Plakias is a popular tourist destination located 36 kilometers south of Rethymno city, at the edge of a fertile valley south of the Kouroupa range. Its main draw is the long, well-organized beach known as Gialia, which stretches 1.3 kilometers from the town eastward to Cape Mouri. Along the beach there are restaurants, hotels, tamarisk trees, umbrellas, water sports, beach volleyball courts, snack bars, changing rooms, and showers.
The eastern part of the beach is called Paligremnos, which is also sandy and well-organized. It is distinguished by the towering vertical cliffs nearby, referred to as Gonates (or Knees) due to a local legend involving the epic hero Digenis. On full moons from September to January, the cliffs reflect the moonlight and attract many squids to the beach, which the locals collect with large sticks. Further south of Paligremnos are some tunnels, carved in the past for transporting coal to cargo ships.
The second beach of Plakias is located between Paligremnos and the village itself. It is similar in organization to the main beach, and the water temperature is lower due to the river Kotsifos emptying into it. West of the village is the beach of Skinos, which has both rocks and sand, and is ideal for fishing and snorkeling. Near the Skinos beach is the fishing shelter (port) of Plakias and a small sandy beach next to it.