Melinda beach lies in a little-explored seaside area surrounded by unspoilt nature. Definitely on the must-visit list if you are one for overgrown woodland and seemingly endless olive groves, its pebbled shore will provide you with a romantic setting in which to savor all of the region’s natural appeal and tranquility.
Melinda beach boasts clear, emerald water and is dominated by Melinda’s Rock, an immense boulder that seemingly looks down on the shore and entices visitors to explore it. There are a couple of tavernas here, so you could even prolong your visit to enjoy a meal by the sea.
Three kilometers west of Melinda, among the massive rugged rocks that rise up from the sea, ‘Panagia Krifti’ is a small, little-known chapel dedicated to the ‘Virgin Mary in Hiding’. Isolated in a setting of ancient olives, sharp-edged rocks and dark, unexplored caverns, the chapel lies right by the water’s edge. You may come here by road or on foot from Melinda (definitely bring sturdy shoes) and discover the chapel inside the well-hidden cavern. Alternatively, you could access the area by sea, which may be the best way to approach the natural inlet - just hop aboard one of the caïques linking Plomari (or, in the months of summer, Vatera beach) to the area.
Melinda is situated just 3 kilometers away from Palaiochori, a traditional Lesvian village with a few amenities and some truly magnificent views to the surrounding region. If you have already made the trip to Melinda, do pay Palaiochori a visit or follow one of the olive trails leading from the village to Rachidi and Kourneli, a couple of panoramas with views to the Aegean.
The first settlement of Palaiochori was originally established in Melinda and finally relocated to Merina in 1817. It is a picturesque village with brightly-painted houses, a small number of rental rooms, several traditional cafes and a maze of narrow cobbled lanes. The village includes a small number of tavernas serving a good selection of regional dishes, so do patronize one of them if you are keen on traditional Lesvian cuisine.
West of Palaiochori, the area of Vigla - or ‘Viglár’, as it is pronounced in the local dialect - boasts panoramic views to Asia Minor, Chios and Psara. If you are fond of nature trails and enjoy getting off the beaten track, proceed to go on an exploration of the two abandoned villages of Rachidi and Kourneli. Linked with Palaiochori by a number of olive paths, they afford visitors with some truly magnificent views.