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The beach and the village of Agios Pavlos and the beach of Triopetra on Crete
Agios Pavlos is a delightful small coastal village (well, it actually isn't even a village, but to make it easy I now call it a village - instead it is more like a collection of sandy beaches) close to Agia Galini in the south of Crete. It can be reached if you take the road from Rehymnon to Spili and then drive past Akoumia and follow the signs. Compared to some of the other villages in the south Agios Pavlos is relatively quiet. There's a nice beach in the village with umbrellas and sunbeds (for families with children pherhaps), and two super-super beaches just outside the village. They can be reached by descending a very (!) steep sand dune. But once you are there it's a big reward. The beach is stunning and it's a delight to swim in the sea (in the nude, because nudism is allowed here). A lot of people don't want to go down afraid they won't make it, or even worse: not make it back up the hill again. It's not a place where you will run into families with little children. For us this is just the perfect place. Defenitely in my top three of Cretan beaches or even in my top 3 of all beaches I have seen in all of my visits to the Greek islands: absolutely beautiful and recommendable for all the naturists! Don't be scared to go down to the beach, even I made it back up the hill.
If you want there are some parasols and sunbeds on this first naturist beach in a row. I don't think there is any charge, because there is no taverna or anything on this beach (at least: I did not notice one) and I have never seen anybody walking around collecting money from people that were using them. Tips: bring lots of water and a sunscreen for your skin if you visit the naturist beaches.
Agios Pavlos naturist beaches
When you have reached the large sandy beach of Agios Pavlos - the beach with the naturist section - you can walk past the big rock on the right (on your right hand side as you walk down). Behind this rock is a smaller beach. I would call it a small sand/pebble beach, and it is less easy to get into the water here, because there are pebbles, stones and rocks on the seabed. But you can find a nice place to lie in the shadow of the rock though here in case it is very hot, and there is sand to put your towel on. Behind this beach are a number of other beaches. For the large sandy beach you have to make a short walk through the water (approximately up to your waist). You walk through the entrance of the next rock into the water and right around the corner is the next beautiful sandy beach. Here it is very quiet. People who lie here are generally naturist and only few people have swimwear on.
The second and the third naturist beach of Agios Pavlos (Triopetra)
This second beach in Agios Pavlos is beautiful and very long. It is a wonderful place to stroll about. Occasionally you see strange rocks or stones or and the end of the beach is some kind of a lake with reeds and some vegetation around it. It is probably the end of a river. on top the hill behind the river you can see a nice little white church. You can continue walking along the beach. It is now rocky and you actually walk on a path. Here and there are small pieces of sand where you could possibly also lie down. The rocks here are beautiful, and are both in the sea and on the beach. After several minutes on this path along the rocks you will see the next big, beautiful sandy beach. Again it is very quiet. The views are beautiful and the cliffs and rocks in the sea look like a fairy tale. Well, in short: lots of beach (actually 4 - if you do not count the beaches directly at the hotel, because there are 2 here as well - instead of 3, plus many small pieces of sand in between the rocks). There is lots of sand to choose from. You will always find a place for yourself in Agios Pavlos. It is ideal if you are looking for total peace and relaxation and you don't want to hear other people talking or shouting.
A little bit more about Agios Pavlos
A little outside the village there's also a little white church that's partly carved out of a rock. In the village itself there are a couple of places where you can rent a room, and there are two taverna's: one on the beach and one on top of the hill. In the last one you have a marvelous view over the bay, and the food is excellent. My Agios Pavlos is not to be confused with another village with one of the nicest Byzantyine churches (the church of Agios Pavlos), which is a 45 minutes walk away east of Agia Roumeli on a coastal path.
Agios Pavlos Accommodation - Hotel Agios Pavlos & Kavos Melissa
Agios Pavlos is only a very small village and perfect for a "get away from it all holiday". As I already wrote there is not much for rent in the village so no chance it will ever get crowded, probably also in the high season and especially in the evenings when the day visitors have also left. If you like this than you can choose for the Agios Pavlos Hotel. The Agios Pavlos Hotel offers a warm welcome to all guests, with 2 buildings to choose from and a variety of rooms - there is something to suit everyone - and everyone's budget! The original Hotel Agios Pavlos, sits just above the bay and offers rooms with or without sea views, rooms with or without air-conditioning; some rooms have TV and some rooms can be made up as triples. All rooms are ensuite. We will also lend you a cot for your stay if you need one - but please let us know before you arrive. The newly built Kavos Melissa is a short walk up the hill and enjoys panoramic views of the bay and the coast. All apartments are ensuite, have air-conditioning and central heating, have a fully equipped kitchenette and can sleep up to four adults comfortably. Each apartment has a terrace or balcony enjoying fabulous views out to sea - a perfect spot to enjoy the stunning sunsets that Agios Pavlos gets every evening. If you need food or drinks you don't have to go far because there is an taverna here and there is also a mini-market for your essentials. And if you take the stairs down from the taverna you are on the beach.
Kavos Melissa - Our accommodation in Agios Pavlos
We stayed in one of the apartments at the Kavos Melissa in Agios Pavlos, with a bedroom with a double bed and two beds in the other room. Kavos Melissa is situated on the hill behind the Agios Pavlos Hotel (I estimate at about 200 to 250 meters distance) and it offers wonderful views from the balconies over the sea and the two Paximadia islands that lie in front of it. In the evenings you get to see the sunsets. On the other hand: we could not decide which view was better, because the balcony on the other side offered the most stunning views of the White Mountains we have ever had. The accommodation is simple yet functional, with plenty of chairs, a bench, wardrobes, good beds, a basic kitchen with 2 cooking rings, a refridgerator, pots and pans, cuttlery, glasses and china. The bathroom is excellent with a good and modern type of shower, hot water and all you expect from a wet room. It's all very quiet, you can see the stars in the sky at night and our neighbours (also from Holland) liked it so much it was their second visit to Kavos Melissa in the same year: they just couldn't wait.
Private villas in Triopetra in Crete
The “Triopetra Villas- Panagia” complex consists of the 2 luxurious villas (maisonettes) Dimitris and Kadiani which are designed exquisitely. Each one has a hundred square metres of dwelling space and they are situated in approximately 450 acres of land. The complex is located in the region Akoumia which is about 50 km south of Rethymno (a 45 minute drive). Each villa consists of a modern independent house of 2 floors that can accommodate up to 5 people having exactly the same design. They are on the top of a hill with a panoramic view over the superb Libyan Sea and the full of natural beauty beach of Triopetra which is 3,5 kilometres footwalk away. As the villas are not in town, you will need a car for your transfers. (Parking space is available).
For more information and pictures of the villas in Triopetra go to their website - click here
The Agios Pavlos Hotel Restaurant
The Agios Pavlos Hotel has a large terrace overlooking the sea and the beach. Here you can sit down for just a coffee or a drink, relax in a hammock or have breakfast, lunch or dinner. There is a regular menu and usually there are also some "specials of the day" written on a chalkboard next to the entrance. The cappuccino is very good. The bread comes in one piece (so you are sure it has not been on another table before it was put on yours), the french fries are crunchy and you cannot complain about the rest of the food: it tastes good and the service is friendly.
Our verdict: good, an 8.5 out of 10
Livikon Taverna - Agios Pavlos
This taverna is situated more up the hill in Agios Pavlos. Good food, friendly people and nice views over the sea. No complaints here as well, only the French fries were less crunchy than in the Agios Pavlos Hotel Restaurant.
Our verdict: good, an 8.5 out of 10