Crete Beaches

Agiofarago Beach

Crete has over 1000 kilometres of coastline to offer, along which you will find beaches to cater for every taste: beaches with endless stretches of sand, beaches made up only of pebbles; some organized and cosmopolitan in tone, others yet deserted and pristine; beaches suited to camping, beaches for diving and scuba enthusiasts, fishing and water-sports.

The endless coastline and numerous coves, bays and lagoons around the island make it almost impossible to list every single one of them. Starting with the northern side, and most accessible part of the island, it is easy to see that it creates one long stretch of beaches, one after the other.

The southern coast is a bit harder to reach, with access to some beaches only possible if you hike, through mountainous terrain. If you base yourself in one of the main urban centres, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Sitia and Ierapetra, you will have plenty of choices within walking distance or a short drive away. In Chania, you can even swim near the harbour, even though most locals and visitors will prefer the sandy coves of Golden Beach near Agioi Apostoli that stretches west.

Visitors that are looking for a more remote experience will not be disappointed either. If this is the case, it is best to rent a four-wheel or 4×4 car for peace of mind through the more mountainous and bumpy terrain. Some rental companies even have specific clauses that prevent visitors to drive conventional cars to Balos or other dirt roads.

Swimming in the Mediterranean is a completely different experience from the rough ocean seas. The water is like a warm embrace throughout the summer but also up until October, and most beaches are kids friendly and perfect for snorkelling. There are a lot of diving and surfing spots around the island too, however, that you will soon discover.

It is impossible to pick the best beaches on the island, so we will leave it to you to find your favourite one. You can explore our in-depth guides of beaches in each different region here:

Polyrizos Beach – Rodakino

Polyrizos Beach – Rodakino

Polyrizos beach is located on the southern coast of Crete island in the prefecture of Rethymno, next to the settlement of Korakas. Set amidst olive groves that run on down to the sea, this is a sandy beach, with shallow crystal water, rocky cliffs and caves. The beach is semi-organized with umbrellas and sunbeds available to visitors. Like most beaches on the south coast, it is open to the southerly winds. East of Polyrizos, the road passes a sand-dune and…

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Agia Marina Beach – Rodakino

Agia Marina Beach – Rodakino

The beach of Agia Marina is located 47 km southwest of Rethymno, 84 km south of Chania, and 2 km south of the village of Rodakino, on the southern coast of Rethymno prefecture. It has taken its name from a church on the east side of the beach. The beach has shallow and clear water, as well as interleaving patches of sand, pebbles and rocks and is an ideal location for fishing and underwater exploration. Because it is very quiet…

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Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach

The most prominent feature of Preveli is the riverside palm-groves that line the beach and create an oasis of lush greenery and turquoise waters. Unfortunately, part of the forest was burnt in the summer of 2010, but it has since recovered. It is one of the most famous and beloved beaches in all of Crete and attracts hundreds of visitors during the summertime. Its name – and that of the broader region – is taken from the historical monastery nearby,…

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Triopetra Beach

Triopetra Beach

The beach of Triopetra is sandy, with crystal clear waters and breathtaking sunsets. In the distance, you may even be able to spot the island of Gavdos! It is the perfect setting for a peaceful and relaxing swim without the busy crowds. Its name comes from its dominating feature: three impressive and slippery rocks that emerge from the blue sea and envelop it from all sides. The two main strands are referred to as “large” (west side) and “small” (east…

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Makrigialos Beach – Kalamokanias – Katovigli – Lagoufas

Makrigialos Beach – Kalamokanias – Katovigli – Lagoufas

The bay of Makry Gialos is a popular tourist resort with two charming settlements of Makrigialos and Analipsi and plenty of swimming spots for visitors to enjoy. Makrigialos Beach is a lovely spot, with sand and shallow crystal-clear waters and a top choice for those visiting the area. The locals call it Hani or Long Beach. This is an organized beach, where in addition to the expected sunbeds and showers, you will have close access to hotel rooms, shops and…

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Lagkada Beach – Diaskari – Lagkada

Lagkada Beach – Diaskari – Lagkada

On the southern coast of Crete island, east of Ierapetra, we find a plethora of stunning beaches. One of the best but still relatively quiet spots is that of Makry Gialos and the nearby settlements of Analipsis and Lagkada. Here we find two stunning beaches named Diaskari and Lagkada that are worth visitors’ attention! Diaskari Beach Diaskari is a particularly beautiful and quiet beach. Most parts are not organized, but you will find a few sunbeds and umbrellas for hire…

