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Der traumhafte Küstenabschnitt von Plakias, Bild: Panteris Antonio / shutterstock

Peaceful holiday in Plakias in Crete

The former fishing village of Plakias on Crete is a perfect place for holidaymakers who don’t like hustle and bustle and mass tourism. It is located on the south coast of the “Island of the Gods”, and it is about 35 kilometres to the district capital Rethymno. Plakias (Πλακιάς) has been living from tourism for a long time, which is why the place has grown slightly and has the appropriate infrastructure. However, the village character has basically been preserved. There are only 325 locals living in the two settlements on the wide bay, which is gently surrounded by mountains and lined with olive trees.

Your arrival in Plakias

Coming from the north, you will travel by bus or car through the breathtakingly beautiful Kourtaliotiko Gorge, which widens impressively just before the village. There you will be greeted by the azure blue sea and immediately afterwards Plakias with its town hall, school and churches, well-stocked supermarkets, an organic shop, boutiques for holiday needs, pretty little galleries, two pharmacies, a doctor’s office and shops selling jewellery, fashion items and art. Many holidaymakers are drawn to the beach, which runs over a kilometre along the south coast directly in front of the village. Its eastern border is Kako Mouri Mountain. It is mostly a sandy beach with few pebbles, bathing is considered very safe. From the shore, the entrance to the sea remains shallow for a very long time, so that parents can let their children play near the shore without worrying. The beach is guarded and offers rental facilities for sunbeds and parasols, as well as changing rooms, toilets and showers. At the southeastern end there is an unofficial area for nudists. In addition to this main beach right next to Plakias, there are smaller beaches in the bays in the area, where there are sometimes higher waves. Couples like to stay here, who appreciate the idyll and seclusion very much.

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Excursions in the area

From Plakias, you can hike to the lagoon of Balos and through the Samaria Gorge, among other things, but organized tours are also offered. Some of the goals are

    • the fortress in Frangokastello,
    • the Botanical Garden of Crete,
    • the monasteries of Arkadi and Preveli,
    • the excavations in Gortis and Festos,
    • the cities of Chania, Agia Galini, Argyroupoli, Spili and Matala,
    • the plateaus of Kallikratis, Balos and Gramvousa,
    • the Paximadia Islands.

The range of tours depends on the season. In particular, the hikes through gorges may only be carried out in certain periods of the year due to the weather.

What is the weather like in Plakias?

The summer is as hot as can be expected from Crete, the spring and autumn are very mild. Even in winter, the trip could be worthwhile, although not necessarily for a beach holiday. But even between December and February, daytime temperatures can still reach 16 – 17 °C, and the sea is then similarly cool or warm. Otherwise, the thyme, izophus, oregano and rosemary smell in Plakias between March and November. Trees include toe mine oaks, carob and fig trees, and palm trees. The best time to travel is the months between May and October, but this is not only due to the climate, but also to the flight schedules that the charter airlines set up for direct flights to Crete. Out of season, only the (more expensive) scheduled flight would be bookable. In the high season, on the other hand, traveling to Plakias can be extremely cheap with an early booking discount. If you don’t have to look at it and like to choose the low season with even more peace and quiet, you should enjoy Plakias very much in spring and autumn. The temperatures then reach around 20 – 24 °C, which is perfect hiking weather and occasionally invites you to visit the beach. In spring, the whole of Crete is green, nature blossoms in magnificent diversity. From June it will be much warmer. In Plakias, as everywhere else in the low season, there are many inexpensive accommodations to be found.

Journey

Aircraft land in Heraklion or Chania on Crete, from Germany suitable airports are Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Bremen, Erfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Hanover, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Flights from Geneva, Zurich and Basel-Mulhouse are easy for Swiss holidaymakers to book, while Austrians can choose between Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt and Graz. From the arrival airports in Crete there are bus connections to Plakias, larger hotels in the village offer a transfer. Rental cars can be booked as a small car from ~5.50 €/day, as a mid-range car from ~16.50 €/day. Prices fluctuate seasonally.

Result

Plakias in Crete is a fascinating destination for families, but also couples, singles and seniors. The place is actually beautiful at any time of the year, but it rains more often in winter. If you want to experience enchantingly beautiful nature in a quiet environment, you will feel very comfortable here.