Crete is an island of limitless adventures and attractions. There are, however, few people who can genuinely be called Crete experts. Any local Cretan can show you the wonders near their town or village. Still, only people like Alexandros Roniotis have laid foot on almost every rock of the mythical island.
As a journalist who writes more about Crete than anybody in English, I still marvel at the places and experiences he shares. The creator of Cretan Beaches, the best guide by far to the island’s treasures (especially beaches), is always exploring and enjoying the best this paradise offers. This he does on top of his regular job as headmaster of a local school.
Today, I decided to create a special section called Crete Adventurers. And appropriately, my friend Alexandros gets the debut billing. Here is some recent Instatram from a fascinating place a few kilometers east of Agios Nikolaos, near Kavoussi, known as Agriomantra.
Crete has more than 2,000 caves. Many of them were inundated by the Cretan Sea or the Libyan Sea to the south. Above, you see one of Alex’s excursions to Agriomantra. As you can see, the secrets of this secluded beach cannot be discovered from above on the cliffs. Much of Crete’s shoreline is like this.
The beach is at the exit of the short Gorge of Agriomandra, which must be traversed after you leave your car. To reach the area by car you should first follow the dirt road that reaches the small plateau of Lakos Ambelion from Kavousi. From there begins the short path, a not too difficult one, that crosses the gorge and leads to the beach of Agriomandra . On the way you will come across a small cave that has been transformed into a temple dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. (Cretan Beaches)
As you can see from Alex’s share above, the water here is crystal clear, the sea in the bay is calm, and the sheer cliffs above provide ultimate privacy. Sometimes people camp here, though it is not generally legal to pitch camp on Crete beaches. Along the beach, there are large tamarisk trees, ideal for shade, ring the aquamarine green sea. There’s even an area with grills and benches that has been set up.
If you make it this far, you will absolutely want to trek it another few kilometers along the coast to Tholos, where the deserted beach of Sykies is located. This remote beach sits underneath an otherworldly landscape of vertical rocks that reach over 200 meters in height. The beach is only accessible by boat since it sits at the point of a Spathi you Chomatas, a cape that juts into the sea like a sword.