If you are seeking a beach vacation with plenty of sunshine, pristine beauty and striking crystal-clear waters — our list of top beaches of South Rethymnon is guaranteed to get you dreaming of your Crete holiday getaway.
Top beaches of South Rethymnon
Ideal for a romantic retreat or a family vacation, South Rethymnon is well known for some of the best beaches on Crete. Here are the ones we recommend.
This delightful sandy beach is set 38 kilometres from Rethymnon and is well sheltered from the winds. It’s a friendly, tranquil location, very much favoured by nudists.
The beach is well organized with accommodation facilities and a plethora of cafes and taverns where you can enjoy a light lunch by the sea. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent as well as water sports activities such as scuba diving. Next to the Ammoudi Beach, you will find a smaller beach, also called Ammoudi Beach, with white sand and crystal-clear water.
Protected by high mountains, Damnoni is one of the most popular tourist resorts in South Rethymnon. Situated 35 kilometres from Rethymnon, the white sandy beach is lined with tavern and cafes.
The beach is well organized with showers, changing rooms, sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports facilities and a scuba diving centre. The waters are clear, shallow and mostly calm. For those who seek a quiet retreat, the eastern end of the beach is quieter. It is also linked to the nearby Ammoudi Beach via a dirt road.
Here, a heavenly river lagoon meets the Lybian Sea and a lush palm-forest dots this unique landscape. That’s why Preveli Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Crete. Named after the nearby historical monastery dedicated to St. John the Theologian, Preveli is situated 40 kilometres from Rethymnon and can either be reached by car or by boat from Plakias and Agia Galini.
If you decide to come here by car, there are two routes which can be taken, one from the Preveli Monastery and another from Drimiskiano Ammoudi. The most scenic route which opens up to stunning vistas of the palm tree forest is from the side of the Preveli Monastery. After parking your car in a parking lot, find the footpath that runs down to the beach. It will take you a good 20-minute walk, but the breathtaking view is worth it. Note that getting back up maybe a challenge if you are heading here midday. The shorter and less scenic route is a dirt road which leads from Drimiskiano Ammoudi and is only about a five-minute walk.
Facilities here are minimal. Only one canteen serves beverages and snacks with a few chairs and tables. We recommend that you spend time exploring the palm tree forest. If you decide to head up further up the river, you will come across the waterfalls which run down from the Kourtaliotiko Gorge. Paddle boats are available for rent to go up and down the river.
A thin road through the mountains takes you to the secluded Schoinaria Beach where locals love to hang out. This beach is a jewel: with sand, small pebbles and deep crystal clear blue waters.
There is a taverna close by, umbrellas, sunbeds and showers. On the beach, there is a diving centre. The beach is ideal for those seeking relaxation. Just a short drive away you will find Ammoudi Beach.
Souda Beach, Plakias
Souda beach is within easy reach from the beachfront of Plakias. It is the last beach on the strip and is situated 41 kilometres from Rethymnon. Pristine waters and jaw-dropping scenery are just a few of the highlights of Souda beach which is located at the exit of a small green valley and the river of Finikas which is home to colonies of the native Cretan palm trees known as Theophrastus.
A paved road leads to the beach which has umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and several taverns. With its rocky landscape, the beach is a paradise for snorkelers.
The name of the beach translates as three stones named after the three impressive rocks found standing the water. The long, sandy beach is situated 52 kilometres from Rethymnon at the foot of mountain Siderotas, among rich olive groves. The beach is well known for its wide range of water sports activities and the magical sunsets.
The east part of the beach is organized, and there are a few taverns where you can enjoy lunch or dinner watching the sun disappear on the horizon. Just a kilometre from the beach, perched on top of a hill is the picturesque chapel of Prophet Elias, with fantastic views of Triopetra area.
We hope that you find our list of top beaches of South Rethymnon useful. Have you been to any of these beaches?