Monastery & Lake of Preveli
The famous Monastery of Preveli comprises one of the most important cultural and historical monuments of Crete and Greece, and it is located only 8 km from Plakias region. The monastery is divided into two separate parts, the ruined Kato Monastery of St. John the Baptist and the operational Back (Upper) Monastery of St. John the Theologian. The monastery was probably built in the Middle Ages during the Venetian occupation of the island and took its name from the Venetian lord Preveli. Over the next centuries it evolved into a cradle of civilization and religious reference until a major part of it was destroyed during the course of the Greek revolution of 1821, which was later rebuilt. The destruction of the Lower Monastery in the form it is today took place during the Battle of Crete in 1941. The Back Monastery includes some religious relics of unique beauty and many of the restored parts of the church are now open to the public.
Lake Preveli is situated under the homonymous monastery at the end of Kourtaliotiko gorge through which you will find yourself in the area. At the back of the beach stretches a palm forest of unique beauty creating an exotic landscape which attracts hundreds of tourists during summer. The region of Preveli is without doubt one of the biggest attractions of the whole island. It combines the stunning geomorphology of Kourtaliotiko gorge with the unique ecosystem of the area, and of course the magnificent beach of Preveli.
The Preveli Lake is formed by the estuary of river Kourtaliotis, the sources of which are located in the middle of the titular gorge. Technically, it does not constitute a true lake but a result of the estuary, where due to the constant concentration of silt, this lake-shaped beach is formed.