The lonely cove of Menies

The approx. 100 m long and 20 m wide pebble beach Menies Beach is located in a protected landscape area of the Rodopou peninsula, which juts into the Aegean Sea in northwest Crete between the bays of Chania and Kissamos.

Rodopou is not yet connected to asphalt roads at all. A 4x4 off-road vehicle is the right vehicle here, because the tracks are extremely rough in places. The drive through deserted, but sheep- and goat-rich nature is the greatest experience.

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Shortly after the village of Rodopou, the asphalt ends. Now the road continues on a wide track. Sheep and goats are its main users. The track ends after 16.4 km in an abandoned coastal settlement with the 100 m long and 20 m wide pebble beach Menies. The Greek flag flies next to a small white chapel.

German soldiers were stationed here during the Second World War, guarding this side of the bay of Chania. Remains of machine-gun and anti-aircraft emplacements can still be seen.

At the edge of the village, directly on the slope, there is a brown sign with the inscription 'Sanctuary of Diktynna'. It points out that in Hellenistic-Roman antiquity, a temple to the goddess Vritomartis stood here, the Cretan version of the deity otherwise called Artemis, who above all protected marriage and pregnant women. In ancient times - unlike today - a paved road even led up to here. To find the very sparse remains, you have to walk a few minutes up the southern slope from the signpost.

From here, go back the same way you came. After 12.5 km, however, turn right and follow the signs to Ágios Ioannis and Agios Pavlos. After only 700 m, you will inevitably step on the brakes, as you are presented with a breathtakingly beautiful view: Across the wide bay of Kissamos, you look out onto the Gramvousa peninsula and also see the fortress island of Gramvousa at the tip.


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