There are people who will argue that Shinaria is the most beautiful beach in Crete. Immoderate as this might sound, Shinaria Beach does bring together a hard-to-find set of features.
First of all, it can be easily accessed through the main country road that connects Rethymno with the broader area of Plakias, South Crete. In fact, it is the closest to Rethymno City southern beach; just a 30-minute drive through the daunting Kourtaliotis Gorge, some very popular villages and rich flora. Secondly, it is secluded and not really crowdy – except perhaps weekends. On the other hand, the tavern above the beach will provide pretty much everything you might need. In addition, the small but relatively deep bay formed around the beach protects it from winds ensuring an ever calm water surface, totally safe for both adults and children. The beach has sand and pebbles and the turquoise waters are crystal clear and usually a bit cold. But most importantly, the sea bed is a natural marvel! It hosts huge morays, blackfish, octopus and generally all types of local marine biology, in abundance. With water clarity exceeding 40m in horizontal direction, it is no coincidence that the beach attracts divers from all over the world. If you are not into the sport, you can enjoy snorkeling or just the waters and the warming sun.
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