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Kapsa Monastery Beach

Kapsa Monastery Beach

Kapsa Beach has taken its name from the nearby monastery. It is built high on a hill, overlooking the water below, very close to the entrance of the Gorge of Pervolakia. It is an impressive spot, fronting the Libyan Sea and the islet of Koufonisi to the east. A dependency of Moni Toplou found further north next to Vai, its main church was dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St John the Baptist). Its date of foundation is not known –…

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Kalo Nero Beach

Kalo Nero Beach

The village of Kalo Nero, which translates to “Good Water” from the presence of underground springs, has given its name to the nearby beach. It is located on the southeastern region of Crete, an area known for its rugged and wild beauty and one of the least visited places on the island. In essence, Kalo Nero comprises three small bays that from west to east, are known as Koutsounari, Staousa and Anaskelou. All of the above, offer a secluded and…

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Xerokambos Beach

Xerokambos Beach

Xerokampos Beach This is a long, sandy beach with shallow, turquoise waters and a few small sand-dunes. The beach offers a peaceful and relaxing spot, yet the cave formations that surround the beach are also suitable for underwater exploration or a bit of spearfishing. The village of Xerokampos and the surrounding area provide a range of options when it comes to tavernas and rooms to rent. However, more shops can be found at Zakros as well. To get here from…

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Vatos Beach

Vatos Beach

The beach of Vatos is located on the southern coast of a particularly remote and secluded part of Crete island. On the borders of the two prefectures of Heraklion and Lassithi, south of the forest of Selakano and framed by the mountain range of Dikti to the north, the closest settlement to Vatos is the village of Myrtos to the east. If you were to drive west from the beach of Vatos on the coastal road, you would come across…

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Ierapetra Beach

Ierapetra Beach

The town of Ierapetra, with its stunning Venetian fortress – the Kale, is known for its cultivation of greenhouse crops, as is the whole region. The southernmost town on the island also enjoys a warm climate that prolongs the bathing season. There are four beaches around Ierapetra: West Beach, Kato/Lower Beach, Agios Antonios and finally Peristeras. West Beach This beach, not surprisingly, gets its name from its location on the west end of the seaside front of the town. It…

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Myrtos Beach

Myrtos Beach

The quiet seaside community of Myrtos is built at the mouth of the Kryos River (the Cold River) and the Gorge of Sarakina and is one of the most popular options on the southeastern coast of Crete in the prefecture of Lassithi. While it has recently started to develop its tourism industry, it retains a traditional and laid back aesthetic that is what attracts visitors to the area. The beach of Myrtos is extensive, with dark-coloured sands, small pebbles and…

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Chrissi Beach (Gaidouronisi)

Chrissi Beach (Gaidouronisi)

This Golden Beach, also called the Isle of Donkeys, is 5 km long and 1 wide; its highest point is Kefali and is only 31 m above sea-level. Chrissi is an uninhabited island, with beaches that have rightfully given it the name “Paradise“. From the moment you step foot on it, you feel as though you are on an exotic island. The beaches have white and golden sand, at parts coloured pink from crushed seashells that are scattered far and…

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Gra Lygia Beach

Gra Lygia Beach

The vast and stunning beach of Gra Lygia is located on the southern side of Crete island and looks out towards the South Cretan Sea. The beach has coarse sand, small darkish pebbles, crystal-clear water and is framed by tamarisk trees. It is well equipped with umbrellas, sunbeds and showers as well as opportunities for water-sports. It is also family friendly and easily accessible. Watching a sunset here comes heavily recommended; slowing down and embracing the local pace of life….

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Ammoudares & Kalamaki Beach

Ammoudares & Kalamaki Beach

Another two beautiful beaches found on the southern coast of Crete west of Ierapetra are Ammoudares and Kapelas. This is a long and vast stretch of coastline that opens up towards the Libyan Sea. On a good day, you may even be able to spot the island of Chrissi in the distance. If time allows, you can always hop on a ferry from Ierapetra and explore the turquoise colored beaches on offer. To reach the area from the north you…

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Mavros Kolymbos Beach

Mavros Kolymbos Beach

The beach of Mavros Kolimpos is located on the southern coast of Crete island, in the prefecture of Lassithi. Driving from Ierapetra, you will reach it after passing through the villages of Agia Fotia and Achlia that also feature beautiful beaches. The distance from Ierapetra is only 20 km, and 40 km from Sitia; the latter will take you through the eastern route and the area of Makry Gialos. It is a quiet beach, with small greyish pebbles and a…

