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Plakias Trip Report

Plakias is probably our favourite beach destination. The main beach is over a kilometre long with the far end framed by sheer cliffs, high mountains and the sea. There are several other beaches within 3 kilometers so there are options for everyone.

We have always stayed near the village but this time we chose a hotel right at the cliff side. I am still not sure if its best to stay in the village and walk to the beach or stay at the beach and walk into the village for dinner and shopping. One thing remained the same though sitting at a beach side bar and watching the sun set before finding a taverna for dinner.

The drive to Plakias was done under some duress as there were high winds whipping us. I swear one gust blew the car about a foot sideways toward the side of the road.

It was good when we finally got to Plakias. We could feel salt spray in a parking lot some 100 meters from the beach. We’re at Paliogarmes, the hotel and taverna across from our favourite beach bar. It is a traditional Greek hotel layout with the beds and furniture in Blues whites and yellows. It had a small kitchenette and a very tiny bathroom . Traditional Greek bathrooms can be an adventure, with a shower curtain in the corner, a toilet and a sink all in about 4 square feet. Fortunately, we are experienced with Greek bathrooms and remembered to throw the toilet paper out of the bathroom before we showered. If we forgot the whole roll gets soaked.

The room however was completely up dated and cheerful. It was 42 steps up stairs to get to the room. We have to remember to pack less stuff. Those 3 suitcases were not getting any lighter and the stairs didn’t help. We had a great view of the beach though.

The hotel not only had the beach bar but it had its own taverna in a lovely treed garden. We were not in the mood to be further buffeted by the wind so we dined at the hotel.

We had baked potato with ham and cheese, fried zucchini slices, and carbonara baked in the oven. Comfort food, after the drive was necessary for sure!

Next day we walked about a kilometre to the village and did some grocery shopping for Greek salad ingredients. We picked up an onion, a cucumber, a red pepper and a handful of olives for lunch. Cost was 70 cents. A small sourdough crusty loaf of bread from the bakery was 1.5 euros. We already had wine, cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar from our previous nights in Elounda and we prepared our own Greek salad virtually every day at lunch.

Our favourite taverna is Sofia. Its been 3 years since we were last there but the waiter immediately recognized us and rushed out to greet us. We promised to come back for dinner and spent the rest of the day on the beach. That evening we were greeted with a glass of Raki and we shared a yammas toast with the waiter. We ordered Sofias famous stuffed mushrooms, cheese saganaki in a pot, grilled vegetables in Balsamic reduction and eggplant and cheese in pot. Its good to be back in Plakias.

Next morning there was no wind so we took the car out I the morning to one of the traditional villages high up in the surrounding mountains. We continued along the road and stopped at another village where we previously met an English lady who had an art studio with a magnificent view all the way down to sea. She was still there but seemed to have aged and her spark was no longer there. We chatted for a while and purchased a greeting card taken of one of her paintings. We didn’t even know how much she wanted for it and she must have taken 5 minutes to cut up a piece of cardboard to protect the card. She wanted 3.50 for it and all I had was 4 euros in coin. I said how about we negotiate the price will you take 4 euros. She said no she wanted 3.50 but would donate the extra 50 cents to the stray cat food fund.

Posted by
3829 posts

I love how you can convey your sense of “hominess”. Reading it makes me feel content, right along with you. :)

Posted by
1317 posts

Thank you Texas mom. I am glad you are enjoying the reports. Here is the last part of our trip report.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach, watched the sun set over the sea and had dinner at Tasomanolis another outdoor taverna in a garden setting. We had fried tomato balls, shrimp saganaki, and pork souflaki.

The next day we drove to Previlli Monastary. Its still in operation and has quite a history. The monks were famous for rebellion and took on the Turks and aided Allied soldiers to escape Crete by submarine in the second world war. There is an older Prevali Monastry on the way. It was abandoned after sustaining earthquake damage. I also understand it was damaged in the war. Last time we were here, it had reopened for tourists but it seems to be very closed up now.

We then backtracked and drove down to Previlli Beach. It is famous because it has a palm forest and a river running through the beach. This was another hairy drive with narrow roads, switchbacks, blind curves ,cliffs with no guard rails and oncoming traffic. Fortunately it is now paved. The last time we did that drive I knew we were in trouble when three safari Jeeps came up the road towards us. Yikes we are in a tiny car on a narrow gravel road frequented by all terrain vehicles!

