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Tsoutsouras beach

Beach description

Tsoutsouras, derived from the Venetian word Zuzzuro, is situated 63km south of Heraklion, at the entrance of the formidable Mindris Gorge. It’s built on the location of the ancient city Inatos, which once served as the port for Priansos (located near Kasteliana village). More specifically, Tsoutsouras is the union of the two settlements, Pera Tsoutsouros and Tsoutsouros, that presently serve as the harbour for Arkalochori. Despite being well-organized and developed for tourism, it remains a peaceful holiday destination.

The village is home to the small harbour of Tsoutsouras, with two lengthy sheltered bays to its east and west, boasting a total length of 2km. These bays are characterized by beautiful coarse sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach is modestly organized with umbrellas and surrounded by several tamarisk trees, making it an ideal spot for family holidays as all necessary facilities for accommodation, entertainment, and food are nearby. For a more secluded experience, one can walk to the eastern end of the beach, where the sandhills and the easternmost part called Limniara, housing the sea cave Pourgonero, are located. Tsoutsouras can also serve as a base for exploring other nearby beaches.

Swimming in Tsoutsouras is traditionally viewed as therapeutic by many Cretans due to its high salt and iodine concentration, which aids in healing musculoskeletal and orthopedic issues.

Tsoutsouras is an area teeming with energy, myths, and folk narratives including tales about dragons, wild beasts, illegal excavations, and modern fantasy stories. In ancient Inatos, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, was worshipped. Visitors can explore the cave where this goddess was worshipped for centuries, and where numerous offerings have been found, showcasing the sanctuary’s global influence. In recent years, this cave has garnered attention, making Tsoutsouras well-known throughout Greece. There have been reports of the American army confiscating objects of Minoan technological advancements from the cave and surrounding area for their own knowledge.

To the west of Tsoutsouras, two parallel mountains known as Zeus and Hera can be seen, which according to local tales, is where the king Asterion raised the sons of Zeus, Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon, who later ruled Knossos, Phaistos, and Malia respectively. West of the harbour, in the Kerkelos area, remnants of ancient Inatos have been discovered. South of Kerkelos, the coast boasts unique karstic cave formations, including Drakospilia, where locals claim to have found a dragon skeleton. Despite the incredulity of this tale, numerous eyewitness accounts have left researchers puzzled. A Minoan settlement was also excavated in the Aliori area, located at the eastern end of the beach.