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Galini & Achlia Beach

Galini & Achlia Beach

East of Ierapetra on the southern coast of Crete island, we find beaches of unparalleled beauty, wild and rugged, mostly secluded and ideal for those that want to avoid the crowds and unwind. Two of these beaches, in between the coastal villages of Agia Fotia and Koutsouras, are Galini and Achlia. The distance from Ierapetra is only 18 km and will take approximately 25 minutes. On the way there, you will also pass by the beach of Agia Fotia, which…

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Skinias Beach

Skinias Beach

Skinias beach is located on the eastern coast of Crete in one of the most remote and seldom visited parts of the island. In essence, the small bay forms two beaches, with crystal-clear waters that are surrounded by commanding cliffs. The southern side is pebbly, but the northern has coarse sand. Both are ideal swimming spots for those that prefer a peaceful and relaxing place to unwind. The area in between is framed by rocks, which makes for excellent underwater…

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Psili Ammos Beach

Psili Ammos Beach

Psili Ammos beach translates to “Fine Sand” and is located very close to the world-famous Palm Forest Beach or “Vai”. It is a small delightful beach with soft golden sand and crystal clear waters, offering a much more secluded experience. In previous decades, just like Vai, this spot was popular with naturists and freedom campers. Nowadays, the beach is still very much geared towards those that prefer to swim without their clothes on, while Vai has become a more cosmopolitan…

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Vai Beach

Vai Beach

Vai is one of the most well-known and unique beaches on Crete island, famous around the world for its pine forest and secluded location. Each year it attracts a huge number of visitors and was once the favorite hang-out spot of hippies and freedom campers before stricter regulations came into place. The palm forest of Vai, the largest on the island and all of Europe, hosts some five thousand specimens of the Theophrastus’s palm and covers about 70 acres. This…

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Maridati Beach

Maridati Beach

Maridati beach is a relatively unknown and quiet spot on the eastern coast of Crete island. This small and secluded beach is located south of Vai, and not far from the coastal settlement of Kouremenos – a popular windsurfing area. The beach has soft sand and small pebbles as well as crystal clear waters. Due to its location and secluded nature, it is not organized, however, the tamarisk trees that frame the beach will be able to provide some shade…

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Kouremenos Beach

Kouremenos Beach

Kouremenos beach is a quiet spot, located in the village of the same name on the northeastern coast of Crete island. It attracts a laid back crowd and offers a sandy coast and crystal clear waters to swim in. There are plenty of tamarisk trees that offer natural shade, and it stretches for more than 1.5 km, guaranteeing you will find a spot even during peak season. In some parts, it is organized with a few umbrellas and sunbeds. By…

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Chiona Beach

Chiona Beach

The village of Chiona, which has given its name to the beach, is found on the easternmost region of Crete in an area, surrounded by olive groves. Even though it is located near well-known spots, the village has remained a quiet and remote destination where visitors come to relax and unwind. The beach itself is long with a wide coastline and lacks organization. Rocks frame the beach to each side, but most of it is covered in sand with a…

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Armenopetra Beach

Armenopetra Beach

This is a relatively unknown beach on the southern coast of Crete in between the villages of Keratokampos and Arvi. The name of the beach is a combination of the Greek words for sail + rock (armeno and petra) because of a rock in the beach that resembles a ship with its sail raised. It is not organized so visitors should aim to bring everything they need with them. The water is shallow and clear and there is sand and…

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Kastri Beach

Kastri Beach

The beach of Kastri is right next door to the organized seaside settlement of Keratokampos. Here there is a small harbour, that is primarily used by local fishermen. If you have a boat, this is a great area to explore and you can enjoy the beautiful coastline of the Viannos region. The beach is to the west of the village, between the harbour and the beach of Skouros; it has sand, pebbles and very clear, shallow waters. It is not…

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Keratokampos Beach

Keratokampos Beach

This area of Keratokambos includes the coastal village that has undergone the most prominent development in the area of tourism in recent years. Located on the southern coast of the Heraklion prefecture, this is an area most suitable for nature lovers, away from urban centres, crowded beaches or cosmopolitan beach bars and parties. The open, vast waters of the Libyan Sea, welcome visitors that wish to unwind and relax. There are various stories about how the area got its name….

