Preveli is located about 35km south of Rethymno. Beach of Preveli, also known as Lake Preveli or Phoenix, is located at the exit of the imposing Kourtaliotikos Gorge, where the Great River (Megas Potamos) is flowing.It is certainly the most famous beach in southern Crete, accepting thousands of visitors every summer. During the 60s and 70s, it was a favorite destination for hippies. On the banks of the Grand River there is a large colony of Theophrastus palm trees, which give the region a sense of an African landscape. The river, forming a large lake, 1.5km long, before emptying into the sea, has water all year round. You can walk along the river, under the shade of palm trees and other trees. You can swim in the cold ponds formed in the gorge.At the exit of the river, a sandy beach with pebbles and sand is formed, with sea water being very cool due to the river. In the eastern part of the beach, there is a beautiful rock reminding of a mast. Moreover, you could rent pedal boats for a ride in the river.
Gorge Kourtaliotis or Kourtaliotiko located south of Rethymno, 22km from the city of Rethymnon and has a length of 3km. It is one of the most impressive natural sights of Rethymno. Starting from Koxare village and flows between Kouroupa mountains (984 m) and Dry Condition (904m). The huge cliffs of the gorge reach 600 meters and is full of openings and caves where they live important species of fauna. Inside pass Kourtaliotis River that crosses part of the canyon and flows into Lake Preveli, it joined with the Frati Gorge. In his latest piece called Big River
The Monastery of Preveli
Preveli gets its name after the nearby historic monastery of Preveli. It is a men-only monastery, founded in the 16th or 17th century and is dedicated to St. John the Theologian.
There are two monasteries, the old and the new, called Piso and Kato Monastery respectively. The old is abandoned and you will meet that a few meters south of the old stone bridge, on the road to Preveli.
The new monastery of Preveli, Piso Moni, is the most important monastery in the region. From the abundant offerings of the pilgrims, a huge real estate fortune has been gathered. The monastery has twenty cells, a hostel, a library and a museum where vestments, sacred vessels and important religious relics are exhibited. In the outdoor fountain you’ll see a carved inscription, dating back in 1701. Inside the church there is a silver chandelier, high a valuable golden Holy Cross with precious stones that is believed to be miraculous. There’s also an elaborate pontifical throne and a pulpit.The view from the monastery is unique, since it located on a very high point overlooking the vast Libyan Sea.