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Beaches near Ágios Pávlos, in Rethymno region

Here is list of closest beaches to Ágios Pávlos

  • 140 m
  • Agios Pavlos beach
  • Rocks in places, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Agios Pavlos, a quaint seaside village, lies 58km south of Rethymnon city and to the west of Agia Galini, situated conveniently close to the extremity of Cape Melissa. The village, mainly owned by locals from nearby Sachtouria, can be accessed via a scenic drive from there. This hidden gem nestled in a shielded bay is perfect for serene family getaways.

A breathtakingly beautiful beach with emerald deep waters and an impressive rocky seabed characterizes the bay. Several accommodations and taverns dot the area near the beach, offering various amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas, and pedal boats. An intriguing point of interest here is the quaint church of Saint Paul perched above the beach. Legend has it that Saint Paul resided here during his voyage to Rome – a folklore shared by other regions in Crete such as Kali Limenes and Selouda.

The village’s beach is certainly picturesque, yet some visitors choose to lodge and dine in Agios Pavlos, preferring to swim in the nearby stunning beach known for its enormous sandhills. This beach, referred to as Akoumiani Gialia or Melissa, lies beyond the western rim of the Agios Pavlos bay. Although it’s often wavy, it’s considered one of Rethymno prefecture’s finest beaches, accessible via a pathway originating from Agios Pavlos.

The vibrantly coloured geological rock folds at the Apoplystra location, situated between Agios Pavlos village and Melissa’s Sandhills, are incredibly striking and have been recommended for inclusion in Greece’s Natural Monuments list.

  • 440 m
  • Melissa Cape Sandhills
  • Rocks in places, Sand
  • Deep
  • Blue

Among the premier beaches in central Crete, the Melissa Cape Sandhills shine bright. Situated near Agios Pavlos, at the southern tip of the expansive Akoumiani Gialia coastline, this stunning location is approximately 55km south of Rethymno city. It’s framed by the beautiful Cape Melissa to the south, the Akoumianos river, and the Triopetra beach to the north. The deep sea here beckons swimmers, and the area’s secluded nature often leads to a variety of beachwear or a lack thereof. Locally, the beach is also known as Alatsogremi or “salt cliffs”.

The Melissa Cape Sandhills, arguably the most scenic beach in the Rethymnon prefecture, boast massive sand dunes nestled amidst a majestic, untouched landscape. A few scattered umbrellas offer shade, although natural refuge can be found in the rocky caves mid-beach. Despite its generous expanse, the beach rarely feels crowded, even allowing for nude bathing during peak season. A rich seabed makes it a snorkelling hotspot, although visitors should be aware of the frequent large waves due to western winds. The water temperature remains warm year-round, hardly dropping below 15 degrees Celsius, perfect for winter swims.

The area is famed for its breathtaking sunsets, providing a serene backdrop for a thriving yoga and Tai Chi club that boasts world-class trainers. The best view of the sunset can be found atop Thronos peak, overlooking the beach from towering cliffs. To reach it, follow the dirt track next to the junction of Agios Pavlos – Sactouria and Triopetra-Agios Pavlos roads, then hike to the cliff edge. This vantage point offers sweeping views of Paximadia islets, Gavdos Island, and the White Mountains.

Access to the Sandhills is straightforward. Head west from Triopetra harbour (Stomio) for about 500m until you reach the beach on your right, with the Akoumianos river below. Park your vehicle here and make your way down to the beach through the valley near the river. Alternatively, you can park in Agios Pavlos and take the short 5 to 10-minute trail behind the western edge of the Agios Pavlos beach, which descends down a steep sandy slope.

  • 1.9 km
  • Triopetra beach
  • Fine Pebbles, Pebbles, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Triopetra beach, nestled at the base of Mount Siderotas and 52km south of Rethymno, can be reached via paved roads leading from either Akoumia or Sachtouria. Part of the extensive Akoumiani Gialia beachfront, Triopetra got its name as a historical winter refuge for the inhabitants of Akoumia, who built small huts near their olive groves. Presently, most land and hotels in the area are owned by descendants of these Akoumia residents.

Triopetra boasts two distinct beaches, separated by a petite peninsula. The peninsula’s defining feature is the three spectacular rocks jutting out from the sea, giving Triopetra its name, which translates to “Three Rocks”.

The first beach, Small Triopetra or Koumado, resides in an enclosed bay lined with sand and rock to the south of the three rocks. Here, the Akoumianos river meanders into the sea, forming a natural boundary between Triopetra and the enchanting Agios Pavlos Sandhills at Cape Melissa. Small Triopetra hosts a handful of taverns and rooms, with umbrellas available for sun-seekers. Additionally, the southeast edge of the beach is home to a small harbour, known as Stomio or “mouth”, named after the river’s mouth meeting the sea. Just 1km northeast of the beach, the awe-inspiring chapel of Prophet Elias stands on a high hill, commanding an impressive view over Akoumiani Gialia.

  • 2.7 km
  • Louros beaches
  • Pebbles, Rocks in places
  • Normal
  • Blue

Louros, nestled between the settlements of Agios Georgios and Agios Pavlos, is characterized by its rocky terrain and a collection of small, pebbly beaches. A scenic coastal road provides stunning views of the two Paximadia islets. Heading west from Agios Georgios, travelers will encounter the quaint beaches of Armenopetra, named after a solitary boulder found in the sea. These beaches offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and spearfishing.

Two kilometers before reaching Agios Pavlos, another beach, either known as Agios Markos or Ligiolakos, is found across from the rock known locally as Prasonisi. The waters here are typically tranquil, making it a favorite spot for local families from Melambes. The seabed is also a great place for snorkeling and spearfishing. Further east of Prasonisi, more similar beaches can be found, usually accessed on foot.

The next beach, Aniforas or Vigdolidi, is difficult to reach due to private property blocking the path. The beach is situated near a striking rocky cape, and while the beach itself is unremarkable, the towering rock formation provides excellent photo opportunities.

The final beach, located 500m east of Agios Pavlos, is positioned at the mouth of a stream. Ancient Cretan date palm trees, known as Theophrastus, line the banks of the stream, giving the pebbly beach its name – Finikidia.

  • 4.6 km
  • Ligres beach