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Tsoutsouras Beach

Tsoutsouras Beach

The charming village of Tsoutsouras located on the southern coast of Crete island, has a small harbour, where boats come in during the summer. Two small bays are formed on either side of the harbour, with an overall length of 2 km.  Both have sand, pebbles and crystal clear waters and are great swimming options. Most of the beachfront is lined with tamarisk trees, so you don’t have to carry an umbrella – if you don’t wish to – but…

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Karoumes Beach

Karoumes Beach

The beach of Karoumes is found at the exit of Chochlakies Gorge, on the eastern coast of Crete island. It is a lovely and calm spot, with sand, small stones and crystal clear waters. The beach is suitable for swimming and underwater exploration with various small coves found in the area. Limestone rock formations surround the beach on both sides. On the north side, you will find a few tamarisk trees that can provide a bit of shade during the…

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Kapsali Beach Peristerionas

Kapsali Beach Peristerionas

The beach of Kapsali (or Peristerionas, meaning the Pigeon or Dove) is located on Cape Peristerionas, between Keratokampos and Arvi. A secluded and isolated spot, without any infrastructure, it is sandy, with a few rocks and blue waters that open out towards the Libyan Sea. Its location on the southern coast of Crete island has allowed this beach to remain undiscovered by the crowds and as such, it is almost always quiet. You will find no rooms to rent or…

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Larinaki & Listis Beach

Larinaki & Listis Beach

On the southern coast of Crete, in the prefecture of Heraklion visitors will find beautiful and remote beaches. Two options that are unknown to most visitors east of the settlement of Keratokampos are Larinaki and Listis. Larinaki This is a most attractive beach with pebbles and very clear deep water. It is not organized, and you will encounter neither umbrellas nor sunbeds. A few tamarisks growing at the front of the beach offer shade to the visitor and the wandering…

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Ombros Gialos

Ombros Gialos

Ombros Gialos is a small cove, not quite a beach, with exquisite turquoise waters and a fascinating seabed, that is popular with divers. There is no sand, but large rocks that dip into the water but most people chose to jump straight in. It is located close to the villages of Kephala and Drapanos, east of Chania. The distance is about 40 km and will take visitors through the villages of Almyrida and Plaka as well. This is not an…

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Almyrida Beach Rethymno

Almyrida Beach Rethymno

Almyrida beach is located 38 km east of Rethymno on the northern coast of Crete island. It is not visible from the Rethymno – Heraklion stretch of the national highway. You must make a detour from the point where you see the sign; that is after the village of Sisses when you are driving from Heraklion or before Sisses if you are travelling from the opposite direction. It is a quiet and sandy beach with clear waters. At its west…

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Korakia Beach

Korakia Beach

Korakia beach is located approximately 48 km from Rethymno and 39 km from Heraklion. The beach is made up of two small, quiet bays with sand and crystal clear waters. It is one of the lesser-known spots on the northern coast of the island and primarily attracts alternative holiday goers, freedom campers and nudist-friendly bathers. The beach has no amenities and is not organized so make sure to bring everything you need with you. On the west side, there is…

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Episkopi Beach Rethymno

Episkopi Beach Rethymno

Located 14 km west of Rethymno and named after the village close by, Episkopi is a long sandy beach with shallow waters that is open to the northerly winds. On stormy days, the beach is characterized by big waves ideal for water sports. Along the beach, there are organized sections with umbrellas, sun-beds and a lifeguard station. But you will also find quiet spots, for those who simply want to spread their towel on the sand and relax under the…

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Bali Beach

Bali Beach

A popular tourist resort, the area of Bali is ideal for a quiet family holiday. It sits on the side of an ancient town – Astali, which the Venetians later shortened to Atali before the Turks gave it its present name. Here you will find all standard amenities including a doctor and a pharmacy and many shops. Within the village, you will find a great number of hotels, apartments and rooms for rent, as well as restaurants and tavernas with…

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Panormo Beach

Panormo Beach

The settlement of Panormo is on the southern coast of Crete island. It is  a popular tourist destination located 21 km from Rethymno and 10 km west of Bali. Despite the numbers it receives, Panormo retains quite a bit of its traditional character as many of the stone-built houses have been restored, and not simply replaced by modern apartment buildings. Above the small harbour, on a rocky outcrop, you can spot the remains of an old fort – the Genoese occupied…

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Rethymno Main Beach

Rethymno Main Beach

The town of Rethymno is 58 km from Chania and 78 km from Heraklion. The main beach is located on the east side of the city, about a mile from the Old Town. It is a large sandy expanse and part of the extensive beachfront on offer for visitors. The area is fully developed and popular with locals and international visitors that are after a convenient swimming spot within the city limits. During the busy summer months, the area can…

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Scaleta Beach

Scaleta Beach

Scaleta beach is on the last part of a long coastline that runs east from Rethymno, approximately 10 km from the town. There is a frequent bus service that links the beach and the city. The nearby area of Sfakaki and Skaleta have been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. Visitors will find a range of accommodation options and touristic amenities and a relaxing and laid back spot for their holidays. The distance from Heraklion is 70 km. Just…

