Crete Locals white Logo

Beaches near Skepastí, in Rethymno region

Here is list of closest beaches to Skepastí

  • 1.4 km
  • Koukistres beach
  • Pebbles
  • Deep
  • Deep blue

The Skepasti beaches, situated roughly 27km to the east of Rethymnon and a mere 2km eastward from the namesake village Skepasti in the Milopotamos province, are predominantly reachable via poor dirt roads that originate from the village. Among these beaches, the local population’s favourite is Koukistres. The Skepasti beaches, which are exposed to the northern winds, are characterized by their pebbly texture and deep waters. They are entirely unorganized and quite a distance from the closest hotels and eateries, which are located in Panormos. Thus, it’s essential to bring all necessities if you plan to visit. The surrounding terrain, marked by rugged Cretan landscapes and barren, rocky grounds, adds to the remote charm.

While here, it’s recommended to combine beach activities with a trip to the quaint, traditional village of Skepasti. The village derives its name from the Byzantine church of Panagia Skepasti, which has a fascinating legend associated with it that’s worth exploring.

  • 3.2 km
  • Panormo beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Panormo, located approximately 20km east of the city of Rethymnon in the Milopotamos province, is a peaceful coastal village. It has experienced rapid growth in recent years while preserving its traditional charm. Its attractiveness lies in the untouched beauty of the Cretan countryside, the charming village, stunning beaches, and convenient accessibility.

Panormo boasts two primary beaches and several smaller ones. The village’s Greek name, which translates to ‘a location with a natural port’, aptly describes Panormos as it is a natural harbour with tranquil waters. The beach at the harbour, known as Limanaki, serves as the region’s port. It’s sandy, with clear waters, making it perfect for families with young children due to its shallow waters and the protection from waves provided by a cement pier. The beach is well-equipped with umbrellas, showers, water sports facilities, and plenty of accommodation and dining options nearby. Adjacent to Limanaki is a smaller, less populated sandy beach.

The second main beach, Limni, is situated just 200m west of the village. Similar to Limanaki, it is sandy and shielded by a rocky pier, essentially dividing it into two separate beaches. Further east, a small, secluded cove with a pebbly beach is perfect for undisturbed relaxation and snorkelling during calm seas. Panormo can be reached via direct bus services from Rethymnon or suburban bus services between Heraklion and Rethymnon. Excursion boats also operate from the local harbour.

A short history of the area

Panormo is historically significant and is thought to be located on the site of the ancient city of Panormus. The discovery of the impressive basilica of St. Sophia, dating back to the 6th century AD, confirms the presence of an ancient city. The basilica, situated 500m southwest of the village, is considered one of the largest Christian churches in Greece and the biggest in West Crete. The village is also known as Kastelli of Milopotamos, named after the fort built by the Genoese conquerors in 1206, which was later captured by the Venetians. Remnants of this fort can still be seen near the harbour.

In more recent history, Panormo served as a hub for transporting goods produced in the surrounding region, particularly olives and carobs. A renovated old carob mill, now used as a cultural centre, can still be visited. The village was bombed during the German Occupation. The construction of a new national road in the 1970s, adjacent to the village, and the building of a marina in 1980 has contributed to Panormo’s tourism growth. The village celebrates three festivals every year: Ascension, St. John on June 24, and St. Nicholas on December 6.

  • 4.0 km
  • Agios Nikolaos beach at Bali
  • Pebbles
  • Deep
  • Deep blue

The beach of Agios Nikolaos, situated slightly west of Bali in the province of Mylopotamos, is nestled in a secluded area. The beach’s name is derived from the Byzantine two-nave church of Saint Nicholas, which is positioned within a lush green creek leading to a stunning cove. Despite the ravine drying out towards the end of spring, the presence of numerous plane trees indicates the existence of water.

The cove is encased by striking limestone rocks that create small caves, adding to the charm of Agios Nikolaos. The beach, however, has a rocky seabed and is almost semicircular in shape. Unfortunately, it is often littered with trash brought in by the north winds.

Access to Agios Nikolaos beach is via two poorly maintained dirt roads that start near the motorway, beyond Bali. One of these routes, which first ascends to the antennas at Bombadopirgos peak before descending to the beach, is closed off. The other route approaches the beach from the east, but due to its poor condition, a walk of roughly 10 minutes is required.

  • 5.5 km
  • Bali beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Green

The coastal resort of Bali is situated in a vast bay, 30km east of Rethymno and 43km west of Heraklion. The National Road that connects Heraklion and Rethymno passes alongside the village, making Bali easily reachable from all parts of the island. It’s a perfect spot for family getaways and romantic vacations. Bali boasts four beaches nestled in sandy coves with appealing greenish waters. The beaches, shielded by the bay facing west, are typically tranquil and suitable for children, with good organization. The coolness of the water is attributed to the numerous springs around that channel fresh water into the sea from the Psiloritis Range.

Livadi Beach

As you enter the village, the first beach you encounter is Livadi, the longest in the area. It’s located in an open bay, which is more exposed to winds than the other three. Despite being well-organized and frequently bustling, it’s less picturesque than the others. Its name, Livadi (meaning meadows), is due to the nearby valley. At the eastern end of Livadi, you’ll find two separate smaller beaches, Kouskouras.

Varkotopos Beach

Moving ahead, at the village center, you’ll find the secluded bay of Varkotopos featuring a beautiful beach with sand and gravel, which is well-organized and popular. It’s perfect for young children due to the shallow waters and proximity to all necessary amenities.

Limani (Harbor) Beach

Further north, you’ll come across the scenic port of Bali, adjacent to a clean beach. Known as Limani in Greek, it’s well-organized and surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops.

Karavostasis Beach

Karavostasis, the last beach you’ll encounter, is the most beautiful in the area. It’s smaller than the other bays, which often makes it appear crowded. Although it’s well-organized, it’s less so than the others.

  • 7.0 km