Treis Ekklisies (i.e. three churches) is a secluded seaside village located 64km south of Heraklion, amid the wild and inhospitable landscape of Asterousia Mountains. The surrounding area, one of the most isolated in Crete, is difficult to access, but hosts some of the most amazing beaches in Greece. To get to Treis Ekklisies you have to drive through a snake-like asphalt road with amazing sea views, about 10km long, starting from the village Paranymfi. In Paranymfi, you can visit the former monastery of Saint Paul with the old frescoes (14th century). Half a kilometer after Paranimfi, you can admire the stunning views of the Libyan Sea and Tris Ekklisies from the imposing waterfall of Ambas Gorge(145m high). The settlement of Treis Ekklisies is built in a bay formed at the exit of the gorge of Ambas. The walls of the surrounding gorges are home to the largest colony of vultures in Greece and Southern Europe, including the bearded vulture, one of the rarest species of vulture in Europe.
The village took its name (Three Churches) after the three local Byzantine churches, dedicated to Transfiguration, St. George and Annunciation. In front of the hamlet, there is a long sandy beach with crystal clear deep water. The beach is not very well organized, but there are some rooms for rent, coffee shops and taverns nearby. If you head to the east (along the seaside dirt road) you will first reach the rock of Kolovrehtis with a small cove. Then is the beach Volakas and last Glikia Vlyhada, very popular to locals and free campers. © Alexandros Roniotis