Platia Peramata, a quaint village situated 69km south of Heraklion and 7km east of both Kali Limenes and Lendas, nestles at the exit of a small, fertile valley that cuts through the rugged Asterousia Mountains. This valley begins at Antiskari village and concludes in a settlement, its rich soil used for growing early vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers in greenhouses due to the consistently high temperatures.
The region features numerous adjacent bays that form serene and picturesque beaches, frequented primarily by locals. At the heart of the settlement lies the small beach of Platia Peramata, known for its fine pebbles which are predominantly used to moor the locals’ boats. Despite the beach’s lack of extensive facilities, a handful of tavernas and rooms are available nearby. Tamarisk trees line the beach and are often used as camping spots. To the east of the settlement, East Platia Peramata beach, less favored by swimmers, offers another pebbly shoreline.
To the west of the village of Platia Peramata, you’ll discover the humble settlement known as Krigioi, with its array of unlawfully constructed homes and cottages. A brief drive along the local stream leads you to a stunning beach adorned with fine pebbles and crystal clear water. The uniqueness of Krigi lies in its numerous miniature beaches that stretch along the coast to Platia Peramata and the awe-inspiring soft limestone formations.
Overlooking Krigi is the quaint chapel of Saint Demetrius. To its west, you will find another secluded pebbly beach, Aspros Harakas, or White Rock, named for the pale rocks at its western end. However, Aspros Harakas may not appeal to everyone as it can only be reached by boat, boasts large stones and lacks shade.
Venturing further westward, you’ll stumble upon the three consecutive beaches of Kokkines Plakes, or Red Rocks. True to their name, these beaches are surrounded by reddish rocks and are primarily accessible via the sea.
The longest beach in the region, Psili Ammos, is situated to the east of the village Platia Peramata. This secluded and stunning beach does not cater well to camping due to the lack of tree shade. Still, at the eastern extremity, one can find large white rocks known as Asproharaki, which provide shade to those fortunate enough to claim them. The beach was thrust into prominence in 2010 when a significant Russian oil tanker was stranded there during a storm. Thankfully, no one was at risk and no environmental harm was done.
On your way to Psili Ammos from Tsigounas, you will encounter several minor beaches. The furthest east cove, reachable via a dirt road, is known as Paliomandra and is rather secluded. The beach features coarse sand and a rocky seabed, making it ideal for fishing and snorkeling.
Just about 1km eastward from the Chrysostomos settlement, you’ll come across the stunning Maha beaches. The first beach, primarily used as a harbour, is rocky and unorganized. However, there are a few rooms and a tavern in close proximity, with a road that leads right to the beach. If you continue to follow the dirt pathway that runs parallel to the beach towards the east, you’ll discover another breathtaking beach after about 100m. This beach boasts fine pebbles and deep, crystal blue waters. Although there are no trees to offer shade, there’s a cave on the eastern side of the beach that provides some respite from the sun. Do note that camping is prohibited here, as indicated by the signs scattered around the area.
Chrysostomos, a quaint seaside hamlet, is situated 75km to the south of Heraklion and 3km to the east of Kali Limenes. This small community features a few local taverns, a mini market, and available lodging. It takes its name from the decaying church of Saint John Chrysostomos located on the eastern side of the settlement. Chrysostomos is established on the ancient city of Lassea’s site, which Saint Paul visited during his time on Crete. Lassea served as a port for the Roman city Gortys, the then capital of Crete and Libya in the Roman era, and was rich in copper resources.
Lassea’s beach, in front of the village, is a picturesque spot featuring coarse sand and shelter from westerly winds. It’s not commercialized, but is conveniently close to the village. On the beach’s western edge, a rocky outcrop extends towards the small islet of Trafos, marking the ancient port of Lassea’s old pier. These rocks have been there since the 1960s, when they were used to construct the Oil Tanks of Kali Limenes. The ancient town of Lasea’s remnants are still visible on the beach and the islet. The beach extends beyond Trafos to the west, forming a separate beach known as Segrezo Ryaki that faces westward. This beach is proximate to a Roman cemetery and is secluded, ideal for nudists, but has more rocks than the main beach. At the westernmost point, there’s a freshwater spring.
To get here from Kali Limenes, take the paved road that begins 1km east of Kali Limenes and head east towards Platia Peramata. After about 2km, you will encounter the village of Chrysostomos on your right.