found. However, many prefer the shade of the rocky caves shaped on the beach. Perched on top of the beach, it is also possible to visit the church of Agios Pavlos.

The seabed is ideal for water sports and activities such as diving and snorkeling thanks to the amazing submarine life of the Libyan Sea.

Shores of the exotic beaches in the south of Rethymno Prefecture (Courtesy of Zarpanews.gr).

The bizarre landscape perfectly combines with a romantic view of the islands of Paximadia, not far from shore. Sunsets are surprisingly beautiful and well accompany the peaceful atmosphere of the beach. The peak, called Thronos, directly above the beach offers the best sunset panoramas (vertical cliffs about 300 meters high).

Shores of the exotic beaches in the south of Rethymno Prefecture (Courtesy of Zarpanews.gr).

Visitors can reach the peak following the dirt track starting just next to where the roads Agios Pavlos-Sactouria and Triopetra-Agios Pavlos join. From there all that travelers must do is walk to the edge of the cliff. The observation point also shows unique views of the island of Gavdos and the White Mountains.