The Menies beach is located in a small bay, on the northeastern edge of Peninsula Rodopos, precisely 45 km northwest of Chania. This is a stunning and isolated beach with white pebbles and deep crystal blue water which takes the breath away of every visitor. The whole beach leaves the impression of a true paradise with the beauty of wild nature.
The little bay is protected from the wind, so you can choose this destination for relaxation. If you are looking to avoid the hot summer sun, you can seek shade in the trees that are a little above the coast. While you are having a wonderful time swimming and resting on the beach, do not get surprised if you see goats there. This is one of the signs that confirms the place’s untouched nature.
This is a must-visit location if you do not like urban and crowded beaches because there are no signs of modern civilization.
However, if you are planning to come to Menies beach take with you the essentials as there are no facilities on the beach or close to it. In fact, the closest village is 20 km away – the Rodopou Village.
Attractive wild Creten nature is not the only reason why you should visit this destination. This place carries a long and vivid history from ancient times. Let’s find more about it!
Note: If you are looking for a peaceful, and quiet beach, far away from the crowds then we recommend you check out the private boat trip to Menies & Hironisia Bay!
Sanctuaries for the goddess Vritomartis or Diktinna
One of the most interesting stories about this location comes from the Cretan times. They have been fascinated by the stunning landscape of Menies beach so they chose the bay to build one of their most glorious sanctuaries. It was dedicated to their respected goddess Vritomartis or Diktinna. In ancient times, the goddess of nature, mountains, and hunting was incredibly important.
Therefore, this Diktynnaion sanctuary was actually a popular religious center and locals from the whole island come there to see it. Valuable and significant findings are mainly from the Roman period including the Hadrian head and goddess Artemis statue. Exploring the ruins left there will give you the chance to connect with the far past and with the beliefs people had in those times.
Monastery of St. George
If you already had a chance to visit this stunning bay, do not hesitate to visit nearby attractions. Two of them are St. George abandoned monastery and St. John the Giona impressive chapel. You will easily find the sign as well as the route for those places. In fact, if you take a right turn 2km before the Menies beach you will easily find the destination.
The monastery was built about the 9th century A.C. and the monks abandoned it some centuries later. Unfortunately, they were forced to leave their monastery because pirates attacked it constantly. When they decided to move, they built another monastery with the same name in Gonia, bear Kolymbari. However, when you visit the old monastery you will notice the ruins of a tower. This tower was built during the 16th century. Monastery used this tower in order to notice pirates on time and prepare themselves for the defense.
The natural beauty of the Menies beach
The land is protected from the Natura 2000 since it is full of incredible species of wild Cretan flora. The nature there is completely untouched which makes the whole landscape incredibly stunning. When people visit this destination, the incredible flowers and trees take their breath away.
The Temple or German Fortress
One more attraction is a special temple that was built according to Herodotus by Samius from Kydonia around 530 BC. However, the temple became even more popular during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Two cities Kydonia and the Polyrinia were fighting for control of this temple for a long time in the past. Therefore, sometimes one, sometimes other city had control over it.
During the Second World War, Germans occupied the temple and there is no real evidence of what they found in that place. Some things are recently found such as the goddess Artemis statue, Hadrian head, and one more body statue. All of them are currently presented in Chania’s Archaeological Museum.
However, the temple is also known as the German Fortress. The road that leads to the temple is full of big stones that go from there to Polyrinia city. Also, when you are going by that route, you will notice ruins from the past. This route length is 16,291 meters.
A "secret" beach worth visiting!
Menies Beach is one of the most beautiful secret beaches and an ideal destination for relaxation. However, this is not just one of the regular beaches because this one holds secrets and stories from the past. You can be a part of it and feel the true ancient atmosphere this beach brings very easily. Since the area is full of gravel and it is not so approachable, we recommend you book a private boat tour.