Agia Galini (meaning: holy peace) is a very charming - yet touristic - village in the Bay of Messara in the south of Crete. It's situated on a steep hill a little north of Matala at a distance of one and a half hours drive from Heraklion. Originally a small fishing village, Agia Galini with its streets of white painted houses crowded on three sides by mountains, opens onto an attractive harbor which still maintains its typical Cretan appeal.
The natural beauty of the emerald beaches, the rugged caves in the west, the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, the memories of the hippies and the tranquility of the sea, have made this village a favorite destination for thousands of visitors.
Agia Galini is the ideal place if you want to combine mountains and sea. It is a perfect location to discover other nice nearby beaches such as Agios Georgios, Agios Pavlos, Triopetra and the famous palm beach of Preveli. These beaches can also be reached by boat. Away from the coast you can enjoy the real Cretan spirit in the mountain villages of Mt. Kendros and along the South side of the Ida Mountain Rage. Agia Galini is also a good base from where you can visit the nearby famous archaeological sites of Phaestos and Gortyna.
Daedalus and Icarus
In Agia Galini is also located the cave of Daedalus, where, according to myth, Daedalus hid himself to protect from the king of Crete Minos. He used the cave as a laboratory and constructed wings from wax. From a hill of Agia Galini he flew to freedom together with his son Icarus. Icarus, however, flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he crashed and drowned near the island that took its name, Ikaria. Dedalus buried his son on the island, continued his flight and landed to Kimi in Italy. In 1963 a map was drawn of the cave and during WWII the locals took refuge there of the German bombings. Nowadays the locals, with the help of the local cultural society built a small park to honor the legendary Daedalos.
Places worth visiting nearby Agia Galini
Kokkinos Pyrgos is a small village near Tymbaki. The beach, taverns and cafes are among the local population of the region is very popular, so that you see here usually more locals than tourists.
The sandy beach is clean and the water of the sea is clear blue and really nice for swimming.
Paximadia ("rusks") are two small uninhabited islands in the gulf of Messara located approximately 12 km (7 mi) south of Agia Galini in Rethymnon regional unit. They are in the Libyan Sea next to the southern coast of Crete. Due to their close proximity to one another, the two islands appear as one from a distance.
Kalamaki is situated on a beautiful sandy beach (the largest beach in the south of Crete) with clear blue water.
On the horizon you can see the islands of Gavdos and Paximadia and long beach is ideal for long walks.
The Kommos beach, which can be reached on foot from Kalamaki, was to Minoan times the port of Phaistos. Here is an archaeological site, which shows the visitors the history and ancient Cretan culture.
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