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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Beach
“Preveli beach Some of Crete's most beautiful beaches are located on the far south coast that extends to the Libyan Sea. Hidden beneath the Preveli Monastery, this beautiful beach is at the mouth of a river and is backed by a lush palm forest. If you walk through the canyon you will find a small waterfall. To get to the beach you will need to leave your car and go downhill (relatively easy) for about 20 minutes. The palm trees were seriously damaged by the fire in 2010, but have since been naturally regenerated.”
  • 55 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Damnoni is the beach before entering Plakias. It has nice taverns and waters are crystal clear. Water is usually cold and you have to avoid it during windy days.”
  • 12 locals recommend
Monastery
“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. Not far from the villas”
  • 11 locals recommend
Other Great Outdoors
“The Kourtaliotiko Gorge is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gorges of Crete. Inside, the Kourtaliotis River flows, crossing its 2.5 km in length and its towering slopes that reach 600 meters in height. The gorge begins from the village of Koxare in the prefecture of Rethymno and reaches the lake of Preveli. Stone steps begin from the Kokaere - Asomatous road and reach the interior of the gorge, at the church of Agios Nikolaos and the springs of Kourtaliotis. From this point thousands of visitors start each year to cross the gorge and swim in the cool waters. The gorge is an important biotope, since rare species of birds of prey live in the caves formed on its slopes.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Beach
“It is certainly the most famous beach in south Crete, accepting thousands of visitors every summer. During the 60s and 70s, it was a favorite destination for the hippies. On the banks of the Grand River there is a large colony of Theophrastus palm trees, which give the region a sense of a tropical landscape. The river, forming a small lake, 500m long, before emptying into the sea, has water all year round. You can walk along the river, under the shade of palm trees, and start ascending in the beautiful canyon. You can swim in the cold ponds formed in the gorge. A big fire in 2010 burnt almost everything of this paradise, but paradoxically the palmgrove recovered most of its damage.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Park
“The Gorge of Kotsifou begins at the village of Kanevos and ends at the village of Plakias. Just 10 m wide at the entrance, the beginning of this gorge is very narrow, however, eventually the gorge widens out to 600m. It is 1,800m long in total and its almost perpendicular walls reach a height of 600 m. A small chapel built into a rocky cavity is situated in the gorge.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Surf Spot
“The beach of Plakias extends east from the village. It is one of the biggest beaches in Crete, offering a sense of space and comfort to suit every taste - the east end is mainly used by naturists. There are showers all along the beach and many parking spaces.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Beach
“Souda beach is after the village of Plakias in south Crete. It is a cozy place and with not so many people. But you need to know not to go with children at the start of the beach where naked sun bathing is common.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Surf Spot
“Korakas beach is situated south of the village of Rodakino, 42 Km from Rethymno. The sandy beach of Korakas is organised and the area offers a good variety of tavernas. In its east end, there are cavernous rocks. Locals say that before getting eroded they looked like a crow’s (korakas in greek) beak.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Skinaria beach is located near Plakias and it offers crystal clear waters and its a perfect place for diving.”
  • 5 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“Ammoudaki beach is the most significant small beach in crete. Furthermore nude swimming is permitted!!!”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Traditional tavern with great Cretan food tastes and fresh materials. Prices are normal but if you go at night, better make a reservation because it is usualy crowded.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“The Gorge of Kourtaliotis is located 22km south of Rethymno and has a length of 3km. It is one of the most spectacular natural attractions of Rethymnon. It starts from the village Koxare and flows between the mountains Kouroupis (984 m) and Xiro Oros (Dry Mountain - 904m). The huge cliffs of the canyon reach a height of 600 meters and are full of openings and caves, where significant fauna species live.”
  • 1 local recommends
Lodging
“Small sandy beach near Damnoni, not organised and fairly isolated. Next to Kleisidi, you will meet the amazing nudist beach of Small Ammoudi or Ammoudaki. The turquoise waters and spectacular white coarse sand, make this small beach popular destination for nudists. Moreover, on the beach there is a small canteen, which also provides umbrellas and sunbeds. At the west side of the beach, you can swim till a marine cave, where the sun rays make the color of the water vivid blue. The seabed is sandy and you can step there. At the other end, there is an under water hole that connects Ammoudaki with Kleisidi. So you can get from one beach to another only with a splash!”
  • 5 locals recommend