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Komos beach

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Beach description

Situated 66km southwest of Heraklion, Kommos (or Komos) lies a mere 2km north of Matala and in close proximity to Pitsidia village. It stands as the southernmost and remotest section of the extensive beachfront of Messara Bay. Once serving as the port of Phaestus, the remnants of the ancient port of Kommos can still be observed on the beach. It can be reached by driving towards Matala and following a sign to Kommos near Pitsidia.

The entire beachfront of Messara is exposed to the prevalent westerly winds. Visitors should exercise caution as the seabed can be rocky in certain areas. The beach also serves as a nesting ground for the protected loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) between the months of May and September.

Potamos or Potamoserma, the northern section of Kommos, is a popular spot among naturists, dating back to when hippies frequented the area. The location is dotted with sparse tamarisk trees and devoid of buildings due to its protected archaeological status, restricting construction. Next to the archaeological site in the south, there is a developed beach equipped with amenities such as umbrellas, sun beds, a toilet, showers, a canteen and a lifeguard. Surrounding sand dunes are home to white sand lilies that mark the end of summer. Nearby Kalamaki or Pitsidia and Matala offer options for accommodation and dining.

The sight of Paximadia islets during sunset is breathtaking. A large rock, known locally as Volakas, stands 300m out at sea, opposite the archaeological site. According to local lore, this rock is the tip of the boulder that the blinded Cyclops Polyphemus hurled at Odysseus’ ship to prevent his escape, following Odysseus and his crew’s escape from Polyphemus’ cave.

Kommos, the ancient port of Phaestus, was established around 200BC. However, it was subsequently destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt at the same location. The archaeological site of Komos, not open to the public, houses a Minoan harbour, public buildings, warehouses, oil presses, shipyards and a large courtyard. Archaeologists have uncovered a small temple, constructed on the ruins of an older one.