Almyros beach is located inside the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos, in the southern outskirts of the city, 2.5 km from the center. Almyros Beach has taken its name from the Almyros River which flows nearby and the river delta is a protected wetland. The marsh of Almyros has a small reed, a brackish source of great water supply that feeding the river, an elongated lake whose waters spill with momentum in the south bay of the sandy beach of Almyros. Particularly important is the presence of typical Mediterranean vegetation species between and beside the reeds, increasing the diversity of habitats.
The access to Almyros beach is quite easy, as it is located below the main road. Walking is possible along the coast by the bus station in the marsh, while parking space is also offered in parallel along the wetland and the eastern part of the highway. In the surrounding area and into one kilometer radius of the beach there are no industries and big agricultural areas, apart from some small areas with gardens and few olive trees.
BEACH PHOTO GALLERY
Municipality Agios Nikolaos
The Municipality of Agios Nikolaos is one of the most beautiful municipalities of the Region of Crete and is the capital of Lasithi Prefecture. The extent of the municipality is 511.99 m2. Part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos are the communities of Kritsa, Elounda, Limnes, Kalo Chorio, Vrouchas, Skinias, Louma, Zenia, Exo Potamion, Kroustas, Exo Lakonia, Mesa Lakonia, Prina, Neapolis and Vrahassi. Capital of the new Municipality of Agios Nikolaos is the city of Agios Nikolaos while the historic capital of the Municipality is Neapolis.
In ancient years the city of “Lato pros Kamara” flourished, which was situated upon the current town of Agios Nikolaos. It was placed on the hill between the lake and the marina, but only a few findings have survived from this ancient city. The city “Lato pros Kamara” was the port of the major Dorian city Lato (Lato or Etera) near Kritsa village (10 km. South of Agios Nikolaos).
In 1206 Henry Pescatore, a Genovese pirate, built a fortress on the top of the hill, where the building of Prefecture stands today. The fortress was named Mirabello, due to the unique view to the entire bay. This fortress should have been really impressive, as the whole Province of Agios Nikolaos received the name Mirabello. Inside the fortress, there was a salt warehouse, where was carefully stored the valuable product from the salt marshes of Elounda.
The Mirabello fortress faced several disasters, an earthquake in 1303 and a pirate capture in 1537, but it was always rebuilt. The final destruction of it was in the 17th AD century, when the Ottomans besieged it and conquered it after betrayal.
The early years of the Turkish conquest, Mirabello continued to be inhabited and was also the seat of the Province, but gradually it was deserted and there are a lot of reports of the complete abandonment of the city, but the port was still continued to be used for the exportation of the local products, mostly the locust. It is reported that the products were primarily collected in open areas, even within the four churches of Agios Nikolaos that were existed in that time, because there weren’t any warehouses.
At the end of the Ottoman rule and right after the Greek revolution of 1866, Agios Nikolaos inhabited again. The residents of Kritsa, some villagers from Sfakia and those who had engaged in shipping in eastern Crete, settled in the dilapidated village of Mandraki, which in the latest years developed into today’s city of Agios Nikolaos.
Agios Nikolaos is not an old name and the name of the city comes from the name of the nave church with a dome at the small Ammoudi peninsula, across from the coastal road.
In the 1960s Agios Nikolaos became the first tourism destination in Crete, earlier than the other areas of Crete, and the first major hotel had shortly opened in 1965. Still today Agios Nikolaos receives thousands of tourists every summer, as well as Elounda and Plaka in the north and Istro and Kalo Chorio in the south of Municipality.
The rest of the villages that are located in the hills and the mountains around Agios Nikolaos remain virtually untouched by tourism and they can offer to the visitors the opportunity to get a picture of real life in Crete.
The current city of Agios Nikolaos is built on the ancient Lato Kamara. From that time of period several statues, inscriptions and many tombs in the river region have been found. The offerings of the tombs, many of which are really interesting, exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of the city.