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Voidomatis Beach

Voidomatis Beach

The southern side of the prefecture of Heraklion is home to a range of stunning and remote beaches that visitors can explore at their own leisure. Reaching the southern coast takes only about an hour from the north, but the scene and vibe cannot be any different. Rugged mountain peaks forming narrow gorges and vast plateaus and plains open up in front of you, as you navigate twisting roads and discover coves of unparallel beauty. Whether you are a nature…

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Pachia Ammos Beach

Pachia Ammos Beach

Οn the southern coast of Crete island, in the prefecture of Heraklion, we find the wonderful beach of Pachia Ammos (in Ornio) which translates to “Deep Sand“. This is a stunning, wide beach of more than 300 m long, with soft sandy, as the name suggests, and clear, deep waters. It is set in along tall cliffs and relatively exposed to the winds. Due to its remote location, it is most popular with locals in the area, or visitors looking…

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Treis Ekklisies Beach

Treis Ekklisies Beach

Treis Ekklisies is a small coastal settlement on the southern coast of Crete island. The beach lies at the centre of the village, which is named after the three churches found there: the Transfiguration, Agios Antonios and the Annunciation. It is a sheltered beach, surrounded by steep cliffs, that lies at the exit point of Agia Paraskevi gorge. It has sand and very clear, translucent waters – ideal for underwater exploration. Though it is not a very popular tourist spot,…

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Meakis Beach

Meakis Beach

Meakis beach is located in between the coastal settlement of Arvi and Keratokambos on the southern coast of Crete island, in the prefecture of Heraklion. It is beautiful and quiet, with sand, a few pebbles and blue waters. It is not organized, and no umbrellas or other amenities are to be found so it is best to bring everything you need with you. Rent-rooms exist at Arvi, and you can also find a taverna at the nearby village of Trochaloi….

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Tertsa Beach

Tertsa Beach

On the southern coast of Crete island, in the prefecture of Heraklion, we find two small but charming beaches that are unknown to most visitors. To the north, the magnificent forest of Selakano welcomes those that chose to drive through the picturesque setting. Here you will find small villages, away from the crowds where you can relax and enjoy quiet holidays. To reach the area from Heraklion, you will travel south for about 78 km which takes approximately 1 hour…

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Psari Forada Beach

Psari Forada Beach

Psari Forada beach takes its name from the settlement of Psari Forada, which is located nearby. The beach is also known as Sidonia because it is believed it is located on the site of the ancient town. How the name of Psari Forada came into being is the subject of several opinions. The most widespread states that the name started to be used during the time of the Arab Occupation of Crete. The Byzantine state sent a fleet under general…

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Chrissi Akti Beach

Chrissi Akti Beach

Only 2.5 km from the city of Chania, Chrissi Akti beach consists of two sandy beaches with clear and shallow waters which are separated by a small hill. This is one of the most popular beaches in the area, and with good reason. Golden Beach (as Chrissi Acti translates to) boats, soft sand, plenty of space and plenty of activities to keep everyone happy. The west beach is organized with all the amenities: umbrellas, sunbeds, a lifeguard, facilities for water…

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Georgioupolis Beach

Georgioupolis Beach

Georgioupoli is one of the most popular seaside resorts, located 43 km east of Chania on the way to Rethymno. The beach of Georgioupoli is a sandy expanse of more than 12 km, with clear blue-green waters that drop away suddenly. They are known to be quite cold because this is where the river Almyros meets the sea. It is a very well organized beach with umbrellas, sunbeds and showers and lots of options for water sports enthusiasts. The beach…

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Gerani Beach

Gerani Beach

Gerani is located 13 km west of Chania, between Maleme and Platanias and according to some researchers could be the site of ancient Kydonia. Nowadays, Gerani is a popular resort that attracts international and domestic visitors. The beach has a length of more than 2.5 km and is inside the Gulf of Chania. To the east, Platanias, Agia Marina and Agioi Apostoloi are also popular destinations. Some parts of the beach attract loggerhead turtles (Caretta Caretta); visitors need to pay…

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Kalyvaki Beach

Kalyvaki Beach

Next to Georgioupoli, Kalyvaki beach requires a long walk from the tourist resort to the west, across the river of Almyros. Kalyvaki has sand, and cold waters. It is fully organized, and protected from wind and waves, compared to other local beaches. The area around Georgioupoli is blessed with countless bays and beaches to suit all preferences. While a popular area that attracts domestic and international visitors, it is also relaxed and retains an old school character and vibe. East…

