Maridaki is one of my favorite places to go, a little seaside village on the southern coast of Crete, west of Tsoutsouras. It’s a special place, remote and small, with an amazing beach and very relaxed feeling. Perfect for a great beach day! Maridaki lies in the Heraklion region on the south coast.
It is not easy to get to, but the trip alone can already be worth going, because it is either a great boat trip or a drive through stunning landscape.
The beautiful beach has smooth pebbles and crystal clear cool water, because of the stream of water that runs through the village and onto the beach. It’s surrounded by high cliffs and rocks, so there are always places with shade to hang out on a hot day, or to have a little nap in between swimming.
There are several ways to get there. There is a road leading to Maridaki, but it is a very long and rugged dirt road that begins 15km north of Maridaki, before the village Ahedrias. The road passes among the towering cliffs and wild rocks of Asterousia Mountains. Much easier is to drive to Tsoutsouros and from there walk to Maridaki on a beautiful path passing through a fantastic landscape with wild carob trees, caves, dry grassland and beautiful views of the sea. Halfway lies the mysterious cave Drakospilia (Dragon’s Cave). It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to walk.
Maridaki is only 5 minutes by boat from Tsoutsouros, so if you are lucky enough to know someone with a boat, who is already there, and can come and get you, it’s a fantastic and fast way to get there. ( I am that lucky) It’s also possible to get a local from Tsoutsouros to bring you there, for a (small) fee of course; just ask around a bit.
A great way to get to Maridaki is by boat ( from Myrtos for instance), which my friends did. Doesn’t take so long and you have spectacular views of the coastline all the way. The only problem is that this area around Tsoutsouros is known for the strong winds (and high waves because of that) so it’s not always possible to get to Maridaki by boat. I tried twice before, but we couldn’t get there then. Luckily there are plenty of other nice beaches and villages on the way, worth a visit, so it will always be a good boat trip. But fortunately this day the weather was perfect to go all the way to Maridaki by boat.
Maridaki is mostly visited by the locals and so it is never crowded. The little village has three tavernas, two next to the beach and one at the back of the village below 200 year old plane trees, just beyond the little church of Saint Panteleimo, with really good food.
It’s the perfect place to go with some friends for a day (or two); the pictures say it all I think.
Maridaki and the road there (by car ánd by boat) are much recommended!
Driving to Tsoutsouros takes about an hour (or a little more) from Myrtos. The road is beautiful, especially the last part that goes up and down steeply, and gives amazing views inland and towards the sea.
Tsoutsouros is a small village built next to the ruins of the ancient city of Inatos. Never really crowded, not touristic and worth a visit. Before or after Maridaki or on its own. The village has a long sandy beach, tavernas, cafes and some rooms and apartments. If you want to eat really good, go to Zorbas on the east side of the village. Lovely place next to the beach with real Cretan food and excellent local wine and cheese. Recommended!