The monument of Spinalonga (fortified island) presents particular interest, which was used as a leper colony in the past. Particular interest also presents the cornucopia, a sculpture that had been made by the local artist’s brothers Sotiriadi and it was erected in a stone terrace by the sea. Moreover, in Elounda are located integers the well-known windmills. In Elounda’s “Channel” are saved three circle windmills, so their type is “round” or “xetrocharis”. The windmill was built in the early century.
Characteristics of the beach
The access to Almyros beach is quite easy, as it is located below the main road. Walking is possible along the coast by the bus station in the marsh, while parking space is also offered in parallel along the wetland and the eastern part of the highway. In the surrounding area and into one kilometer radius of the beach there are no industries and big agricultural areas, apart from some small areas with gardens and few olive trees. The whole area near Almyros Beach is accordingly considered as tourist resort with a lot of hotels and apartments.
The beach is sandy and its waters are shallow and usually calm, as it’s located in a small secluded bay. Moreover, the sea water is very cold in some places, due to Almyros River, which is flowing throughout the year and it’s consisting of towering eucalyptus trees, reeds and palm trees of Theophrastus.
The distance of the beach:
From International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis of Heraklion is about 60,3 Km
From the center of Agios Nikolaos City is about 2,5 Km
From the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos is about 3,5 Km
The opening hours of the beach are from 10:30 to 17:30.
For any complaints complete the special form at the entrance
To help us increase the quality of the services provided please complete the relevant questionnaire which you can find in our website www.costanostrum.org or by downloading the relevant application Costa Nostrum.
The ashtrays, the beach chairs and the umbrellas are property of the managing authority of Almyros Beach.
Only the guests – owners of valuable objects that may be lost, are responsible for the loss.
Hygiene and Safety, Environmental Protection and Cleanliness of the Beach
You should always follow the advice of the lifeguards.
Swim parallel to the coastline and if possible never alone.
It is prohibited to block the lifeguard’s corridor and the range of vision of the lifeguard.
The consumption of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.
It is prohibited to throw cigarettes into the sea or on the beach.
It is prohibited to throw glass objects or packaging on the beach or into the sea.
It is prohibited to throw any object on the beach or into the sea.
It is prohibited to light a fire.
It is prohibited to use shampoo at the showers.
All your rubbish should be placed with your own responsibility into the special waste containers.
It is prohibited to destroy any kind of vegetation.
The beach staff has the right to remove from the beach persons who are in a drunken condition or under the influence of drugs or behave violently/improperly to other visitors.
It is prohibited to take sand.
In case of a person disappearance, you should immediately contact the beach manager.
In case of a beach closure, please follow the instructions of the manager and lifeguards.
In case of an accident, you should immediately inform the lifeguard and the beach manager.
If a customer falls sick due to any possible cause, they are to immediately notify the beach manager, in order for all necessary measures to be taken.
For more information regarding the beach regulation please visit our website www.costanostrum.org or download the relevant mobile application.
Results of the Quality of the Sea Waters Evaluation
This paragraph includes all the measurements done by the administrator of the beach. With the responsibility of the administrator measurements are done 5-6 times throughout the tourist season. The quality of the sea waters also has to be measured in case of complaints about polluted water or after an accident at the beach or near the beach. The measurements will be done by an independent certification authority.
Almyros sources are gushing through the rushes and the reeds the inexhaustible salt water. The small church of Analipsis (Ascension) perch beneath the shady canopy of the towering eucalyptus trees right next to the beach.
A mystery is hovering around the beach and the wetland of Almyros, which are full of legends. Many locals have mentioned the existence of fairies that were being washed during the moonlit nights in the sources of Almyros and were taking away the careless passersby’s voices, but also they were correcting the fate of households that were whitewashing their wool and their new braided dowry, were simultaneously giving gifts and were defining the fate of single.
A few decades before, regardless the myths, the women that were lived in Agios Nikolaos, were coming to Almyros beach to do their laundry in the river, among the reeds and the tall eucalyptus trees. It was a kind of ritual, as they were passing their whole day in Almiros River, they were singing and they were eating under the trees. Since then the marsh of Almyros, which was located right next to Almyros beach, was one of the most important wetlands of Agios Nikolaos.
