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Preveli beach near Plakias in Crete
Preveli beach, or Palm beach, is one of the most photographed beaches in all of Crete, and pictures from here are often used to market Crete. Rightly so, because if you stand above the beach and look down on it, the view of the beach, the river and the palm forest is absolutely stunning.
The lookout point above Preveli beach where many stop and photograph the beach.
The beach is reached via a path that begins at a large parking lot not far from the monastery.
It costs 3 € to park the car. The parking lot is open between 10.00-18.00 every day. If you come at other times of the day, it costs nothing. (The money goes to the restoration of the monastery). The descent to the beach takes between 10-20 minutes from the parking lot. If you stay in Plakias, you can go here by beach boat instead.
The path that leads down to the Palm beach.
The beach is pretty nice, but it is not the beach itself that makes the beach, if you understand what I mean. Unless the river Megalo Potamos had its outflow at the beach, and if it hadn't grown palm trees along the river, the place would not have many visitors. There are better beaches nearby. The beach is also usually dreadfully overcrowded during the summer. If you can get here early in the morning, it is preferable. At the beginning of the beach there is a snack bar selling drinks and basic food.
In the picture you do not see any palm trees, but the rock in looks almost like a palm tree. :-)
The rock that looks like a palm tree.
Some of the many beautiful palm trees along the river.
The palms - which are of the same specie as the palm trees at Vai beach in eastern Crete - give the beach a sense of the Caribbean. But sadly that was not the case during a few years, because on August 22, 2010, the palm forest burned down. The fire started in four different places and therefore it is believed that it was a pyromaniac that set fire. I have seen pictures of the burnt down forest and it was not a beautiful sight. Many thought that the fire was the end for Preveli beach. Luckily the nature usually heals itself quite well, and that is what Mother Nature did here.
The small river is lined with palm trees and flows through the beach into the sea.
Swimming up in the river is a cool and very cold experience.
Now the palm trees stand and sway in the sun as if nothing has happened. You only see traces of the fire, if you did not know it you would not notice anything. There is a marked path along the river which is nice to follow. Maybe you want swim in the cold water?
The taverna at Preveli beach lies under the tamarisk trees.
The beach after Preveli is called Ammoudi beach. In my opinion it is not as spectacular as Preveli beach. It takes about 10 minutes to walk between the beaches of Ammoudi and Preveli. The advantage of Ammoudi beach is that there is a tavern, a mini market and a pension called Dionysos Tavern & Rooms, and you can book it here.
Ammoudi beach where there are a taverna, mini market and rooms for rent.
Ammoudi beach and cloudy day in October.
Preveli beach seen from the path that goes from Ammoudi beach.
The Palm Beach Preveli in southern Crete.
Preveli is located about 32 km south of Rethymno, and about 10 km east of Plakias.