Visit The Famous palm forest Monastery and beach at Moni Preveli
Moni Preveli - The monastery of Preveli Ancient Palm Forest and River Estuary Beach. Preveli is located on the South coast of Crete roughly opposite the city of Rethymnon. If you come from the North you will follow the road to Spili and branch off around 20 km from Rethymnon following a sign to Plakias and Preveli. Heading South you pass through the Kourtaliotiko gorge , a short but impressive gorge through which flows the river Kourtaliotis which is then joined by other streams to form the Megapotamos (literally the big river) which flows towards the sea through the palm forest of Preveli. This is one of the few rivers in Crete that flows all year around.Park by one of the Taverna`s and follow the waymarks over the headland path to the beach and palm forest. After the village of Asomatos turn left then 1.5km later left again. You will soon arrive at an impressive Turkish style bridge crossing the Megapotamos. It was built in 1850 for the monks of Preveli. After the bridge the road ascends again and skirts around the ruined monastery of Kato Preveli. Unfortunately it is fenced off and you cannot visit it but you can have a good view from the road. The road keeps ascending and turns to the West (leaving a short branch heading South to Preveli beach and the palm forest). It is quite a rough track (July 2014) but passable. In high season best to make an early start to enjoy the walk to the beach and the palm forest (strong shoes or boots, sun hats and water recommended!) It passes a recent monument commemorating the resistance of the monks of Preveli to the German invaders in World War II and their help in evacuating Alllied soldiers to Egypt. Another bend in the road lets Moni Preveli appear. The monastery is a famous place for visitors so it may be busy at times. In the summer it is open daily from 8.00 to 13.30 and 16.00 to 19.00 (bear in mind that these times could change).
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