Rethymno region: Crete’s smallest prefecture located between White Mountains and Mountain Psilorítis (also called “Ídi”), is synonymous with gorgeous mountainscapes, marvellous beaches, Cretan lyre melodies, tsikoudiá spirit served with “oftó”, legendary caves, historic monasteries and monuments, traditional mountain villages and luxurious holiday resorts. Feel the essence of Mythical Crete in this mountainous, remote and self-sufficient region of the island of Crete. The beautiful city of Rethymno lies along the north coast, combining an old- time aristocratic appearance with a modern aspect both creating a unique atmosphere. Rethymno is the third biggest town in Crete (about 40.000 inhabitants). It is the administrative and commercial centre of the area and the base of the University in Crete.
Rodakino village, is situated on the foot of Krioneritis mountain above Korakas beach in the south coast of Rethymno-Crete. It is located 15 kms west from Plakias tourist resort, 42 kms south-west from Rethymno town and 13 kms from east from Frangokastello.
It is one of the the largest villages in the area. There are a few rent-rooms properties, small hotels, some tavernas on the beach and 2 mini markets for your provisions. It is still a quiet and relatively infrequently visited place. It is divided in two parts: Upper and Lower Rodakino. It is surrounded by small beaches and hills covered by olive-trees.
Some History of the village: The former inhabitants of Rodakino have had lot of fights during the history. The village was destroyed during the Venetian occupation and one man escaped in Peloponese-Greece. Many years later he returned and rebuild the village. On the hill of Kourkoulos raised the flag of the revolution against the Turks on May 24 1821 . During the second war the village was destroyed again and many residents have been killed by the invaders. The inhabitants have been farmers and fishermen since antiquity, while the tourism industry is a more recent occupation.
Plakias village 10 minutes only from Rodakino has been transformed to a popular resort and a base for visiting the natural beauties of Yialia ( the south coast) in the middle of 20th century .
You can have splendid holidays in Plakias village. The place offers you many choices as the village is very well organized, hosting plenty of restaurants, bars, shopping centers, car rentals , pharamacy,petrol-stations,post-office, ATM, water sports, scuba diving schools, organised beach interesting night-life and many more. Although Plakias is a new village, the area was inhabited at least since Roman times, since the archaeologists have found many ancient objects (and some are considered Minoan). It is believed that Plakias is built at the site of the ancient city Lamon, while some others believe that it’s built in the place of the ancient city Phoenix.
The Venetian Fortezza fortress is built on the “Paleokastro” hill, located on the west side of the city. On the same hill the Acropolis of the ancient city of Rithymna was located, along with a sanctuary dedicated to Goddess Artemis. The Fortezza fortress was built between 1573-1580 by the Venetians in order to protect the citizens from the Turkish threat. It is shaped like a star, it has three gates and six ramparts. The temple of Saint Nicolo has been turned into the mosque of Sultan Ibraim Han. There was the building of the Commander, the building of the Counselor, army camps, stables, ammunition depots, a water supply reservoir and some houses that were later destroyed.
The Arkadi Monastery, in the hills some 23km southeast of Rethymno, has deep significance for Cretans. As the site where hundreds of cornered locals massacred both themselves and invading Turks, it’s a stark and potent symbol of human resistance and considered a spark plug in the struggle towards freedom from Turkish occupation.
Preveli is situated about 35km south of Rethymno and 10km east of Plakias. The beach is also known as Lake Preveli or Phoenix and is certainly one of the most famous and idyllic beach in southern Crete, accepting thousands of visitors every summer. During the 60s and 70s, it was a favorite destination for hippies. It is an oasis of palm trees with crystalline greenish waters and fine soft sand. The river, forming a large lake, 1.5km long, before emptying into the sea. You can rent also pedal boats for a ride in the river. In the eastern part of the beach, there is a beautiful rock reminding of a mast. It is poorly organized because the area is protected, so you must bring your umbrellas and the rest equipment. However, there are a few restaurants and snack bars nearby. The beach can be reached by foot from the parking nearby the Preveli Monastery or by fishing boats which leave regularly from Plakias and Agia Galini.
The Holy Stavropegiac and Patriarchal Preveli Monastery of Saint John the Theologian (Evangelist), known as the Monastery of Preveli is located at the south of Prefecture of Rethymnon and it is the most sacred part of the Holy Diocese of Lambis and Sfakion, in whose the spiritual jurisdiction belongs. The monastery is consisted of two main building complexes, the Lower (Kato) Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and the Rear (Pisso) Monastery of Saint John the Theologian which is in operation today. The Preveli Monastery and its dependencies cover a large estate land of the Phoenix Municipality towards the Libyan sea and along the Great River (MegalosPotamos), which ends at this point. The Monastery has a glorious history due to the active and leading involvement of its fellow monks in all national endeavourers for freedom and education of our people. Thus, it merits specific recognition and respect throughout the island of Crete. In our days, the Holy Monastery of Preveli with a new monastic Brotherhood and through the immemorial coenobitic capitulary of Monachism, wishes, endeavourers and minds to give with a dynamic spiritual and adorable attendance its own orthodox martyry of worship to the God and love to the people, by supporting them to find again their true being meaning through Jesus Christ life.
Damnoni is an organised sandy beach, located 35km south of Rethymno and 6 km east of the village Plakias. It is a popular tourist resort, very well developed, where you will find all the services of a very well organized beach like umbrellas, snack bars, showers, changing rooms, water sports, scuba diving centre, restaurants, etc. The beach of Damnoni is clean and offers sun beds and umbrellas rentals. The surrounding area is full of deserted bays and coves with soft sand and incredibly clean waters and you might even find a beach where you can be on your own.
