Also known as Palm Beach, dazzling Preveli Beach is one of Crete’s most celebrated strands. At the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, where the river Megalopotamos empties into the Libyan Sea, the palm-lined river banks have freshwater pools good for a dip. The beach is backed by rugged cliffs and punctuated by a heart-shaped boulder at the water’s edge.
A steep path leads down to the beach (10 minutes) from a car park (€2), 1km before Moni Preveli.
There’s some natural shade, and umbrellas and loungers can be hired from a couple of seasonal snack bars. Once on the beach, you’ll have to cross the ankle-deep river to reach the sandiest stretch.