Menies beach, Platanias, Chania

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Author: Giannis Foudoulakis
Menies beach in Platanias, Chania, Crete

The beach Menies or Diktinna is located in a small bay, in the northeastern edge of Cape Rodopou. In order to get there, you need to drive through a bumpy dirt road of approximately 17 km, which starts from the village Rodopou and ends at the beach. The road is quite difficult, which makes it prohibitive for conventional cars. This area however, which is included in the Natura 2000 protection network, is very beautiful and during the journey you will have views of the wild Cretan landscape. Untouched by uncontrolled growth, the peninsula Rodopou is a unique opportunity to experience the Cretan nature and to feel the authenticity of the place.

The magic of this landscape fascinated obviously the ancient Cretans, who chose the bay Menies to build one of their most glorious sanctuaries, which was dedicated to the goddess Vritomartis or Diktinna. This goddess of the hunting, mountains and nature was very important in ancient times and therefore the Diktynnaion sanctuary was a famous religious center and was attracting people from all over the island. Significant findings survive mainly from the Roman period, among them a head of Hadrian and a statue of the goddess Artemis.

When you come in Menies take with you the essentials as there are no facilities on the beach or close to it. The beach has crystal clear water and pebbles. In order to avoid the scorching summer sun, you can seek shade in the trees that are a little above the coast. If you have courage after the tedious route, then do not hesitate to visit the nearby abandoned monastery of St. George as well as the beautiful chapel of St. John the Giona, for which there is a sign in the first kilometers of the dirt road.

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