Rethymno Preveli beach

General information

Preveli Beach is situated 40 km south of the main town and is the most idyllic beach in Rethymno as it looks like an exotic lagoon. It is an oasis of palm trees with crystalline turquoise waters and fine soft sand formed at the delta created by the Kourtaliotis River as it opens into the sea. Apart from the superb palm tree forest, the second largest in Crete after that of Lassithi, lush vegetation surrounds the beach and the river, creating a dreamy landscape.

Being a protected area that belongs to the Natura 2000 network, Preveli Beach is not organized, and there are no amenities like umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, or changing rooms. The only thing you will find here is a small tavern shaded by the verdant trees. However, the area offers much to compensate you for this lack of facilities; you can hike along the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, traversed by the Kourtaliotis River, and swim in its many natural ponds, against the backdrop of impressive waterfalls. On the eastern edge of the beach, there are some nice sea caves, which are also worth exploring.

Because of its stunning beauty, Preveli Beach unfortunately gets very crowded during the high season. This wonderful place can be reached on foot from the parking lot of Preveli Monastery or by car from the nearby Drymiskos beaches, where it is also easy to park your vehicle. Moreover, boats leave regularly from Plakias and Agia Galini; this will somewhat limit the time you can spend on Preveli Beach, but it will allow you to enjoy a nice little cruise of the southern coast of Rethymno.

Things to See & Do in Preveli

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2 Reviews
  • olli.lampinen 25 Aug 2013
    Fine monastery in Preveli
    At date 08.07.2013 I visited Preveli Monastery with my friend Mixalis Petrakis. We went there with his car from Rethymno. The distance from Rethymno was 40 kilometres. The way was very intresting with fine and high mountings.

    The Preveli Monastery is located close to the nice Preveli Beach. The Holy Stavropgiac and Patriachal Preveli Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, known as the Monastery of Preveli, is one of the largest and finest monasteries in Greece. Monastery and its dependencies cover a large estate land on the south coast of Crete.

    The monastery consisted of two main building complexes. The oldest date related to the monastery is 1594, and it is engraved on a bell. There was a very large and interesting museum and a fine monastery church. The place is very beautiful and interesting located close to the sea. The view from the monastery out to the sea is fine. If you visit Crete go to this place I am sure that you will like it.
  • bellae66 15 Feb 2011
    Beach paradise
    We didn't stay more than a week in Rethymno but I was lucky enough to visit some of the greatest beaches in Crete. One of them is Preveli beach, a unique sandy beach covered with a palm forest that makes it look so exotic. The most interesting thing about the beach is that a river ends there. This forms a small lake before it is shed to the sea. Preveli is a very popular destination because this little paradise, as I call it, is totally unspoiled, except for a couple of taverns and some watersports, but no accommodation.

    The best time of the day to visit the beach is early in the morning when everything is still quiet and you have the chance to breathe the fresh air and listen to the sounds of nature. There are two ways to access the beach. The hard way is to drive to the Monastery of Preveli, leave it in the parking space and walk for 1500 meters from there and then for almost half an hour. If you take that road don't forget to have your water and hat because the sun in Crete is dangerous between 11 and 4 in the evening. The easy way is to get to Plakias and then take the boat to Preveli.

    Sadly, I heard that last summer this paradise was damaged by fires. Hope the damage is not extented because the area was great with all those palm trees around.