Preveli is one of the most famous beaches of Rethymno prefecture. It lies on the southern coastline of the island, approximately 40 km away from Rethymno city and very close to Plakias.
At the exit of the gorge, where Kourtaliotis River creates a delta, that is where you will find the Preveli beach. The river, flowing out to the sea, creates a lake, the Preveli Lake, while the endemic Theofrastos palm trees make the scenery exotic.
The Preveli beach was named after the homonym historic monastery, which is built nearby. The palm tree forest, covering a land of about 40 acres, is the second biggest all over Crete. It is one of the few places where Phoenix theophrastii (Theofrastos palm tree) can be seen. In 2010, the biggest part of the forest was lost due to a huge fire, but during the last years there are visible signs of revegetation.
The Preveli beach or else, Foinikas, has golden sand on the sea shore and pebbles in the bottom of the sea, making its waters crystal clear. Because of this landscape, the beach was a popular destination for hippies back in ’70-ies, who would camp there, using palm tree branches and grass to make their tents.
There are some souvenir shops around, as well as taverns, while the Preveli beach itself is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds. But, unfortunately, you will not be able to spend the night there since there no rooms-to-rent.
A walk along the bank of the river on foot or by using a pedal boat, through the palm trees all the way up to the Kourtaliotis gorge, is a unique experience for the most guests of Preveli beach. The bathers can enjoy dips into the salted sea waters along with walks through the dense vegetation of the gorge with its small waterfalls and wild plants creating a magnificent landscape.
Preveli beach can be accessed by different means. You can take a ride from Plakias till the Preveli Monastery and from there, a path will lead you to the beach after a 20 minutes’ walk. Alternatively, there is a quick dirt-road that leads to Drymiskianos beach. If you do not possess a vehicle, you will be able to take a boat from Plakias or Agia Galini.