fbpx

Plakias, Crete Travel Guide

Why is Plakias one of the most underrated towns on the island of Crete? Why choose Plakias over the larger towns like Rethymno and Chania in the north? We’re biased, of course, because the Elxis offices are in Plakias. But we’re willing to back it up!

 

About Plakias

This small harbor town lies in a big crescent bay holding a gorgeous beach between the gorges of Selia and Kourtaliotiko. It’s located on the south coast of Crete, about 30 kilometres south of the city of Rethymnon, and surrounded by mountains to the north and the Libyan Sea to the south. The name in Greek means “flat”, but the approach and coastline are quite mountainous and dramatic.

Village in Southern Crete

When to Visit Plakias

There is no bad time to visit Plakias. The high season starts in May and ends in October, but Plakias is also nice in winter and spring because of the smaller crowds.


Beaches in Plakias

Plakias has a 1300-metre-long sandy beach, there are a number of other beautiful beaches within walking distance (Souda, Damnoni, Ammoudi, and Shinaria) and there are plenty of places to eat along the sea front.


The Plakias beach itself has services like umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, and changing rooms. The water is incredibly clean and ideal for swimming. The water towards the west is slightly colder because it’s connected to the river Kotsifos.

Plakias, Crete
Plakias, Crete

Services in Plakias

Beside the school, town hall and its churches, there are also a selection of supermarkets, shops for holiday gifts, organic food stores, galleries, and clothing vendors. There are two pharmacies and a doctor’s office.

Plakias also has a post office, tour agencies, and car rental services.

 

Annual Events in Plakias

“World International Tourism Day” is celebrated each September with a big evening festival, with free street food and traditional music, songs, and dancing performances in the main square of Plakias.

 

Food and Drink in Plakias

The taverns in the mountain villages of Mirthios and Sellia, which are located just above Plakias, are incredible. The Elxis team has visited these tavernas personally, and we can confirm they are very tasty! The mountain village of Mariou also has great tavern. In Plakias, you will also find green grocers, bakeries, and butchers.

Merastri Taverna, Serria, Crete
Merastri Taverna, Serria, Crete

Weather in Plakias

Crete has hot summers and mild winters, with the longest summer season in Greece. The hottest month is July, when the temperate is 32 C in the day and 22 C at night. July is also the driest month, with 31 sunny days on average. The coldest month is January, with a high of 14 C and a low of 7 C.

 

Meltemi Winds

In the evening on the South of Crete, a cool breeze called the “Meltemi” provides a pleasant atmosphere. “Meltemi” is the name of the winds that typically appear in the Aegean Sea. They are dry and seasonal, and if you have ever been to the Cyclades (think Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, or Tinos), you’ve likely experienced this breeze – however, they appear as far south as Crete as well.

Plakias, Crete
Plakias, Crete

Day Trips from Plakias

Preveli

At 8 kilometres to the east you will find the historic monastery of Preveli, which may have been founded as early as the 10th century. 

 

In the summer, swimmers often walk up along the river, under the shade of the palm trees, ascending toward the beautiful canyon. The little ponds that are formed along the way are great for wading in cool waters. There is also a ferry service here that can take you to Plakias.

 

The remote and peaceful Agia Fotini, Ligres, Triopetra, and Agios Pavlos are very tranquil and photogenic. Furthermore, hiking and diving are very popular activities in this region.

Preveli Beach
Preveli Beach

Asomatos

Just up the nearby mountain at an altitude of 230 meters is the traditional village of Asomatos, where you can have the best of everything. In a relaxed environment, sea views are very impressive from this village. 

Records of Asomatos date back some 450 years when Crete was under Venetian rule and exposed to the Renaissance influence between 1204 to 1669.

 

Contact with nature here is unique. Hiking and biking are on offer while the Plakias beach is located just 4 kilometers away. To the north is the Asomatos gorge, which stretches up to 3 kilometers with lush vegetation. Along its length, huge cliffs of limestone, reaching 500 meters in height, are full of caves, home to many species of birds.

Plakias, Crete

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Table of Contents

Looking for something in particular?
Mount Olympus
BlogRegional Guides

Mount Olympus: A Mythical Destination

Looking at Mount Olympus from afar, it is clear why the ancient Greeks believed that only gods could reside in such an unreachable yet mystical ...
Drakolimni | Photo by Tom Valk
BlogRegional Guides

Have you Heard of Greece’s “Dragon Lake?”

Drakolimni, the “Dragon Lake”. With high peaks and dramatic cliffs, this location in Epirus is a nature-lover’s dream in Western Greece. It is one of ...
Makrygialos, Greece
BlogRegional Guides

Makrigialos (Makrygialos) Travel Guide

Where is Makrigialos in Crete, and why should I visit? What are the most common things to do in Makrigialos, and what are the closest ...
Left: Corfu's 2 peaks, depicted in 1600 | Right: Modern-day Corfu
BlogHistory & Culture

How Did the Greek Islands Get Their Names?

Where Do Greek towns get their names? Why does it feel like every town I pass in Greece starts with “Agios”? Why is Mykonos called ...
Periptero
BlogHistory & Culture

Why You Need to Visit a Periptero in Greece

The humble periptero (or plural, “periptera”) is a must-visit during your time in Greece. Usually, visitors to Greece think about major tourism sites like the ...
© Iris Villas
BlogPurchase Tips

Moving From the Netherlands to Greece… And Managing Your Own Holiday Rental

Are you Dutch and thinking about buying a home on the Ionian Coast? You probably have many questions and unknowns: What are the biggest cultural ...

Compare Listings

Receive the latest news

Stay informed on the latest market insights, updates, tips and more

We’ll send you our best articles, expert insights and newest listings.​