Sand dunes of St. Paul

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Sand dunes of St. Paul

The sand dunes of Agios Pavlos or Alatsogremnos (salt cliffs), as the locals call them, are formed between Cape Melissa and the Akoumianos River, to the southwest of Stomio. It is an impressive beach, on the south coast of Rethymno on the road to the beach of Triopetra and close to the picturesque village of Agios Pavlos. According to the locals, St. Paul took refuge there during his trip to Rome. Alatsogremni is a fantastic beach with deep, crystal clear waters in a wild and enchanting landscape with huge dunes approaching 25 to 30 meters heigh. Climb the sand dunes is quite difficult especially during noon hours when the sand is really hot.
 
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of Rethymnon. It's a long beach (almost 1 km long) and due to that fact in never seems crowded, making it also suitable for nudism. The beach in some places is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds. In the center of the beach, between the caves that are formed, you can find natural shade. The sunset of this Southern Cretan area is stunning and the peaceful atmosphere has attracted a very good club of yoga and Tai Chi, with some of the best trainers around the globe. The best sunset can be viewed from peak Thronos at an altitude of 300 m, directly above the beach, overlooking the Paximadia islands. 
 
The beach is vulnerable to westerly winds and should be avoided when such winds blow in the area. The water temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees Celsius making it ideal for swimming all year round. The seabed is quite rich and ideal for snorkeling.
 
The easiest way to reach the beach is by leaving the car in the village of Agios Pavlos and then walk for about '10 minutes the path, that leads to the west side of the beach. Alternatively, you can take the road that starts just before the village and ends at a large plateau above the beach. From there you can go down the steep sandy dunes. Be careful because the sand can be very hot.