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Aghia Galini - Harakas / South Crete


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Excursions
 
 
Agia Galini is only about 1 km away from the country road which runs from Rethymnon on the north coast via Spili in the interior of the island to Timbaki on the south coast.

With a rental car you can explore from here one of the most beautiful parts of Crete. We recommend the rent-a-car company Eurocars, because our guests estimate them to be particularly reliable.

 
Agios Pavlos
When leaving the road from to Agia Galini near Kria Vrisi and turning South, one will pass the village of Saktouria and then approach to the Cape Melissa.
 
Left hand splits a road down to the eastern beach of Agios Pavlos. There are some tavernas with guest rooms, another one with a mini market, and a beach bar.

Right hand a new road leads down to the western beaches. The sand dune is remarkable, and so are the views over the Libyan Sea, towards Preveli, and with good weather conditions even of the White Mountains ("Lefka Ori").

Since 2006, the paved road makes all the dream beaches of this section of the south coast accessible.
 
distance Agios Pavlos: View of the western beaches
Triopetra (a.k.a. the beach of Akoumia) is right ahead, and from there the road continues via Agia Paraskevi and Ligres (the beach of Kerames) until Finikas (the palm beach of Preveli).
 
Road distance: 21 kms *)
 
Spili
is a small town counting only approx. 700 inhabitants and belonging to the prefecture of Rethymnon.
 
distance Spili: The lions fountain
It is located some 30 kms south of the city, at 421 meters above sea level. The south shore is just behind the coastal mountains.

The surroundings are composed of particularly exciting landscapes. Mt. Vorisis (878 meters) towers above Spili, and the town itself is said to be most picturesque.

The landmark of Spili is a Venetian style fountain with 25 water-spitting lionheads, and there are even some old houses which originally remain from the Venetian era.
 
Road distance: 24 kms *)
 
Matala
is famous from the 1960-ies when Hippies from all over the world used to settle here, staying in the caves by the beach.
 
Today, the caves must not be used for accommodation purposes anymore as they do not fulfill the minimum standard criteria as issued by the Greek Tourism Authority.

Matala his however still worth a visit. It has deep blue sea and a white sandy beach which is framed by yellow rock (with abandoned caves in it).

A blue sky covers the place, and views range over the Messara bay to Agia Galini, to Mt. Kedros, and with clear weather even until the White Mountains ("Lefka Ori").
 
distance Matala: The Hippies' caves
It is easy to understand why they settled right here ...
 
Road distance: 29 kms *)
 
The Valley of Amari
is one of the most scenic ways to approach Crete's central mountain range.
 
distance Amari Valley: View of the Ida mountains from Meronas
It spreads from Prasses (10 kms from Rethymnon on the north coast) in south-east direction to Adopoulou (10 kms from Aghia Galini on the south coast).

Between the two villages of Vizari and Kouroutes, the valley runs in only 7 kms air-line distance below the 5 highest summits of the Ida Massif:

Stolistra / 2,325 m, Timios Stavros / 2,456 m, Angathias / 2,424 m, Vouloumenou / 2,267 m und Koussakas / 2,209 m.
 
In New Greek language, the Ida Massif is also called "Psiloritis" which means "the tall one".
 
Road distance: 30 kms *)
 
Plakias
is an old fishing-village on the south coast of the district of Rethymnon.
 
To individual tourists, Plakias is known since some years but still rather untouched by mass tourism.

Around the port and further on eastward along the sandy beach which lines the bay, some smaller hotels and apartment facilities row up.

Down by the beach road there are several restaurants and tavernas, kafenions, small supermarkets and some other shops.
 
distance Plakias: Central beach
Some 1,500 meters West of the village center, the small bay of Souda with it's sandy beach opens.
 
Road distance: 46 kms *)
 
Rethymnon
on Crete's north coast is the capital of the governmental district of the same name.
 
distance Rethymnon: The fortress with evening light
It ranks as the island's cultural center and gives home to several museums, to the philosopical branch of the University of Crete, and other facilities.

The landmark of Rethymnon is the Fortezza, a fortress from the Venetian aera, standing on an exposed rock that reaches into the bay.

Further inland, the Venetian Old Town attaches to the fortress.
 
In it's crooked lanes there are unnumbered small shops, arts and crafts workshops, restful bars, and restaurants of varied cuisine.

Right below the fortress there is the picturesque Venetian Port which is framed by the modern port's piers.

Every Thursday, the eastern pier also hosts the legendary weekly market of Rethymnon. During the years before, the place changed several times but that could not impair the colourful buzzle at all.
 
distance Sundown: Port of Rethymnon and Cape Drapanon
Road distance: 55 kms *)
 
Chora Sfakion
on the first glance gives the impression of a sleepy south coast village where time stands still.
 
distance Sfakia: Port of Hora Sfakion
Twice per day, things however change when the ferry boat from Paleochora via Sougia and Agia Roumeli arrives.

One can then experience how the infrastructure of Crete was organized during the Minoan Age when country roads did not exist: Ships were steadily travelling around the island and connecting all the bigger and smaller ports and townships.

In the meantime, you can make yourself comfortable in one of the tavernas by the port, and watch cars and trucks assembling for the next boat.
 
Or you can fit in a side-trip e.g. via Anopoli to Aradena and it's famous valley bridge, or follow the uncounted serpentine bends up to Imbros village which is famous as well, for the pancake with cheese and thyme honey.
 
Road distance: 85 kms *)
 
Ierapetra
is Europe's southernmost town, and also the biggest town of the governmental district of Lassithi which obtains it's name from the high plateau in the district's west, and includes the district capital of Agios Nicolaos and the port town of Sitia in the East of the north coast as well.

Kato Mera, the Old Town of Ierapetra, is of typical Mediterranean flair and has many small shops and workshops where hand-made souvenirs of many kind are on offer.
 
distance Ierapetra: Port and fortress
The church of St. George is worth a visit, and so is the very well preserved Venetian fortress which watches over the entrance of the small fishing port and marina.
 
distance Ierapetra: Shore promenade
Since some years there is a beautifully designed promenade by the port of Ierapetra and along the coastal road which runs between the Old Town and the small beach.

Some of the restaurants along that road have roofed pergolas on the promenade.

During the season one can watch the waiters carrying full trays from the restaurants across the road to the pergolas (and empty trays back to the restaurants as well).
 
Road distance: 141 kms *)
 
*) All data show the shortest respective road distance from Agia Galini
 

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Contact / Site notice
Manolis & Chrisoula Kontzanaki
GR-74056 Aghia Galini
E.O.T. license no.:
MHTE 1041K91002881101
Presented by:
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GR-74100 Rethymnon-Pighi
Fax 0030 28310 20011
Email to K.E.I.E.K.  Email to K.E.I.E.K.
All items subject to alteration without notice - Errors excepted


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