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Kalyves Beach

Kalyves Beach

Located 19 km from Chania, Kalyves is a coastal village and a popular holiday destination for domestic and international visitors. The beach in front of the village, from which it takes its name, is a quiet bay with very shallow water, sand and a few trees to protect visitors from the sun. It is also fully organized, with sunbeds, umbrellas, and access to toilets. Various restaurants, cafes and bars are found in the area to provide snacks, and drinks during…

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Kavros Beach

Kavros Beach

Kavros is the name of the long beach that lies between Georgioupoli and Pyrgos. It is only 4 km east of Georgioupoli and is close to the Hotel of the same name. The area has seen strong tourist development, but less so than the neighbouring Georgioupolis. It is a sandy beach, with clear shallow waters, but unfortunately, because it is open to the winds, it often has quite strong waves. Visitors will have access to several amenities, including restaurants and…

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Kyani Akti Beach

Kyani Akti Beach

Kyani Akti is a fairly long and sandy beach with shallow waters. It is situated 18 km east of Chania and spans the area between the settlements of Kalives and Kalami. Parts of it are organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, offered by various beach bars owned by the hotels on the beachfront. It is a lively area full of canteens and restaurants, with easy access to snacks, coffee or food. There are also plenty of water sport activities on offer….

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Kolymbari Beach

Kolymbari Beach

Kolymbari is a seaside village that has witnessed a lot of tourist development in recent years. It is located 24 km from Chania, on the edge of Rodopou peninsula, at the westernmost point of the Bay of Chania. It is a very long beach with both sand and pebbles and it has relatively deep waters. The beach is organized and open to the northerly and westerly winds. This is a great spot for a leisurely walk or dinner with a…

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Koutalas Beach

Koutalas Beach

A small, secluded beach with pebbles and stones, ideal for those seeking seclusion – but with no amenities. Koutalas is 25 km from Chania and 1 km from Kokkino Chorio, on the edge of Cape Drapanos. It is suitable for fishing and a quiet swim, as long as you bring what you need with you since there are no facilities. The seabed is quite rocky and active, meaning sea urchins might make an appearance. It is recommended to bring proper…

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Maleme Beach

Maleme Beach

Maleme is a sandy beach on the west side of Chania but is mostly known for the World War II German Military Cemetery, and the place German paratroopers landed in. The area is also of archaeological interest, and a Late Minoan tholos tomb is located nearby. The distance from the cemetery to the site is less than a 5-minute walk. Unfortunately, the tomb was looted some time in the 20th century and later damaged due to the bombing during World…

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Menies – Diktenna & Agios Georgios Beach

Menies – Diktenna & Agios Georgios Beach

Menies, on the east side of the Rhodope Cape, looking over the Gulf of Chania is a remote part of Crete island that is seldom visited by tourists. Here, Between the sheltered bays, we find two quiet beaches – Diktenna and Aghios Georgios. The area is 45 km from Chania and the path, after the village of Rodopos, is mostly on dirt roads. Diktenna A lovely beach with sand alternating with pebbles, and crystalline waters that deepen suddenly. Sheltered by…

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Moni Gonias Beach

Moni Gonias Beach

A visit to the Monastery of Panagia Odigitria, or Moni Gonias, as it is locally known, on the southeast flank of the Rhodope Cape, should include a soothing swim at the beach in front of the monastery or one of the small coves nearby. The monastery started being built in 1618 and was completed in 1634, just in time for the Ottoman Occupation that began in 1645. Just like most other Orthodox Christian monasteries on the island, it suffered greatly…

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Platanias Beach

Platanias Beach

From all the villages in the area west of Chania, Platanias is the one most known for its nightlife. With many top rated resorts, hotels, and apartments, as well as traditional tavernas, restaurants and cafe-bars, Platanias has everything visitors could need for their holiday. Moreover, banks, chemists, medical centres and supermarkets are not more than a short walk away. The area is popular with international and domestic travellers, but also locals as it is well connected with public transport from…

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Rapaniana Beach

Rapaniana Beach

The beach of Rapaniana is a small part of the beach that starts at Kolymbari and extends for several kilometres towards Chania. It is 4 km from Kolymbari and 20 km from Chania and spans the settlements of Platanias, Agia Marina, Stalos, and Agioi Apostoloi among others. The eastern coast between Chania and Kolymbari is characterized by hotels, resorts and various other accommodation options, tourist shops, restaurants, activities and beach bars. The area is a favourite with international and local…

