Touring and Sightseeing in Crete Greece.
Wandering around and visiting places in Crete including going to Preveli, Kourtaliotiko, Phaestos Festos Minoan, Palm Beach and the Amari Valley.
Phaestos Festos Minoan Ruins Visit with Photos and a walk in the area - South'ish Coast of Crete, Greece.
This is one of the two Minoan palaces which can be found on Crete and it's located on a ridge of hills within the lush Messara Plain. The Ruins are well worth
visiting and we found them to be quite quiet compared with the apparently always very busy Knossos Palace which is the main target for tourist coaches and day-trippers. One thing unless you are really genned up on this type of thing, make sure you pick up the available leaflets to give you some
idea of the layout and use of the palace since the area is quite large and there is little "noticeboard" information alongside the structures.
Heading south from Festos
look out on your left for this interesting double arched church. Eventually you come to the seaside resort of Matala
- this area was quite busy with plenty of tavernas, souvenir shops and a nice wide sandy beach.. it's framed by sandstone cliffs and, because of the ancient caves which were used for burials or homes, is a regular stop on
tourist coach day-trips. Heading back from Matala, after about a mile there is a track on the left which leads to Kommos - where there are more ruins to look at - these are right on the beach.
We parked here and walked along the beach to Kalamaki
and then continued as far as we could until we reached the military area - a very pleasant walk.
For the return walk we retraced our route back as far as Kalamaki and then left the beach and took the visible track heading over the cliffs back to Kommos.
drive back we stopped off at Agia Galini
, a fishing village which has now become a holiday / tourist sort of centre and therefore somewhat busy, but even so it's still worth a visit and wander around.
Since we had to return from here to Rethimon we took the
mountain road via Melambes
- this road went very very high (into the clouds at times) and wound all over the place - it was quite an experience from a driving point of view quite apart from the spectacular views.
South Coast Sightseeing Drive on Crete Greece going from Preveli to Hora-Sfakion.
If you fancy some really dramatic countryside to enjoy whilst on holiday on Crete, a drive through a spectacular gorge and a really good beach then head south from Rethemnon and a few kilometres before Spili find a road going towards Asomatos. This road winds through beautiful countryside and eventually gets to
the Kourtaliotiko Gorge
. We often went to the beach at Damioni via this route and enjoyed the view here every time. You can park in several places on the way through and one of these parking areas has steps down to a hidden church.
After the gorge go on towards Asomatos
and look for a sign towards the Moni Preveli - you can detour to this if you wish but the
route we are describing takes you straight on past this turn-off through Lefkogia and eventually after a few kilometres you see a turn to the left towards Damioni.
has two beaches one being a reasonably large sandy beach and every time we went there it was quite quiet, although this was still late April of course. There is loads of parking along the front and a very good taverna as well. If you head towards the end of the beach (left side if
facing the sea) and follow the track round you come to a small cove
which is the naturist beach - this beach is surrounded by high cliffs and therefore gets quite hot - also even if it's windy on the coast there is pretty good shelter here. If you carry on further along the track you arrive at yet another beach, this one somewhat larger and probably even quieter than the others.
From Damioni you can then head to Plakias, which has a nice beach and several tavernas. Doubling back from Plakias turn left after a short distance towards Mirthios - the road now winds in and out and up and down and it's worth stopping frequently to admire the views.
There are two really peculiar little villages on this road, Kato Rodikino and Ano Rodikino - the very narrowroad seems littered with chickens, sheep, dogs, donkeys as well as villagers etc etc all of which are either
asleep or getting that way and none concerned about the traffic or anything else. At one side of Ano Rodikino you have to cross a really interesting little bridge and it's worth trying to park for a few minutes and have a look at it/walk over it/photograph it.
Continue from here to Frangokastello
where you will find a castle which was in built in 1371 by the Venetians - you can wander around and when we went there was no entrance charge.
Frangokastello is quite isolated and it's fairly long sandy cove, which encircles a shallow beach, seemed to be very quiet and is probably so most of the time. The last
place on this trip is at Hora Sfakia
which is where the Samaria Gorge boats bring walkers back too once they have walked through it. Presumably
this is why there were loads of Tavernas and quite a reasonable sized harbour. From here you can either return the way you came or go
passed Imbros and Askifon to Vrysses and pick up the main coast road back towards Rethemnon.
You could also go back as far as Sellia and cut across country to pick up the Rethemnon-Spilli road via Paleoloutra - the views on this road are pretty good since you wind up through the mountains - it also has more than it's fair share of sheep..
Asomatos to Palm Beach to Moni Preveli to Asomatos Scenic Walk on Crete, Greece.
This walk goes under the type which you remember and would like to do again sometime. It is also a reasonably long walk - about 11 miles and has quite a lot of up and down, and also offers the opportunity to get wet unintentionally and lose your socks, which I did at Palm Beach.
Start this walk at the bus stop in Asomatos and walk back downhill towards the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, and just before the road bends sharp left turn down a concrete track on your right. (There is also space to park by the road here.). When you get to the bottom of the track turn left and
follow this new track as it bends slowly to the right - and simply continue on the track as it straightens and after about 10 minutes becomes a narrrow and quite overgrown footpath. When you reach a fence go right and after a few paces go left to arrive at an abandoned olive
press/stables - continue past this on the dirt track and arrive at a gate - which takes you onto a asphalt road. Turn left and after a while you will see an arched
bridge on your left, cross this and turn right alongside the river (with a taverna on your left) and follow this delightful track for around 10 minutes until your reach a cobbled bridge on your right - cross the river here and continue to your right on the broad track.
As this track turns left continue straight on through a wire gate and continue past the chapel and derelict monastery on your right. Turning slightly
left continue until you come to a fence where the track dips down into the gulley and then climbs out the other side on a very narrow path, when you get to
the top join a wide track and continue on it until the track narrows back into a path. When the path splits keep right and after a slight incline make a detour
on the right to the edge of the narrow gorge - you can see the palm line river below.
Back to the main track continue under some electricity wires - from here to the beach it becomes quite difficult underfoot - you have to pick your way down the
very rough steep ground to join a track connecting the two beaches. You can see both beaches from here, you need to turn right on this track and then make your way down to Palm Beach.
Cross the beach via a paddle throught the river and then take the visible steps up out of the bay. The views of the countryside, rocks and beach around here are really excellent. At the top of the steps you will see a small car park,
take a track off to the left which goes past a shepherd's hut on your right and follow this track until you reach the main road - turn left and continue on the road to the monastery. Having looked around walk back along the road for a few yards and take the wide track on your left and
head up into the hills towards and through a saddle, then continue straight on the track to the outskirts of Yainniou.
Just before entering the village go sharp right and pass a small church (on your left) to a T-junction. Turn right and follow this track round passing another church (Agia Paraskevi) on your left - immediately past the church go right downhill until you reach another T-junction. Go right and follow the track (the derelect monastery of Kato Preveli which was the original monastery comes into view) until you meet the main road.
Go left past the monastery and continue down the road back to the bridge junction, then retrace your walk back to the start.
A trip out in the car touring round Amari Valley in Crete.
The following pictures were taken on our drive around and through Crete's Amari Valley and surrounding area. This is a particularly lovely part of
Crete consisting of small villages, lush green valleys, gorges and with Mount Ida always dominating the background to the east. The bridge shown below is the Platys River Valley Bridge looking really scenic withing the trees.
It is easy to spend quite a long time looking round this beautiful area of Crete.
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