Plakias is located in southern Crete, about 30 minutes' drive or 35 km south of Rethymnon. The houses of Plakias hug a large crescent-shaped bay, with most buildings near the small harbour.
Plakias began to expand after 1970; before that, there were no more than 10 houses. Today there are many small hotels in Plakias, apartments and tavernas to meet the needs of the multitude of summer visitors.
You will find all you need in Plakias, as there are many shops and supermarkets, car rental agencies and tour agencies. However there is no bank, so make sure you have plenty of cash or your credit card with you.
There are also plenty of rooms and hotels in Plakias, so you will easily find what you are looking for.
If you prefer a panoramic view of the Plakias bay from above, stay at Mirthios, a small village clinging to the cliffs above Plakias with a wonderful view of the harbour. Selia, another small village near Plakias, also offers a panoramic view.
Plakias Bay and Mirthios village. Photo by Chris Harrison - All Rights Reserved
There are one or two cafeterias and bars in Plakias, but it's definitely not a place for intense nightlife. People who choose to spend their holidays here do it for the clear sea and the many beautiful beaches in the area.
Plakias, beach guide
The beach of Plakias extends east from the village. It is one of the biggest beaches in Crete, offering a sense of space and comfort to suit every taste - the east end is mainly used by naturists. There are showers all along the beach and many parking spaces.
If it's windy during your stay in Plakias and the northern wind whips you with flying sand, head west to Souda beach. It is more sheltered, with small hotels and a few tavernas.
There are other lovely beaches near Plakias at Damnoni, Amoudi and Mikro Amoudi, which is also a naturists' beach. A little further away are Lefkogia and Schinaria, the preferred beach of scuba divers. The beach of Preveli is also excellent.
For those of you, who enjoy scubadiving, there is a diving centre at the Hotel Calypso near Plakias.
Preveli Monastery & Preveli Palm Forest near Plakias
If you're staying in Plakias, you'll soon get to hear about the date palm forest and the lake at Preveli. This is one of the most famous sights in Crete and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The date palms stand along the bank of the river which flows down through the Kourtaliotis gorge (you have to drive up the gorge to get to Plakias), creating an exotic scene.
Wander along the paths in the palm forest, relax in the shade of the trees and have a dip in the river.
At the spot where the river reaches the sea, there is a beach with umbrellas and a soft drinks canteen. The area is usually full of visitors who come here either by car or by small boat from Plakias and Agia Galini.
If you come by car you can also visit the nearby Moni Preveli (Preveli Monastery), but then you have to walk down a lot of steps to reach the beach and you'll be pretty puffed going back up.
In August 2010 the Preveli palm forest was burned by wildfires, but it managed to recover in a very short period. We all hope that a similar tragedy won't repeat in the future.