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Stalos Beach

Stalos Beach

As with the rest of the villages in this area, Stalos has experienced strong tourism growth. The beach of Stalos has sand and clear waters. It is fully organized and connected by public bus transport to the city of Chania. If you are here for a swim, you can also visit the picturesque village of Pano Stalos. From Chania, the distance to Stalos is less than 10 km. A lot of people that stay near the city centre, may even…

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Stavros Beach Akrotiri

Stavros Beach Akrotiri

On the northwest flank of the Akrotiri peninsula, we find the beach of Stavros (meaning “Cross”). This is a sheltered bay with soft sand and turquoise waters, close enough to the city of Chania but still under the radar of most visitors. The beach is organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and a lifeguard and plenty of activities including water-sports. It was here that Michalis Kakoyiannis filmed ‘Zorba’, based on the book by famous Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. The film received…

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Almyrida Beach

Almyrida Beach

Almyrida is a seaside resort, located 23 km from Chania. It has two small sandy beaches separated by a small peninsula. The water is clean, calm and shallow, making it perfect for families with children. There are also facilities for water sports and other tourist attractions. You will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh fish at the tavernas on the beach, after of course visiting the ruins of the Christian basilica excavated at the entrance of the village and admiring…

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Agioi Apostoloi Beach

Agioi Apostoloi Beach

One of the most popular and easily accessible beaches in Chania is Agioi Apostoloi. Located 4 km east of the city centre in the area of Daratso, this is an area popular with holiday-goers, with plenty of accommodation options and a variety of restaurants, shops and amenities located nearby. The Old National Road Kissamou – Chanion is lined with hotels and room-to-let signs and is a long stretch of beaches until you reach Kolymvari.  Agioi Apostoli is practically a cluster…

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Agia Marina Beach – Chania

Agia Marina Beach – Chania

Agia Marina is a seaside village with significant tourist development. It is 9 km from Chania and 2.5 km from Platanias and is nestled between the beaches of Agioi Apostoloi and Gerani. Gerani could be the site of ancient Kydonia and as such is of significant archaeological significance. This part of the beach is preferred by the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) as a nesting place. So if you come here, be cautious of any markings that should not be disturbed….

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Sissi Beach

Sissi Beach

The coastal settlement of Sissi is located 26 km west of Agios Nikolaos and 41 km east of Heraklion on the northern coast of the island. It is a picturesque fishing village with many taverns and relatively little touristic development. The waterfront of the village is quite rocky, so the only option for swimming in the village is in the small harbour. You may also find it referred to as “Limani Beach“. It is a very narrow and scenic harbour,…

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Plaka Beach – Spinalonga

Plaka Beach – Spinalonga

Opposite the famous island of Spinalonga lies Plaka, a small fishing village which is 16 km from Agios Nikolaos and approximately 5 km from Elounda. In front of the village, there is a small beach sheltered from the winds, with white pebbles, clear waters and several tamarisk trees for shade – it is ideal for swimming and fishing. Plaka is a picturesque spot, with the cobblestoned alleys and excellent tavernas, where you can sample Cretan cuisine, as well as plenty…

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Mochlos Beach

Mochlos Beach

The beach of Mochlos is found approximately 38 km from Agios Nikolaos and 35 from Sitia just off the main road near the village of Agios Andreas. It is a traditional fishing village by the sea, on the side of a small cove and with a very small rocky beach. While in the area, you will also want to visit the rugged island of Agios Nikolaos that is visible from the village, right opposite the beach, and is a mere…

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Kolokitha beach

Kolokitha beach

Kolokitha beach is found on the eastern side of the Spinalonga peninsula, very close to the popular area of Elounda, and only 12 km north of Agios Nikolaos. This beautiful beach, whose name translates to “pumpkin”, is relatively small, with white sand, turquoise waters and a few tamarisk trees providing the necessary shade. During the summer, the boats that ply to and fro Spinalonga island make a quick stop here for people to swim. Due to this, the beach can…

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Beaches in Istron

Beaches in Istron

The settlement of Istron is located at a distance of 12 km south of Agios Nikolaos. You will discover this community as you pass along the main national road east from Agios Nikolaos towards Ierapetra or Sitia. Here three beautiful beaches hide in three sheltered bays, unknown to most visitors. The first is to the northwest side of the village is Karovostasi. It is the quietest and most secluded, with sand and pebbles and very clear crystalline waters. Reasonably organized,…

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Havania Beach

Havania Beach

Very close to Agios Nikolaos, on the road to Elounda, we find the charming bay that is known as Chavania beach. This is a fully organized municipal beach, with plenty of parking spaces, a canteen for food and refreshing beverages and a lifeguard station. It is a popular area for families with children and relaxing holidays, close enough to the city with all the amenities you will require to make your stay comfortable. Agios Nikolaos is also easy to reach…

