Plakias Holidays – Relax away from the crowds
On the less touristy, more rugged south coast of Crete, Plakias is a relaxed little resort with a long beach, harbour, and plenty of eateries and accommodation of the kind that do not dominate. It is popular but never as crowded as some of the larger north coast tourist centres. A great place to kick-back and enjoy the sun, sea and scenery.
In addition to its own beach, there are several other excellent beaches close to Plakias as well as beautiful mountainous countryside perfect for walks and exploring dramatic gorges and picturesque traditional villages. Several companies offer diving and boat trips, including to nearby Preveli with its superb beach and historic monastery.
When to go to Plakias
If you are looking for a deep tan and plenty of swimming then summer is the natural choice as it is hot and dry, but in many ways spring is an even better time for a Plakias holiday. In May, the countryside is full of wild flowers and the long days are not yet too hot to enjoy walking and exploring the local villages, like the picturesque hillside village of Myrthios just 30 minutes walk from Plakias or the Amari Valley a little further afield.
The weather in Plakias
Daytime temperatures rise into the high twenties from June to September. In May and October temperatures peak in the low twenties so it is still warm, but not so hot as to put you off a stroll or even a hike. April and November see average daily highs hovering around the 20ºC mark and there can be a bit more rain. Sea temperatures are over 20ºC from May to October and in August rise to a balmy 27 ºC.
Getting the best deal to Plakias
May is a great time for a Plakias holiday. Spring is perfect season here and flights are much cheaper than in the summer. Any time outside the summer peak and school holidays will offer lower prices and booking well in advance or at the last minute can also help you find a bargain. Take a look at our best deals below or check out our late offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
Plakias is about the same distance from Crete’s two international airports: Chania (Hania) (http://www.chania-airport.com) in the west and Heraklion (Iraklio) (www.heraklion-airport.info) to the east. Between May and October there are direct flights into both airports from Gatwick and many other UK cities taking under four hours.
Crete has a good bus service (www.bus-service-crete-ktel.com) but to get to Plakias you will need to change at Rethymnon for the scenic ride across the island to the south coast. This takes about an hour and costs €4.50 (about £4). Getting to Rethymnon takes around an hour and a half fror Chania or Heraklion airports and costs just a few pounds.
Taxis and hire cars are available at both airports although it is often cheaper to organise your car hire before departing the UK. Taxi fares are officially regulated but do agree the price before travelling. Heraklion to Plakias should cost €145 (around £118).
The best beaches in Plakias
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and has beaches to suit all tastes. From long open strips of golden sand to hidden coves, rocky lagoons to off-shore islets. There are beaches backed by lively bars and loud music and others accompanied by nothing but the lapping of the sea. The north coast tends to be more populous, with tourist beaches along much of its length, while the south is more rugged and windier backed by scenic mountains and dramatic gorges.
Plakias own beach is a long stretch of sand and pebbles with blue flag status. Not heavily developed, there are nonetheless plenty of sun beds and beach bars to keep you comfortable and refreshed. If you fancy a truly all-over tan, head to the far end of the beach which is frequented by naturists.
About a half-hour bus ride, or even better a boat ride, from Plakias is the glorious Preveli beach also known as Palm Beach, one of Crete’s most scenic sandy beaches. It is large but little developed so rarely crowded. At the mouth of the dramatic Kourtaliotiko Gorge the beach is divided by the river Megalopotomas flowing into the sea. There are freshwater pools as well as clear blue sea for swimming and plenty of space and sun beds and lounging around. There are a couple of snack bars in summer.
Souda, 2km West of Plakias (not to be confused with Souda Bay on the north coast), is a smaller bay with a lovely sweep of coarse sandy beach. Not as secluded as it used to be, Souda is none the less quieter than the main beach at Plakias and has a beautiful natural setting and good snorkelling around the rocks at either end of the beach. There are a few tavernas here and sun beds for hire and a few watersports though none with motors.