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Armos beaches

Beach description

Armos, the northern area of the Spinalonga Peninsula, opposite the Spinalonga fort’s islet, Kalydon, is a unique site. It’s dotted with deserted old farms and is relatively unexplored due to a lack of roads leading to it. Besides the renowned Kolokitha beach at the peninsula’s southeast base, several hidden beaches are located in the northern part, which are well worth a canoe trip from Plaka to explore.

Vathi, one of these beaches, is found two kilometres northeast of Elounda port, on the peninsula’s northwest side. This small, sheltered cove boasts calm waters, a southeast orientation, and stunning views of Elounda town and its mountains. The beach at Vathi is a mix of pebbles and sand with relatively shallow water. Old farm remnants are scattered next to the beach, and a nearby boat platform serves as a stop for excursion boats from Elounda. Tamarisk and carob trees offer shade for resting beachgoers.

At the Spinalonga peninsula’s northernmost point, opposite the Spinalonga fort, lies the area known as Oxo Harakia or Skourgeto. The name Oxo Harakia refers to the rocks (haraki in Cretan dialect) that jut out above the sea surface at the narrow pass between the islet and the peninsula. Skourgeto, a Cretan term, describes the sharp, salt and sea-eroded rocks that are unwalkable without shoes. Two secluded, sandy beaches with crystal clear waters are ideal for snorkeling. Pottery fragments scattered around hint at ancient habitation.

Further northeast lies the sandy beach of Pelekiti, situated at a narrow ravine’s exit. The entire northern Spinalonga area, including all limestone-covered places, was previously used to extract boulders for building the Spinalonga fort. From Pelekita to Skourgeto, the area served as a limestone quarry, leading to large stair-like formations and distinctive rock shapes. In some places, the carvings extend into the sea. The name Pelekiti is Greek for “chiseled.”

Location

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