Platanes, 5km to the east of
an averagely-sized package holiday destination. Twenty years ago Platanes was an
unremarkable suburb of Rethymno lying on the old Rethymno-Iraklio road. Then,
thanks to the very long, beautiful beach, tourism arrived. It has really
developed in the last two decades: luxury hotels such as El Greco and Creta
Palace were built in the area. There are also the usual cheaper rent rooms and
pensions in the centre. Though there’s nothing particularly special to see in
Platanes or neighbouring Adele, holidaymakers come for the beach and for
Platanes’ proximity to Rethymno. The busy main road which goes through the
centre of Platanes is a bit of an eyesore, and serves to detract from the
attractiveness of the village.
The 8km beach which goes from Platanes through Adele down to Rethymno is one of
the longest and best of Crete. The 8km from the eastern area of Rethymno (known
as the ‘new town’) to Platanes and Adele is crammed with hotels, supermarkets,
nightclubs, restaurants and all kinds of businesses catering to the whims and
needs of tourists.
A very good place to stay in Platanes is Apollon Hotel Apartments
with mice studios and bigger holiday apartments for families. One of the advantages of Platanes is its excellent bus connections; in high
season there is a bus every twenty minutes to Rethymno (€1.20 in 2008). From
there you can catch buses to all other parts of Crete. Platanes is not a bad
choice for those seeking a traditional package holiday deal, but who also want
to see Crete by bus. Plantanes has nothing special to offer apart from the
beach. Those who like to walk can take a wide footpath along the waterfront to
Rethymno (approximately one hour’s walk).
Platanes beach is home to the eggs of the sea turtle (Caretta Caretta). Their
nests are signposted, and it is prohibited to go to the beach at night in
summer, so as not to disturb the turtles hatching. The baby turtles find their
way to the sea using the moonlight, and other lights (from a fire, for example)
could cause a turtle to go astray.
There is a Lidl supermarket in Platanes. Because of the high prices of Cretan
supermarkets, many foreigners living in Crete come to Platanes for their