Preveli Beach in Crete: Ultimate Travel Guide

Preveli Beach is a dreamy retreat on the south coast of Crete that impresses with its outstanding nature and beauty. Known for its lush palm forest, the beach offers a unique setting in the middle of the majestic Kourtaliotiko Gorge. Whether you want to swim, hike or simply enjoy the breathtaking scenery, Preveli Beach is the perfect place for unforgettable moments in the nature of Crete.

Preveli Beach – exotic oasis in southern Crete

Preveli Beach offers an extraordinary setting that promises both relaxation and adventure. The lush palm forest, consisting of hundreds of Theophrastus palms, promises an incomparable exotic and tropical atmosphere. In this travel guide about Preveli Beach, you will learn everything you need to know before traveling to Preveli Beach, how to get there and whether a visit to this dream destination in Greece is worth it.

Besides, the palm forest is located in the middle of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, which creates a unique ambience with its dramatic cliffs and rock formations. The beach is also located at the mouth of the Megas Potamus River, which flows into the Libyan Sea at Preveli Beach. This offers a unique opportunity to swim in both fresh and salt water.

Best Things to Do at Preveli Beach

Swimming and snorkeling: The clear, turquoise waters of Preveli Beach are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Refresh yourself in the sea and explore the colorful underwater world.

Sunbathe and relax: The golden sandy beach of Preveli is the ideal place to relax and soak up the sun. Lie down on your towel and listen to the gentle sound of the waves.

Discover the palm forest: Take a leisurely stroll through the palm forest along the river. At the end of the path, the river disappears into a cave. If you dare, you can swim through the ice-cold water. Behind it, a waterfall awaits you, coming from about 4 meters above the cave ceiling. On the way back, you can walk through the river back to the beach, which is only knee-deep.

Hiking: Take a hike along the riverbank or in the surrounding Kourtaliotiko Gorge. The landscape around Preveli Beach is breathtakingly beautiful and offers numerous hiking trails for nature lovers.

Visit Preveli Monastery: The historic Preveli Monastery is also located near the beach and is well worth a visit. Learn more about the history and culture of the region and enjoy the impressive view from the monastery grounds.

Tips for your visit to Preveli Beach

In our travel guide about Preveli Beach, we would like to give you a few tips that you should definitely take with you:

Arrive early: It’s best to visit Preveli Beach early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the tranquillity of the beach. In addition, there are hardly any shady spots later on and all the visitors gather close together in the shade.

Sun protection: Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen with you, as there is little shade on the beach and the sun can be very intense. We also recommend a sun hat and sunglasses.

Water and snacks: Take plenty of water and snacks with you, as there are only limited food options on the beach. There is only a small beach bar with snacks and drinks.

Environment: Respect nature and take your garbage home with you to preserve the beauty of the place.

Where is Preveli Beach on Crete, Greece?

Preveli Beach is located on the south coast of the Greek island of Crete, around 35 kilometers south of Rethymno. The beach is located at the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, where the Megas Potamos River flows into the Libyan Sea.

How to get to Preveli Beach?

There are several ways to get to Preveli Beach. Depending on whether you prefer the adventure of a hike or a more comfortable boat trip, you have different options:

By car: the route from Chania to Preveli Beach is about 100 kilometers and takes approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. From Chania you first drive towards Rethymno and from there you drive towards Preveli Monastery (Moni Preveli). The route takes you along a picturesque road through mountains and villages. From the parking lot, a steep hiking trail takes about 15 to 20 minutes to the beach, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

By bus: There are ways to get from Chania to Preveli. To do this, you must first take the bus to Rethymno and from there to Plakias. The buses run several times a day and the entire route takes around 2 ½ to 3 hours. From Plakias, you then have the option of taking the boat transfer to Preveli Beach.

By boat: There are various places, such as Plakias and Agia Galini, from where you can get to Preveli Beach by boat. The boat trip offers a relaxing and picturesque journey along the coast, which takes around 30 to 45 minutes.

Where to park near Preveli Beach?

There are two ways to reach Preveli Beach, that we show you in our travel guide.

The first option leads from Plakias to the monastery of Preveli, which is signposted. There you will come to a large parking lot to the west and above the beach. The parking lot is located very high on rocky cliffs and offers a wonderful view over the lagoon of Preveli Beach. You can park here for EUR 2 per day. As the parking lot only has space for a limited number of cars, we recommend that you arrive early.

From the parking lot, there is a steep path down 439 steps to the beach. The descent, which unfortunately offers no shade, takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The descent is fine, only the way back is a little difficult due to the steep ascent.

To avoid the difficult ascent and descent, you can alternatively drive from the east along a dirt road that leads to Drimiskiano Amoudi. In this parking lot you can park for free. From there, take a short walk to Preveli, which takes about five minutes. However, you will miss out on the spectacular view from the other path.

Where to stay near Preveli Beach?

There are various accommodation options near Preveli Beach that suit different preferences. In our travel guide to Preveli Beach, we introduce you to some of them:

Plakias, a coastal town near Preveli Beach, offers a variety of hotels, resorts and guesthouses. From luxurious beach resorts to affordable guesthouses, there is accommodation to match every taste and budget.

There are also apartments and villas in the Preveli Beach area that are ideal for families or larger groups. The accommodation offers plenty of space and privacy, making it a perfect option for longer stays.

There are also campsites near Preveli Beach for the more adventurous. Some campsites are located directly on the beach or nearby.

Those who prefer a quieter environment can also look for accommodation in the villages located inland. There are often traditional inns and guesthouses where you can experience the local culture and hospitality.

Where to eat near Preveli Beach?

There is a small beach bar right on Preveli Beach that offers several snacks and drinks. From Greek pastries to refreshing drinks and coffee, there is a good selection.

There are also a variety of restaurants and tavernas in the nearby coastal town of Plakias. Especially along the main street and at the harbor of Plakias, there are many options offering local Cretan cuisine.

Best Time to Visit Preveli Beach

The best time to visit Preveli Beach depends on different factors such as the weather, crowds and personal preferences. We have summarized the pros and cons in our travel guide about Preveli.

Summer (June to August) is the hottest time on Crete with temperatures above 30°C (86°F). The weather is perfect for sunbathing and swimming, but it is also very hot and there is little shade at Preveli Beach. Besides, Summer is also the peak tourist season and the beach can get very crowded.

In spring (April to June), the weather at Preveli Beach is milder and temperatures range from 20-25°C (68-77°F). The sea is also warm enough to swim at this time. The Greek spring also brings blooming flowers and green landscapes.

In the fall (September to October), you can also expect mild temperatures at Preveli Beach and the sea is still warm enough for swimming. The weather in Preveli is then perfect for activities such as sightseeing and hiking. It is also less crowded than in the summer months.

Please note: Many facilities and services in Preveli operate fully during the tourist season (May to October). Visiting outside these months might mean limited availability of restaurants, accommodations and transport services.

Preveli Beach can also be very windy at times. Especially in the summer months from July to August, the Meltemi, a dry north wind, often blows, which makes the heat more pleasant but can still be very strong.

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