The Almyros Beach is the longest sandy beach of the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos and is one of the most commonly visited by local residents. The particularity of the beach are the dunes and a very important wetland, source and marsh of Almyros in Agios Nikolaos.
The underwater landscape is sandy while in various positions in the eastern part of the beach, there are seagrass meadows made by the little Neptune grass (Cymodocea nodosa). In Almyros estuary are forming formations by green macroalgae and the water is brackish. In the Nepture grass meadows and in the wider area, the visitor could see starfish and various shells to stroll about and could also see fishes which lives in sandy bottoms, like the sand steenbras, flathead grey mullet, European seabass, flatfish and parrot fish. In the western part of the beach there are rocky formations where anyone could see sea urchins and fishes that are living on rocky bottoms of the sea, such as alema porgy, the marble spinefoot, small rockyfish and young groupers are hiding carefully in the openings and crevices.
In the sandy areas between the beach and the wetland are developed some species who are living in the sand. Some typical species is Sea daffodil, a unique white lily which is blooming in August, Sea quercus, small pale green bushes with purple flowers, and Ammophila, a plant that looks like wheat.
Calculation of carrying capacity of a Beach
For the term “load-bearing capacity” there is a large number of definitions in international literature. However, all these definitions involve two central opinions: Firstly, the biophysical element related to the maintenance of the integrity of the natural resource, in this case, the beach. So, there is a maximum limit which must not be exceeded or else the natural ecosystem will suffer strong pressures. And, secondly, behavioral element which reflects the ability of the leisure experience.
Although until today there has not been a widely accepted definition or a commonly accepted procedure for the calculation of the load-bearing capacity of the beach, the calculation of the load-bearing capacity of each beach is done with the combination of different procedures found in international literature, the main goal being the best protection and conservation of the natural resource and the environment.
For the calculation of the load-bearing capacity of this beach, the following data – information were considered;
Calculation practices of the load-bearing capacity of the beach, mentioned in international literature.
Legislation in force.
Geographical position of the beach.
Existence of endangered species inside the coastal zone.
Fauna and Flora of the area.
Environmental stress of the beach.
The best service of the guests – swimmers of the beach.
The protection of the environment and the preservation of the natural resources of the beach.
Existence of protection rules for the safety and easy access of the guests to the beach.
Existence of stable infrastructures and the prospect of placing new infrastructures like WC.
The total covered area of the beach is about 5980,5m2.
Based on the calculation of the carrying capacity of this particular beach, according to the state of art, the carrying capacity is about 1260 swimmers.
The number of umbrellas that the hotel gives to its guests is 140 umbrellas, that is, 280 beach chairs which corresponds to 280 swimmers. This number is much smaller than the capacity of the beach.
Sustainable Waste Management
The main goal of the suggested management plan aims at the optimal sustainable management of the waste produced by visitors of the beach during their stay in the coastal zone.
The administrators of each beach must place appropriate bin for recycling where possible and to cover the needs of the beach at the same time.
It is suggested that in every beach – whether it is organized or not and taking into account the number of visitors – there are at least blue bins for the recycling of packaging , brown bins (compost bins) for the recycling of organic waste and green bins for mixed waste.
An important issue that the administrators have to deal with, whether they are public or private, is the collection of the cigarette ends which are thrown by the swimmers on the beach. It is suggested that there are ashtrays next to each chair which will be cleaned by the beach staff, after the guests leave the beach. This waste should not be thrown in the bin with the mixed rubbish because they can cause fire. They should be put in a special metal bucket, soaked with water and then thrown into the common bins, as no management plan for this kind of waste has been found until now.
At the point where the bins are placed there should be explanatory signs in more languages and the waste should be carried to the recycling centers regularly.
Moreover is should be mentioned that the seaweeds washed out at the beach are not beautiful but there is a processing method by a Greek company producing compost from seaweeds, http://www.compost.gr/#!unique-method-gr/co9t .
In general, it is suggested the following bins are placed:
At least 1 Green bin for mixed rubbish
At least 1 Blue bin for recyclable package materials
At least 1 Brown bin for organic waste
At least 1 Metal bucket for cigarettes from the ashtrays placed under the umbrellas
Clay ashtray at each beach chair set.
