To the East
On the way to the east
It seems to be tiring to repeat it, but to the east there are many beautiful beaches in abundance. But this is not the only thing that makes this region an interesting region. It is certain that every day out can end with a dive in the crystal waters of a different beach.
Once again the starting point is Plakias. It is located in the center of the prefecture and therefore an ideal starting point for tours in all directions. The road to the east has many exits that lead mostly onto beautiful beaches and traditional villages. Just after Plakias you will find the exit to the beach of Damnoni. Although more and more visitors have discovered it, it is still a nice place to enjoy the sun and the sea and relax. The next beach along the route is about one kilometer away, before the village of Lefkogia. An exit to the right leads to the beach of Amoudi, a beautiful beach located between the rocks. A short walk takes visitors to Amoudáki or Mikró Amoudi. Smaller but equally stunning. The coastal road then continues on to Lefkogia village. At the center of the village you will see the junction to your right that will get you to the beach of Schinariá. An impressive, beautiful beach ideal for diving and snorkelling.
On the way to Spili is the village Asómatos. Just before this village, to your right, there is the exit to the monastery of Préveli and the palm tree forest with the lagoon.
Spili can be a refreshing visit with the crystal clear water that flows from the lion heads on the square in the middle of the village, in the shade of the big plane (sycamore) trees. The narrow roads lead through several small villages to the coast. Next, on the way to the village Drímiskos only a tavern on the square of the village shows any signs of life. At the end of this route you will find several beautiful beaches. On one of them, a couple runs a tavern without any electricity. The road eventually joins in Agía Galíni that has some interesting turns in store. There is the option to turn off to the beach Triópetra with the three stones on the rocks into the sea. Or to Agios Pavlos where the beach is not flat but is as a mountain slope of sand that leads to the sea. After an impressive drive through the mountains, you come to the end of the route in the village of Agía Galíni. At the foothills of the Idi Mountains, a charming village has been formed around the harbor. The streets run from the port to the highest point of the village. Taverns and shops can be found here.
The fact that South Crete has more to offer than only beaches, has already become clear. And also that Crete for centuries before Christ had a civilization, is nothing new. This can be seen in the southern part of Crete where remnants of great civilizations can be found from the Minoan era in Phaistos and Gortys. Festos existed for about three centuries before Christ but the remnants of today date back to the time after the big earthquake in 1700 BC. The city was then destroyed and then rebuilt. Gortys was once the capital of Crete. After the destruction by the Saracens in 828 AD. the city, however, was never inhabited again.
The trip back to Plakias is going through midland. A beautiful area with various authentic villages in the Idi Mountains. The roads are winding and offer a journey with beautiful views that are worth the drive. The villages in this region have many churches and chapels from the Byzantine period. Also, you will pass from the village Kouroutes with the Ida cave where Rhea hid her son Zeus. From this village, in the summer, tours start in order to climb to Timios Stavros (2456 m), the highest peak of the Psiliorítis Mountains. Then form the foothills you pass into the fertile valley of Amari. In the village of Amari, up on the mountain, you can see the remains of a Venetian fortress. Eventually, the road through Spili returns along Asómatos to Plakias.