This breath taking, indigenous Palm Forest is located an 11km drive east of Plakias. The endemic Cretan Date Palms (Phoenix Theophrasti) can be found on both sides of the lagoon at the end of the Megalopotamos river, which streams into the sea at Preveli Beach. The humongous cliffs on both sides of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge make it even more spectacular. The river has water all year through thanks to the 5 springs in the Kourtaliotis Gorge, just north of the village of Asomatos.
In August 2010 a fire raged through the forest and the sight was absolutely horrific, but because of the very strong wind during the fire the cores of the trees survived and within a year the forest grew back! The only reminder of the fire are the black trunks.
The path on the left side of the river is the best to walk through the forest. It starts on Preveli Beach, 50 meter east of the taverna. There is also a little church on the other side of the river. Umbrellas and sunbeds are not available on the beach.
There are several ways to get to the Preveli Palm Forest, by car by public bus and by boat.
If you decide to go by car or bus keep in mind that from the parking there are 450 steps down to the beach (and back up again of course) and from the bus stop it is still 500 meters to the parking. For the up to date schedules of the bus click on the logo, choose "with departure from Rethymno" and you will find Plakias-Preveli, which goes 5 times a day.
Another great option is taking a boat from Plakias ( which also eliminates the 450 steps of course). In the season there are several boats a day going back and forth, the first one usually at 10:00am. The boat drops you off at Preveli Beach, literally. The prices are €8,00 one way and €15,00 return (2019).
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