Places to visit

PANORMOS

Panormos is a small fishing village less than two kilometres from Roumeli with a typical labyrinth of narrow streets lined with geraniums and bougainvillea. It has a number of small shops,2 small supermarkets,traditional tavernas, a pizzeria and a couple of bars.It is a relaxing and peaceful place to unwind. The village church and ruins of an ancient castle overlook the small harbour and jetty. In the summer a “little train” runs trips to the village of Melidoni and onto its cave and to the pretty village of Margarites famous for its pottery shops.

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RETHYMNON

The old quarter is full of elegant, well preserved Venetian and Ottoman architecture and dominated by the huge Venetian fortezza which was built in the 16th Century to defend the island against pirate attacks. The fortezza overlooks the picturesque harbour with it’s 13th century lighthouse and the long sandy beach lined with tavernas, cafes and bars. A wine festival is held in the town annually in July.

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AGIA GALINI

If you head south from Rethymnon you will pass the village of Spili which worth a short break to see the handicraft shops and the fountain. On the south coast is the village of Agia Galini. It has a maze of streets with shops and tavernas,a harbour and a small sandy beach. Boat trips run from here to neighbouring beaches and to the sandy beaches of the uninhabited Paximadia islands.

Alternatively follow the signs to Aghios Pavlos ( turn right between Spili and Aghia Galini ) and follow the winding road over the mountain down to the little cove at Aghios Pavlos. There are a couple of tavernas, one of which is part of the small hotel overlooking the bay and the other is down on the beach. Somewhere to relax and chill out for a day.

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PLAKIAS AND PREVELI MONASTERY

If you head south from Rethymnon, just before you reach Spili take the right hand turn signposted  to Plakias. After driving through the countryside you will suddenly find yourself in the Kourtaliotiko Gorge. If you stop here you can often see eagles and vultures flying overhead. After leaving the gorge head for Preveli Monastery which is a working monastery situated on the coast. It played a prominent role in the evacuation of allied forces from nearby beaches in WW2. A steep path 1/2 mile east of the monastery leads down to Preveli Beach.

Further along the coast is the resort of Plakias with its 1 mile long sandy beach.

 

LOUTRO

If you would like to stay somewhere a bit different spend a night or two in Loutro on the south coast. You will need to drive to Choro Sfakion,leave your car in the car park there and take one of the boats along the coast to Loutro (about a 15 minute trip). The only way to reach Loutro is by boat or on foot. There are no roads and so no traffic. There are a line of bars and tavernas and a couple of shops along the waterfront and a row of rooms and small hotels behind. The beach is only small but you can get a small water taxi to Sweetwater beach if you like a larger beach and there are plenty of walks along the rocky coastline or over the headland. The loudest noise is the  ferry arriving a few times a day…..apart from that it’s just blissfully relaxed and peaceful.

 

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