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It’s winter in Crete, the skies and seas are gorgeous in their drama, but the occasionally high winds and cool temperatures keep us inside most of the time. Except to see some damage that high seas caused in my home area of Koum Kapi (Chania) a week ago, I haven’t been to a beach in nearly a month. Seems like the perfect time to succumb to a little nostalgia and travel back in memory to one of the most enjoyable trips that my wife Oksana and I took last June. We spent a day and night at Ligres beach in the south of Crete in the Rethymno prefecture and headed out the next morning for the next beach over – Triopetra (which means Three Stones and is pronounced Tree-O-petra). There are actually two sections to this beach. The more developed area to the southeast is relatively small and has several taverns and lots of chaises longues with umbrellas. But there is a much larger swath of wide open beach just to the northwest of the three stones that stand out in the sea. And this is where we pulled up to take our daily swim. It is a huge sandy beach with fine round stones taking over as you enter the water. I don’t know why, but the day we were there we almost had the entire place to ourselves. The beach runs a good 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) and there were just three other people there with us. The water, as is always true of the Libyan Sea, was sparkling clear and crisply fresh. It made for a marvelous respite from the heat closing in on us that day. Most of the visitors were bunched down at the bottom end of the beach, next to the famed Three Stones and some caves in the rocks. We gave them all a wide berth and kept to the open sea and beach at the other end. There is no way I could possibly name a favorite beach on Crete, or even a top five – but I must say that whenever I am compelled to revel in memories of a perfect day at the beach, I invariably set my inner sights on Triopetra.

Text and photos © John Freedman, 2020.

The Three Stones of Triopetra beach, looking southeast.
The Three Stones of Triopetra beach.
Looking northwest from a bluff above Triopetra beach.