Family Experiences

Beautiful South Crete

October 5, 2018 4 Comments

Today we’ll take you south. On an ideal weekend to simply rest and sense the carefree feeling only the south of Crete has to offer.

Table of Contents

With the minor equipment as dictated in short relaxing breaks, we headed to Plakias, and the idea came by a friend in Damnoni, who owns the very cozy hotel where we spent the night. Damnoni Paradise.

The drive was smooth, just half hour heading south of Rethymno, we passed picturesque villages and the fantastic gorge of Kourtalioti, a gorge of exquisite beauty and importance as it is the water provider of the area. Its one of the most beautiful and important gorges of South Crete and I will take you on a separate excursion hiking and exploring its beauty and the legends that surround it.

Usually, South Crete tends to be quite windy and quite a few times I have witnessed small impressive tornadoes on the surface of the sea. Our weekend though was serene and the place except for the great food offers nice walking routes with great sea view. Plakias experience rapid touristic development in the eighties. Before that, there were very few locals who lived in the area.

We did enjoy a lot of walking and even the kids who tend to get tired or bored (at least mine) were fine to walk and explore till the early sunset.

Then a new surprise awaited as a result of their good walking cooperation as we visited the horse riding center of Plakias which is located in the nearby area of Damnoni. A very beautiful and organized center where beautiful horses ponies, deer, and donkeys were beautifully taken care of and the kids also enjoyed a ride on the horses around the area. 

The following morning after a playful time at the hotel with the other kids, we enjoyed our nice swim at the beach of Damnoni. Long, quiet and serene with an interesting sea bottom and natural springboards for the brave ones who hike and jump in the crystal clear waters.

The beach is well organized and you can get snacks and drinks if you wish, plus you can do watersports or book a small boat excursion to the nearby beaches of the south coast.

Our day was ideal for relaxation. On the way back we stopped at the beautiful village of Argyroupoli famous for its water springs and delicious food.  Sometimes you get the feeling you are in a rainforest. One of the local specialties in this part of South Crete is the trouts that you can see swimming in the waters but we were too sensitive to try them after admiring their size and look at them swim.

The whole place is a gem to explore, we enjoyed beautiful walks and delicious cuisine, and we also lit a candle in the small cave chapel of St.John with running holy water in the inside. It’s small humble and we really like chapels like this. The village of Argyroupoli is built on the ancient town of Lappa which flourished during the Roman Era and the majority of its findings are exhibited in the Archeological Museum of Rethymno.

A weekend in South Crete full of colors, nature, play and beautiful pictures, the recipe to start off the week with the most positive energy. And dream for more.

Travel Tip for Rethymnon

If you are looking for more exciting stories about Rethymnon, have a look at the Self Guided Audio Tours for Families by Clio Muse.A Family Audio Tour is a great and affordable way to experience this special place. I have summed up all the benefits of such tours for families and kids in my post Self Guided Audio Tours for Families. Clio Muse offers the readers of this blog a 15% discount on all audio tours. For prices and for more information on how to get the discount with the special code, have a look here.

Anastasia Lainaki Zacharopoulou

Greek blogger Anastasia was born and raised in Chania, on the west side of Crete. She is the mother of two young children. Be inspired by Anastasia's local knowledge and join her in her journey around Crete.


  1. Reply

    Chi Chang

    December 17, 2018

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience at Crete! It looks amazing! I will be visiting Crete with my family (hubby and 2 girls 7 and 11 years old) in June 2019. We will probably stay 4-5 days. I am wondering if you can help recommend where we can stay and where we should visit? Thanks! – Chi

    • Reply


      December 17, 2018

      Thank you so much for your comment. I would totally recommend the area of Ag.Marina, Chania, for you to stay. Since your stay is quite short, I would schedule as follows. One day rest and visit the beach of Ag. Marina, and then the city of Chania with the old Harbour.

      One daily excursion to Balos (see post)

      One day Elafonisi

      One day Falasarna (see post)

      One day you could also visit Paleohora.

      I wish you a pleasant stay. I recommend also Theo’s hotel in Ag. Marina, affordable, great location and close to the beaches. Distance to all places mentioned above by car approximately 1:30 the most. Only Balos if visited by boat is much closer to go to Kissamos port.

      Enjoy your vacation and let us know if you need any further info!

  2. Reply

    Crete Traveler

    April 10, 2019

    Nice article, I really loved the south Crete as well. Rethymno and Chania were truly beautiful places, and I would love to go back with my wife. We also enjoyed a lot a quad safari tour from Hersonissos and the excursion to Balos!! I would suggest everyone do as much as possible while in Crete…

    • Reply


      April 11, 2019

      Thank you for the tip! We will check out the safari and maybe add it to our suggestions!