Ammoudi is a beach complex located 38 km south of Rethymnon, 6-7 kilometers at the East of Plakias and some 10 minutes walking from the beach of Damnoni. MikroAmmoudi(means little sandy beach) is a nudists’ beach and it is so small that it is almost always packed with people.Amoudi is further down the dirt road, very close to MikroAmoudi. Both of the beaches have thick white sand and rocky seabed and crystal and clear waters. They are well organised, offering accommodation facilities, food and drink in taverns and cafes, as well as facilities for swimming, sunbathing (sunbeds, umbrellas) and sea sports.
Souda beach is located 43 km south from Rethymno and 3km western of the town of Plakias, The beach is sandy and gravel, the waters are clean and safe and the place isa great spot for families. It is well organized offering sundecks, umbrellas, etc. There arealsosome taverns in some areas of the beach, water sports. and rooms.Unlike the meaning of its name (suda means narrow passage), the bay of Souda is quite large.
The beach is located east of Plakias village, a tourist resort with many cafes and restaurants, 36km south of Rethymno. It is a sandy, well organised beach, ideal for swimming. The beach provides all the facilities like hotels, rooms, taverns, restaurants, sun beds, umbrellas, water sports and diving. Since it is a well organized beach, it is often crowded in summer. The eastern part allows nudism.
The beach of Triopetra is located about 44 km south of Rethymno and 13 km north of Akoumia village and is long and sandy.It owes its name to the three imposing rocks found in its waters, since “triopetra” means “three stones” in Greek. There are some accommodation options and some taverns but the beach is mostly known for the wide range of water sports you can perform The sunset of the area is stunning and the peaceful atmosphere attract many people who want to relax.
The beach of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul) is about 55 kilometres south of Rethymno, a little further from Sachtouria village (at its coastal settlement called Aghios Pavlos).The beach is very difficult to be approached and, due to this difficulty, is very calm with only a few swimmers. It has fine grey sands and pristine waters. This beach is not organised.
The beach of Agia Galini is situated in the popular and picturesque village of Agia Galini and is about 53 kilometres south of Rethymno. The village consists one of the most popular seaside resorts of southern Rethymnon, situated next to the exit of the Amarianos River.The beach is between the town and the river, is sandy, fully-organised and has clean waters. It can be quite crowded during July and August. It offers all kind of tourist amenities and a wide range of water sports.
City’s beach, is sandy and more than 20 km long, stretching from the town of Rethymno in an easterly direction towards the areas of Perivolia, Platanes, AdelianosKampos, Skaleta. It is usually over-crowded during summer months, because is the nearest and the most popular beach of the city. It is well organized and equipped, with sun beds, umbrellas, sport activities, and lifeguards. There are a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars and tourist shops available.
Geropotamos is a small and picturesque beach with sand and pebble, located 20 kilometers east of Rethymno city, under the bridge of Geropotamos, which is on the highway leading from Rethymnon to Iraklion. The deep waters make it suitable for those that can swim. The beach provides umbrellas and a restaurant.
Episkopi beach is a long (3.5km), sandy, shallow and mostly wavy beach, which is located 14km west of Rethymno. It takes its name from the nearby village, Episkopi, (2km southern). In the western part of the beach you can find places with lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, umbrellas, snack bars, water sports, etc. However, given its large size, there are spots, especially in the eastern part, with no facilities. The main road that connects Rethymno and Chania runs just next to the beach, parallel to it, thus the access is very easy, either by car or by bus.
Petres (i.e. Stones) is a small rocky beach with crystalline and clean water, located on the northern coast of the prefecture of Rethymno, at the eastern end of the vast beachfront of Georgioupolis. The distance from Rethymnon is 12km. The area has several sandy coves that have a lot of rocks. The rocky seabed is ideal for fishing and snorkeling. However, the north winds that usually blast, make the sea wavy. The beach is generally not crowded and usually frequented by locals. The west beach is sandy and well organized with umbrellas, chairs, loungers, changing rooms, showers, lifeguard and taverns. In the eastern part the beach has sand and rocks in the formed coves. At the Eastern part there are also sun loungers and chairs for relaxing and restaurants. The access to Petres beach like the other beaches that lie west of the town of Rethymnon is easy and fast through the highway.
Bali is a picturesque coastal village, nestled in the surrounding mountains of the bay of Bali, 34 km east of Rethymno. Small inlets are scattered on the coast in front of the village where visitors can find crystalline waters and peaceful atmosphere or fully-organised sandy inlets with clean waters. In Bali you can swim in four different pebbly and sandy gulfs, each one of them has rare beauty, Livadi, Varkotopos, Limanaki and Karavostasis. The area offers a large number of tavernas, hotels and rooms. Bali is a picturesque coastal village.
Panormo is a picturesque coastal village, set beside a quaint small fishing harbor with narrow streets, traditional tavernas and a variety of small shops. The unique location and the picturesque ports will impress you. The beach of Panormo is sandy and the sea clear blue and you can swim even with northerly winds. It is located 22 km east of Rethymnon and it provides all the comforts of sun beds, umbrellas, lifeguards, locker rooms, showers, beach bars, restaurants and many hotels and rooms. You can go there from the national street Rethymno-Heraklion.