Towering cliffs made this region relatively inaccessible. More recently, they have deterred overbuilding. The state of development here contrasts with Crete's resort-clad north coast and is "conducive to better environmental quality, cultural integrity and aesthetic appeal."
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"Pockets of hope in a sea of damaging tourism development."
"One of the most well-preserved destinations in Greece. Social and cultural integrity are both high. While its built heritage is in average condition, its aesthetic appeal is amazing."
"The south coast of Crete is relatively inaccessible. It therefore attracts fewer visitors than the north coast. Development is on a smaller scale and the place retains a laid-back atmosphere. Environmental quality, socio-cultural integrity and aesthetic appeal are all strong."
"Less development than in north makes for better environmental quality."
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.