HERAKLION APART FROM KNOSSOS

MESSARA PLAIN KOKKINOS PIRGOS BEACH

KOKKINOS PIRGOS BEACH

In the southwestern part of the Prefecture of Heraklion there is the plain of Messara which is the largest in Crete. The plain is known for its fertile soil, its warm climate and its hardworking people. Due to these there are large cultivated areas with olive groves and greenhouse crops with early vegetables. Every year they produce large quantities of extra virgin olive oil and vegetables of high quality which are sold in the Greek and European markets.



In antiquity large cities flourished there with the most famous being the ancient Phaistos. At the edge of the plain of Messara there is a huge beach many kilometers long that starts from Kommos beach and extends to the beach of Agia Galini. In between there is Kalamaki beach near the homonymous settlement, Kataliki beach near the village of Kokkinos Pyrgos which is the port of the town of Tympaki and Makrimallianabeach near the homonymous settlement. The first two have easy access to the public ideal for family vacations. Makrimalliana beach is almost inaccessible to the public but retains in its entirety the wild beauty of Southern Crete.

Near Kataliki is the estuary of the river Geropotamos which is the largest in Crete. Ξ€here a wetland is formed which in the winter months hosts many species of wildlife. It is also a passage for many migratory birds but in the summer months it dries up and life begins again in the fall. The beach itself hosts wildlife as it is a breeding ground for the CARETTA CARETTA turtle. Wildlife and especially turtles are protected by organizations such as Archelonas Click for more.. in collaboration with the locals. Every year the deposition points are marked and fenced so that nothing disturbs the birth and the contact of the turtles with the sea.



While the beach is single, access walking from Kommos to Agia Galini is interrupted by the fencing of the military airport of Tympaki located in the middle. It would be nice if the airport fence was limited to a few tens of meters away from the shore so that a coastal road could be built to connect all these beaches thus forming a single and accessible whole for the public. So far this has not been possible but it is a nice idea that would help in the further tourism development of the area.

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