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Preveli beach

About Preveli beach

Preveli beach is located about 35km south of Rethymno and 10km east of Plakias. The Beach of Preveli, also known as Lake Preveli or Phoenix, is located at the exit of the imposing Kourtaliotikos Gorge, where the Grand River (Megalos Potamos) flows. It is certainly the most famous beach in south Crete, accepting thousands of visitors every summer. During the ’60s and ’70s, it was a favourite destination for hippies. On the banks of the Grand River, there is a large colony of Theophrastus palm trees, which give the region a sense of a tropical landscape. The river, forming a small lake, 500m long, before emptying into the sea, has water all year round. You can walk along the river, under the shade of palm trees and other trees, and start ascending in the beautiful canyon. You can swim in the cold ponds formed in the gorge.

A big fire in 2010 burnt almost everything in this paradise, but paradoxically the palm grove recovered most of its damage. At the exit of the river, a sandy beach with pebbles and sand is formed, with sea water being very cool due to the river. In the eastern part of the beach, there is a beautiful rock reminding of a heart. The beach is not well organized because the area is protected, without any umbrellas.

How do you get to Preveli beach?

You have two basic options for accessing Preveli, from the west or east. The first option is to drive from Plakias to the Monastery Preveli, following the relevant signs. 1.5km after the Kato Monastery of Preveli, you will stop at a large parking lot, where a path that descends to the beach starts. The parking is located near towering vertical cliffs, west of the beach, where you can take some fantastic photographs. To reach the beach walk the footpath which takes about 15-20 minutes. However, the return is tedious as the ascent is rather steep.

To avoid the difficult climb, you can alternatively drive on the paved road leading to nearby Drimiskiano Amoudi and walk the short path that leads to Preveli in just 5 minutes. However, you won’t have the chance to see the spectacular view from the tall cliffs on the west side. Lastly, there are small boats running to Preveli from Agia Galini and Plakias.

Preveli gets its name after the nearby historic monastery of Preveli. It is a men-only monastery, founded in the 16th or 17th century and is dedicated to St. John the Theologian. There are two monasteries, the old and the new, called Piso and Kato Monastery respectively. The old is abandoned and you will meet that a few meters south of the old stone bridge of Preveli.




What is the history of Preveli beach?

Preveli beach has a rich history dating back to the Minoan period. It was an important port for the ancient city of Lappa and was also used as a base for pirates during the Ottoman period.

What is the significance of the palm forest at Preveli beach?

The palm forest at Preveli beach is one of the few natural palm forests in Europe. It is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.

What activities can be done at Preveli beach?

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and hiking in the surrounding hills. Boat tours are also available to explore the nearby caves and coastline.

What is the best time to visit Preveli beach?

The best time to visit Preveli beach is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the water is calm. However, it can get crowded during peak season, so it’s best to arrive early in the day.

Is there any cultural significance to Preveli beach?

Preveli beach is considered a sacred site by the local people, and there is a monastery nearby that dates back to the 16th century. The beach has also been used as a filming location for several movies and TV shows.

What is the water colour of the beach?

The water colour of the beach is blue.

What type of sand is found on the beach?

The beach has sand.

What is the water depth of the beach?

The water depth of the beach is normal.

What is the surface of the sea like at the beach?

The surface of the sea at the beach is usually calm.

Is the beach usually crowded?

Yes, the beach is a crowded place.

What facilities are available at the beach?

There are no facilities available at the beach.

What is the access to the beach like?

The beach is accessible via a paved road.

What other features does the beach have?

The beach has palm trees, is ideal for snorkeling/spearfishing, and has tree shade.

Beach facilities


  • Crowded place

Water depths

  • Normal

Beach sand type

  • Sand

Sea surface

  • Usually calm

Water colour

  • Blue


  • Paved road

Other information

  • Palm trees
  • Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing
  • Tree Shade

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