Preveli is 35 km south of Rethymno and 10 km from the Plakias area. It is also known as Lake Preveli or Finikas and is located at the exit of the Gorge of Kourtalis, which is crossed by the Megas Potamos.
Hundreds of visitors arrive at this magnificent place every year. On the banks of the Mega River, there is the 2nd largest palm grove of Crete, about 40 acres, consisting of the native Cretan palm or palm of Theophrastus. In addition to palm trees in the forest, there are plums, oleanders, carob trees, shingles, and reeds. The river forms a lake, before it flows into the sea, and has water all year round. You can walk along the river, under the shade of the palm trees and the rest of the trees and continue walking through the canyon or rent a water bike and make an enjoyable stroll through the river.
Prevelis is a sandy beach with pebble bottom and very cool crystal clear waters due to the river. It is not one of the most organized beaches, without umbrellas and deck chairs, but there are some taverns and snack bars nearby.
There are three basic options to get to Preveli. The first option is driving from Plakias to Preveli Monastery. 1.5 km away, from the Monastery there is a large parking area, where there is a path leading to the beach. The parking area is located over towering vertical cliffs, to the west of the beach, where you can take beautiful photographs of the beach and the view. Walking to the beach takes about 15-20 minutes. However, the return may be a bit tedious, as the climb is a little steep.
The secondary option and for the one who wants to avoid the tedious climb, can drive to the dirt road leading to Drimisianos Ammoudi beach and then walking about 5 minutes to Preveli beach.
Finally, the third and most relaxing choice is the boats that start from Agia Galini and Plakias to Preveli Beach.
The Preveli beach is named after the historic Monastery, which consists of two distinct monasteries, the Lower Monastery of Prodromos and the Monastery of the Theologian. Kato Moni is ruined, it is located near the Great River and the beautiful bridge with arches of the area. It was founded in the 10th-11th century. The monastery was open all year round with the surrounding areas, ideal for livestock farming and cultivations. It is abandoned and destroyed because of the many raids by the conquerors of each period.
The Monastery of Piso Moni operates regularly throughout the year as a male monastery and can be visited. It has 20 cells, guest houses, a library, and a museum. At the center of the monastery, there is the temple of the monastery with the magnificent iconostasis, in honor of Saint John and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. The monastery was destroyed twice during the Ottoman domination in 1646 and 1770. It played an important role during the struggle of the rebels, it became a refuge for some Greek warriors as well as for foreign soldiers who participated in the Battle of Crete.
The view from the Monastery is unique, as it is built on a very great height, giving unprecedented pictures to the Libyan Sea.