1 butterfly net so that the staff can collect rubbish from the beach without bending.
One-use gloves in case the worker has to collect rubbish with the hands.
All the bins should always be closed and the administrator of the beach is responsible to make sure the bins are closed.
Any other waste like batteries, electrical and electronic equipment should be given at the reception and the administrator of the beach has the responsibility to put them in the right bin, or inform the guest where the nearest container is.
In any case no rubbish should be thrown into the wrong container and of course nothing should be thrown into the beach or the sea.
Measures for the Protection of Endangered Species
At the beach of Almyros no existence of endangered species has been mentioned. In any case, if endangered species appear, then measures for their protection have to be taken.
For example, some measures are mentioned below but in any case if you find an endangered species you should immediately contact the competent authorities of the state.
If you find a nest
If the nest is in danger beacause of the pedestrians or the vehicles, surround it with a “fence” you can make from wooden sticks placed around it and tied with some rope.
CAREFUL: Do not dig the nest. If there are stones or other things that may prevent the baby turtles from finding their way to the sea, then remove those obstacles.
If it is in the shade (e.g. under an umbrella), try to remove it.
If you find an injured turtle
You put the turtle in a SAFE PLACE away from people and noise. YOU ALWAYS RAISE IT FROM THE SHELL (never from the wings or the head).
If the animal is big it must be carried by 2 persons by catching the shell from behind the neck and over the tail. YOU PLACE THE ANIMAL CAREFULLY making sure the wings do not remain under its body.
We put the animal in a place which is PROTECTED AND QUIET, AWAY FROM STREAMS AND WIND. In the summer months you should cover the would with a piece of WET CLOTH. The temperature of the place should not fall under 15 degrees Celcius. The turtle does not have to be put in sea water and if it is wounded at the head or exhausted, it MUST NOT BE PUT IN WATER BECAUSE IT MY DROWN.
If it is trapped in nets or fishing hook, you remove them carefully. In no circumstances should you TRY TO PULL A HOOK FROM THE MOUTH OR TAIL.
You control all wings and if you find RECOGNITION TAGS call the Rescue Network (210 8944444). You will be sent a special form which you have to COMPLETE carefully to help the turtle you found and also other turtles.
If you find a dead sea turtle
If the turtle is dead it should be CARRIED TO THE LAND and the Coast Guard as well as Archelon should be contacted. BE CAREFUL, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE TURTLES LOOKS DEAD BUT IT MAY BE IN DEEP SLEEP, ESPECIALLY IN THE COLD MONTHS.
YOU SHOULD CALL THE OFFICIAL VETERINARIAN AND IF THERE IS NOT ONE, YOU CALL ANOTHER VETERIANARIAN OR THE COAST GUARD. .
If you find a tag it should be removed and sent to ARCHELON.
ATTENTION, THIS IS ONLY FOR DEAD ANIMALS. It would be very helpful for ARCHELON if you take a photograph of the animal and especially its wounds.
Complete the special FORM sent to you by ARCHELON AND finally call the LOCAL AUTHORITIES for the burial of the animal.
For more information: http://www.archelon.gr/
In the land area of the beach the visitor could visit Almyros wetland in Agios Nikolaos. It is about a wetland system that includes brackish karst springs of permanent flow that discharged part of the karst aquifer system to Dikti-Selena and supply the region through the formulation of the marsh. The water gushes into the extensive reed that has formed in the marsh and it is not accessible. At this point starts the river which ends in the sea where the meandros is formed. Apart from the reeds, there are also tamarisks, rushes and myrtle and on the beach are growing ammophilous species such as Sea daffodil. An ammophilous species’ protection zone is delimited and the visitors shouldn’t walking on it. The visitor could capture the flora and fauna of the wetland with a camera, as also the ammophilous species.
In the wetland live and breed many bird species, the striated water turtle, the Cretan frog, the green tree frog, the green toad, the dicksnake and in the surroundings there is also the green lizard.
Save the Blue Planet – Email Signature