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Dafnorouma Beach

Dafnorouma Beach


Dafnorouma beach is located in a hard to reach area between Bali and Skepasti, province Mylopotamos. The name Dafnorouma comes after the words daphne (Nerium oleander) and rouma (stream). It is named after the hundreds of oleanders found in the stream that ends up in the sea.

According to tradition, this is the beach from where pirates arrived and captured the girls of the village and sold them as slaves. One of them, the priest’s wife was sold to a pasha in Constantinople and managed to return after many adventures.

The beach is surrounded by impressive rocks created by successive rock layers. Especially at its western end, there is an impressive “mirror”, that is, a large cliff with a smooth surface. Small caves can provide shade to the visitor, while small waterfalls are formed in the stream in winter. The seabed is rocky and sea is often wavy, and unfortunately the beach is prone to trash carried by the north winds.

A very bad dirt road leads to the beach starting from Skepasti and used by local shephards. Due to poor road condition, basically the only way to get on the beach is by boat from Bali or Panormo. Although access today seems almost impossible, it is characteristic that Dafnorouma was one of the main ways of the inhabitants of Skepasti out to the sea before the highway passing now next to the village was constructed in the 1960s.

Above the beach stands an iconostasis commemorating a tragic story that took place on the beach. After the occupation of Crete, the Germans turned the beach into a minefield to prevent British landings. In March 1943, the shepherd Ioannis Protogerakis crossed the safety wire for an unknown reason and was killed by a mine. Residents who heard the explosion reached the spot and Georgios Kalivianakis, a close friend of the Protogerakis, attempting to carry the corpse, was crippled by a new explosion. The deceased’s mother and his friend’s father managed to move the two men, but unfortunately they both died. The two friends were buried in the same grave on the next day.

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