We returned to Plakias and went to the beach bar where I medicated myself with several ouzos to get over the drive. I really am ready to simply take the bus in the future.

That evening we had dinner at Antonia’s Place. We had, grilled peppers, fried zucchini, and what was called a stuffed meat ball however it was the size of a meatloaf. And a complimentary dessert and raki. A new favourite taverna!

Next day was our last so we spent the day on the beach, sunset at the beach bar and back to Sofias for our last dinner.

We have now made an executive decision. It is better to stay in the village and not have so far to stumble back to the hotel after dinner. Already planning a return to Plakias in September 2023.

Plakias 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299863731

Posted by
3295 posts

Never got to Plakias .. my loss. But good to listen to your meals. At least my fridge has olives, feta & red onions for lunch. Cheers!

Posted by
2088 posts

Great timing on this report! We will be ending our September trip to Crete in Plakias. Your gorgeous photos are making us so excited. And I so appreciate the helpful notes on restaurants and things to see.

But I am rethinking our hotel (although it may be too late now to rebook). We booked the Lamon hotel, primarily for its sea views. We think the location is good, but I would appreciate confirmation that it is, indeed, in the village? It’s not particularly charming … I may continue to look. Any tips would be welcome!

Posted by
33 posts

stanbr, your photos are inviting and picturesque. I am a solo traveler with 6 RS 'myway trips' on the books. I'm planning my 1st trip to Greece in May 2023 for 14 days, not including flight time. My 1st stop is Crete for 3 nights. Looking at your sunset photos and pleasant beach scenes I'm wondering if 3 nights is enough? Based on your experience, what are your thoughts?

My itinerary is in draft form. My other locations are Santorini 2 nights; Naxos 2 nights; Mykonos 3 nights and Athens 3 nights.
If this looks too busy, I could reduce one location. I know I can't see it all in one trip and plan on returning. I enjoy walking and think Greece would be a fun place to visit.

Posted by
1317 posts

Hi Charlene. Indeed Lamon is in the village directly across the main road with a view of the beach. It is centrally located.
We have never stayed there so can't comment further. It is a nice looking building from the outside.

lah Your sequence of island choices makes sense from a logistical view, Heraklion Crete to Santorini is a daily route with several ferry options. There are several sailings from Santorini to Naxos daily and while I have not done Naxos to Mykonos that is a fairly short hop.

While your sequence of islands works the time allotted to each island is whofully inadequate. You have to understand that every ferry hop uses up a minimum of half a day. The earliest ferry from Heraklion to Santorini gets you there between 11:30 and 12. It will take you about an hour to get to your hotel so you Santorini visit starts at 1pm. Same situation for you hop to Naxos the earliest ferry from Santorini as I recall gets into Naxos around noon. Same situation for your hop to Mykonos. Each of those island hops reduces your visit time to a day and a half. I predict you will regret the decision to visit as many islands as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Greece is a place that needs to be experienced slowly. Crete is very large and needs two to 4 weeks. Frankly there is no reason to visit Crete within the time frame you have.

With your time, here is what I would do. with 10 days budgeted on the islands. Night 1 day of arrival of arrival fly to Santorini. There are several flights a day from Athens including a late night one if you are getting in later in the evening. Santorini is absolutely beautiful. It is also crowded and very expensive. I would do 3 nights there which will allow you time to take in the views and some exploration of the island.

Ferry to Naxos. Naxos will give you an authentic Greek island Experience. It is like a mini Crete with an old town Venetian Kastro experience in the main town. There are good beaches nearby with mountain villages to explore and hike around. Most importantly the people you meet on Naxos live there year round and they are happy that you have chosen their island.
We always spend a minimum of a week on Naxos and we have visited 15 times. We keep finding new places and things that we had not seen previously. Naxos will keep you fully occupied for a week.

While Mykonos is lovely it has chosen to market itself as a high jet setter destination. Naxos is just as pretty, has better beaches and prices half of what you will pay in Mykonos. If Mykonos is a must see then consider taking a day excursion from Naxos that stops at a huge archaeological site at Delos then goes to Mykonos for 3 hours.

3 nights in Athens is about right.

Here are some recent photos of Naxos. I have not been able to finish up that trip report but the photos are ready.

Back to Naxos 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299940917

Trip around Naxos https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157634605629689
Chalki and Vivlos villages https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299950915
Naxos sunsets https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157700728046481