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Published: September 30th 2017
Oasis at Preveli ...
... very neat, with cool freshwater pools surrounded by palm trees just as the river meets the sea.
Geo: 35.51, 24.02
An oasis is something typically associated with a desert, a little pocket of paradise in one of the driest places found on Earth, with cool, refreshing pools of water surrounded by lush, verdant vegetation. It's imagery straight out of a movie, with a cliched protagonist finally finding it at the climactic point in the film, when he seemingly can continue no further, finally ready to succumb to death. It's not something you'd expect to find on Crete's beautiful coastline, but we managed to do just that today.
We were a bit like that typical movie protagonist, in that our laziness meant we had a late start to the day, and that we descended down a steep, rocky path down to Preveli Beach during the hottest part of the day. There's nothing worse than the feeling of being slowly roasted like suckling pigs as the searing Cretan sun reflected off the rocks below and behind us, and off the Libyan Sea in front of us, finally reaching the bottom dehydrated and exhausted. But when in Greece, the bad often becomes good, as it made our arrival at Preveli all the sweeter ...
Preveli truly has a special location, at the end
Preveli Beach ...
.. from high above, a hot ten-minute walk down, and an even hotter twenty-minute walk back up.
of a gorge where a river empties into the Sea, creating cool freshwater pools ringed by palm trees. It truly is a sight straight out of a movie, and is made even more spectacular by the rugged cliffs serving as a backdrop for this scene, and the sparkling clear sea on the other side; it's a unique combination that I can't imagine you would find anywhere else in the World.
We didn't want to leave Preveli so quickly, but rising temperatures and limited time in Crete meant that we had to, as this afternoon and evening would be our only opportunity to see another one of Crete's gems, Chania. Being over a three-hour round trip drive from where we were staying in Damnoni, it hardly seemed worth the effort to drive there for only a handful of hours, but it turned out to be one of our best decisions of the trip.
Chania is excessively touristy for a reason - the place is absolutely stunning, with its combination of Turkish and Venetian buildings, which have been converted into art galleries, boutique hotels, cafes, and restaurants oozing with character. There is no shortage of diversions here, and Chania was a perfect
place to have our last dinner and spend our last full night in Crete. Normally, we would be disappointed to have left behind a paradise like we had found earlier today, but Chania's charms made us forget all about Preveli ... at least, for a few glorious hours ...
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