Preveli beach near Plakias in Crete
Preveli beach, or Palm beach, is one of the most photographed beaches in all of Crete, and pictures from here are often used to market Crete. Rightly so, because if you stand above the beach and look down on it, the view of the beach, the river and the palm forest is absolutely stunning.
The path that leads down to the Palm beach.
The beach is reached via a path that begins at a large parking lot not far from the monastery. It costs 2 € to park the car. The parking lot is open between 10.00-18.00 every day. If you come at other times of the day, it costs nothing. (The money goes to the restoration of the monastery). The descent to the beach takes between 10-20 minutes from the parking lot. If you stay in Plakias, you can go here by beach boat instead.
The beach is pretty nice, but it is not the beach itself that
makes the beach, if you understand what I mean. Unless the river Megalo
Potamos had its outflow at the beach, and if it hadn't grown palm trees
along the river, the place would not have many visitors. There are better
beaches nearby. The beach is also usually dreadfully overcrowded during
the summer. If you can get here early in the morning, it is preferable.
At the beginning of the beach there is a snack bar selling drinks and
The palms - which are of the same specie as the palm trees at Vai beach in eastern Crete - give the beach a sense of the Caribbean. But sadly that was not the case during a few years, because on August 22, 2010, the palm forest burned down. The fire started in four different places and therefore it is believed that it was a pyromaniac that set fire. I have seen pictures of the burnt down forest and it was not a beautiful sight. Many thought that the fire was the end for Preveli beach. Luckily the nature usually heals itself quite well, and that is what Mother Nature did here.
The small river is lined with palm trees and flows through the beach into the sea.
Now the palm trees stand and sway in the sun as if nothing has happened. You only see traces of the fire, if you did not know it you would not notice anything. There is a marked path along the river which is nice to follow. Maybe you want swim in the cold water?
The Palm Beach Preveli in southern Crete.
Preveli is located about 32 km south of Rethymno, and about 10 km east of Plakias.