Let me show you one of my favorite places in Crete: Triopetra Beach. No clear shallow water or fine sand here, but a fascinating geological structure at the end where it looks as if a giant played with sheets of rocks. Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
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Why visit Triopetra Beach in Crete?
About the name Triopetra
Triopetra is a cape with 3 rocks. Hence the name.
It is a fascinating geological structure where it looks like sheets of rocks have been piled.
This is absolutely fascinating to explore. It is one of my favorite beaches in Crete.
There are beaches on both side of the cape.
Which one is Triopetra beach?
As you read about Triopetra, you might get confused with very different descriptions of beaches.
This is because both side of the cape are called Triopetra and their beaches offer very different features:
- On the South East side you can first find the small Triopetra beach (or Koumado) with sand and rocks, small and protected bay with tavern and sunbeds
- East of the small one is a Triopetra beach with sand and rocks, tavern and sunbeds as well
- West of the 3 rocks is a 1km long beach with small pebbles: also called Triopetra (or Chatzi) - This is the one where you easily access the rock formation and this is the one I am focusing on in this article.
Planning Tips - Triopetra Beach Crete
How to get to Triopetra Beach Location
- Located on the South Coast of Crete, off the beaten path
- Between Plakias and Matala
- A little out of the way, you drive down the mountain from the main road
- Renting a car? Check out the local company Rental Center Crete - great reviews and a zero-excess insurance policy (so you don't have to worry) - Get a quote
- Plakias to Triopetra = 1h drive
- Matala to Triopetra = 1h10 drive
- Rethymno to Triopetra = 1h drive
- See my tips for driving in Crete
Triopetra (with its GPS coordinates) is included in my eBook:
- 5 easy-to-plan Maps
- 60+ Scenic locations for your itinerary
- 16+ extra photo stops and places to see
- Planning info to make the most of your time
- GPS coordinates for peace of mind
- 150+ original photos to help you select where to go
Visiting Triopetra Beach - Tips
- The West Triopetra beach is 1km long with only a few sunbeds and 1 tavern by the beach - Most of the beach remains wild
- The rocks are at one end of the beach, you have to walk a couple of minutes on the small pebbles to reach them
- Limited facilities
- Limited accommodations - Check out the options
A long beach with small pebbles
Before I share more pictures of the stunning geological rock formations, below are a few shots of the beach itself.
As you can see it is long and wide so it never feels crowded!
It is surrounded by beautiful mountains. So the drive to get there is very scenic. I am sharing pictures from the roads at the end of the article.
You can only find a few sunbeds and a tavern at the West end of the beach. It is a rather quiet environment.
The space is great if you have kids, but be aware that the beach is facing Partially West, so there are often big waves.
The floor is coarse, a mix of sand and small rocks, as you can see in the picture below.
The 3 rocks of Triopetra - Geology
So what makes the area so special?
I really love the geological formations at the end of the beach. They are quite fascinating.
They look as if a giant played with sheets of rocks and made some stacks with them.
In this area, the plane (parallel) beds of sedimentation have been exposed by weathering you can can see the evolution and different types of rocks. Fascinating!
Sadly I have not been able to find information about the geology of this particular area. But I will keep searching!
Climbing at the Beach of Triopetra Crete
If you arrive from the long Triopetra beach, you can easily climb around the rocks to have a look closer.
You will discover that there actually is more than the 3 rocks. The whole cape is similar.
It feels like exploring a mini-canyon with the sound of the waves in the background.
You can see pieces that have fallen showing different aspects of the rocks. Have a look at those pictures! I love such geological formations 🙂
And from the level of the rocks, you get a nice views of the whole beach and the mountains:
Cave at Triopetra Beach
Right next to the 3 rocks is an area where the sedimentary bedding has been revealed but has not collapse. So everything is well aligned and you have wall of rock sheets.
See on the picture below the size of the people sitting next to the structure.
In the middle is a small cave:
Stunning roads around
As you drive to Triopetra from Plakias and the West, the South coast road is stunning with mountains and views at every turn.
It is the same as you keep driving from Triopetra Beach towards the East and Matala.
Want to see more of CRETE?
Are you as fascinated as me by such geological formations?
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