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Kali Limenes beach

Beach description

Kali Limenes, also known as Good Ports, is a seaside village in the Asterousia Mountains, situated 75km southwest of Heraklion. It’s one of the few coastal regions of Asterousia accessible via asphalt road. Reaching this place requires a drive from Pompia village, through Messara Plane, and onto Pigaidakia village. Despite the road being narrow and loaded with sharp turns, the journey is worthwhile. An alternative dirt road from the Monastery of Odigitria, also leading to Kali Limenes, can be paired with a beach visit to Agiofarago.

Upon arrival, you can’t miss the oil tanks of SEKA stationed on the island Mikronisi, locally known as “Apostle Paul”. Kali Limenes is a lesser-known spot for Greeks, but the Vardinoyannis family, one of Europe’s wealthiest, is well-known. They began their empire in 1961 with these tanks, serving as a refuelling station for ships crossing the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Despite the visual pollution these facilities bring, the sea remains pristine.

Ignoring the unsightly tanks, the stunning beaches of Kali Limenes will undoubtedly captivate you. Suitable for year-round swimming, the sea, true to its name Fair Harbors, remains calm most of the year, except in winter. The calmness was a factor in the placement of the tanks. Weekends bring crowds to these beaches, undeterred by the challenging journey through Asterousia.

Maria Ammos, or Long Sandy Beach, is the first beach you’ll encounter coming from Pigaidakia. It’s a lengthy beach with greyish pebbles and deep waters. As you move east, the coast grows increasingly tranquil. Maria Ammos is a popular spot for nudists, and campers are drawn to the shade-providing tamarisk trees lining the coast. The beach may not be well-organized, but you’ll find a few eateries and hotels to the west.

Kali Limenes village, west of Makria Ammos, is nestled amidst lush olive groves. A quaint bay and harbour grace the village’s front, along with the child-friendly Psili Ammos, or Fine Sandy Beach. This beach, the busiest in the area, is lined with restaurants, a mini market, and rented rooms.

The hill west of Kali Limenes houses the chapel of St. Paul. It was built in 1700 in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit in 1992 and 2008. You can also explore a nearby cave, believed to have housed Apostle Paul for two years. The gorgeous beach of Stena is also worth a visit.

East of Kali Limenes, a road leading to Chrysostomos will bring you to Karavovrysi beach after a 2km journey and a short walk. It’s a stunning beach with coarse sand and calm water. But be ready to bring your own shade as there are no trees.