Preveli is one of the most famous beaches in Crete, isolated, beautiful and romantic.
This beach is located on the central south coast of the island, just a few km from the monastery of the same name, 43 km from Rethymnon town.
See the location on the map below...
You can journey to the beach by car and foot, walking over the
mountain ridge from the dirt road, or you can take a boat from Plakias
or Agia Galini.
Get to Plakias via Rethymnon, get to Agia Galini via Heraklion or from Rethymnon via the Amari valley.
Visit the well known Monastery of Preveli (left and below), the history of which is woven with the threads of time and central to Crete's character.
The tall, steep Kourtaliotiko Gorge meets the Libyan Sea and form a cool lagoon and sandy beach. Palms and oleanders create shade; a tropical paradise forest amidst the dry rocky Mediterranean terrain. The palms are Phoenix theophrastii and are unique to Crete. The forest was previously devastated by fires but has recovered well.
The walk starts at the village of Koxare and is 3 km in length. Tall cliffs and rocky gorges, creeks and streams, are home to wildlife such as Bonelli's Eagle and the Golden Eagle. Cretan wildlife and nature information here...
Don't be fooled into thinking you will get any peace and quiet in summer, because the beach is busy. There are sun lounges for hire and paddle boats. Ferries and private boats bring more visitors every time you wake up from your snooze.
A short rocky walk over the headland to the west takes you to Drimiskos Beach where Dionyssos Taverna is set back in the shade. You can gaze over the beautiful Bay of Drimiskos and enjoy tasty seafood and traditional Cretan dishes. There are a few rooms; be sure to pre-book in summer.
Another beautiful remote beach nearby is Damnoni Beach. The southern coast of Crete is wonderful to explore and provides the independent traveller with the colours, vast open spaces and textures for adventures.
Also nearby is Plakias Beach on a big, wide open bay with stunning views to the mountains all around.
Here are some beautiful images of the beach below:
The beach and forest as seen from above...
Lookout out from the forest towards the sea...
Wide open skies and beaches surrounded by mountains left and right looking over the Libyan Sea...
Kourtaliotiko Gorge and lush palm forest create a unique pocket of tranquility on the southern shores of Crete.
Villa Palm River, 4 km inland from this beach
This property will give you a relaxed retreat inland from this beach, driving on local roads. From here you can visit the monastery, Agia Fotia Beach and the village of Kerames. A vehicle is recommended if choosing this location.
Labyrinth Studios, Plakias
Located in Plakias, the next beach west from Preveli, this accommodation is a boat ride away from the beauty of the gorge and palm forest.
Preveli Rooms, on the beach
These rooms are a good budget option located directly on the beach. Here is a tavern, mini market and playground. A short 5 minute walk from the palm forest, river mouth, this small guesthouse provides peaceful surrounds with complete sea views.