Kommos Beach: A Zen Spot for Yogis

Yoga practitioners visiting Crete will appreciate the meditative peace of Kommos Beach in the southwest side of the island, near the village Pitsidia, some five kilometers north of the legendary hippie Matala.

The longest beachfront of the Messara Bay faces the Libyan Sea, which dances in azure and cobalt blue, frosting with clouds of white as it reaches the fine sand. Sunsets are entrancing as the sea mirrors the fiery ambers of the skies and the silhouettes of the Paximadia islets spell legends on the horizon.

Mornings are tranquil, filled with wonder. Echoes of the past seem to resonate from the ancient Minoan ruins by the beach. The public cannot enter the site, but the ruins are visible from the beach, and their transcendental draw is evident to those who are open to such energies.

This enthralling atmosphere is conducive to peace and relaxation. It’s not unusual to see people meditating on the beach or yogis at dawn stretching slender bodies against beguiling seascapes as the skies kiss the waves of the Libyan Sea.

History and mythology intertwine to create the mystical atmosphere of the beach, which one cannot appreciate in a rush. As you gaze at the sea, rest your eyes upon the rock locals call Volakas, and try to imaging the blinded Cyclope Polyphemus throwing it at Odysseus’s ship to prevent his escape from the island.

Yoga practitioners prefer the site, especially for this mystical atmosphere, but also for the views and seclusion.

Kommos Beach was a naturist hot-spot in the past – especially when Matala nearby was the main destination for hippies on Crete. Naturists still favor the northern part of the beach (called Potamos), but the south is family-friendly, and you will find plenty of room to relax without feeling crowded by other beachgoers. Some sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent by the taverna there, but mostly the beach is not organized.

Remember your step whenever you go: Kommos Beach is a protected nesting area for the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). The nesting season lasts from May to September, when you will see nests clearly marked on the beach and don’t feel tempted to “assist” the hatchlings in their way to the sea: they don’t need your help. Human intervention is strongly discouraged: only the Archelon Sea Turtle Protection Society is authorized to care for these adorable marine reptiles. But you are free to observe the turtles without disturbing them.

Kommos Beach is not always for swimmers: the Meltemi winds are strong here, and the sea can sometimes be dangerous even for the most experienced swimmers. But its sands are fine, and the awe-inspiring views are as calming and soul-soothing as they are beautiful.

Sunset yoga on Kommos Beach is one of those experiences that will make you fall in love with Crete. You have the sea and the amber skies in front of you and the undulating dunes with sea daffodils in bloom (the season lasts from August until October) behind you. Enjoy a unique flow of energies encompassing history, legend, nature, and meditation while taking in the cleansing breeze and finding your inner balance.

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