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Almiros Beach

Almiros Beach

Almiros Beach is located only a few minutes from the center of Agios Nikolaos (2 km) and 12 km from Elounda. It is a gorgeous beach, highly regarded by all visitors and one of the best options in the area, especially for visitors staying in Agios Nikolaos that don’t wish to travel far. With Mount Thrypti as the backdrop, this sandy beach lies at the mouth of the Almyros river. The river flows through high reed-beds forming a wetland where…

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Agia Fotia Beach

Agia Fotia Beach

On the northern coast of the island of Crete, after leaving Sitia following the east road towards Vai and Zakros, after approximately 7 km you will come across the beach of Agia Fotia. Here we also find a settlement of the same name. It is small, not organized, and relatively deserted and it has taken its name after the small church of Agia Fotini. While not one of the popular swimming spots in the area, it is sandy and ideal…

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Sougia Beach

Sougia Beach

One of the most popular beaches on the southern coast of Greece, Sougia lies between Paleochora and Agia Roumeli. A scenic fishing village, Sougia retains the charm that made it popular with hippies in previous generations and the relaxing vibe that makes visitors forget their worries and return year after year. Sougia lies at the mouth of the impressive gorge of Agia Irini. This was an old city, once named Syia, or the place of Hogs and it acted as…

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Lissos Beach

Lissos Beach

This lovely spot is where the old city of Lissos once stood, in a lushly green valley setting on the southern coast of Crete island. In between Sougia and Paleochora, Lissos can be reached on foot through the gorge of Lissos or you can always take a ferry. The beach is also accessible by car, either from Sougia (30 km) or Palaiochora (20 km). The waters of this protected bay are a striking turquoise colour, with small pebbles and rock…

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Domata, Fournoti & Kalogeros Beaches

Domata, Fournoti & Kalogeros Beaches

East of Trypiti, between Sougia and Agia Roumeli, where the Kladi Gorge meets the Libyan sea, we find the beauty of the natural wilderness and the distinctive rock formations that is Domata. Domata Beach This area gets its name from the three terraces that have formed on the slope, achieving a landscape of unique physical beauty. The terraces resemble roof-lines (which relates to its Greek name). Pebbles of all shapes and sizes surround the beach that offers crystal clear waters….

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Agios Pavlos Beach

Agios Pavlos Beach

The beach of Agios Pavlos is one of the most striking landscapes in south Crete and is set at the mouth of the Elygia Gorge. The small church of Agios Pavlos, which has given its name to the beach, has stood here since the early 11th century AD, when Agios Ioannis Xenos, one of the most influential people in Cretan history, built it in honour of Saint Paul the Apostle who was shipwrecked here on his way to Rome. After…

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Agios Antonios & Trypiti Beach

Agios Antonios & Trypiti Beach

Agios Antonios On the southern coast of Crete island, in an area called Charei, is the beach of Agios Antonios. It is one of the most remote and secluded beaches on the island, with pebbles, stones and small rocks and is ideal for fishing. It is not organized, but you can relax in the shade of pine trees that grow on all sides and enjoy the peace and solitude. If you visit around the 1st of July, it is worth…

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Pervolakia, Glyka Nera & Ilingas

Pervolakia, Glyka Nera & Ilingas

Pervolakia and Timios Stavros On the southern coast of Crete, between Chora Sfakion and Loutro, three consecutive bays house three small beaches. The two westernmost are known as Pervolakia – Small and Large, whilst the one on the east is Timios Stavros (the Holy Cross). Isolated and inaccessible by road (they can be reached on the E4 Walking Trail), they have small pebbles and rocks and are favoured by nudists. Quite undeveloped, they often lack natural shade. Glyka Nera Beach…

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Marmara, Lykos & Finikas Beach

Marmara, Lykos & Finikas Beach

On the southern coast of Crete, west of the town of Loutro, we find a bay with three beautiful beaches. Beginning our exploration, we can move from west to east, and discover those inaccessible by road. Marmara Beach The beach of Marmara (meaning marble) is located at the exit of the stunning Aradena Gorge. A most suitable name considering the layers of white marble and otherworldly appearance of the rocks that surround it. There is no road access to Marmara…

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Loutro Beach

Loutro Beach

Loutro is a small fishing village on the southern coast of Crete, built low against a sloping terrain, looking out towards the Libyan Sea. It is a charming village, dominated by the colours white, blue and indigo, and as such feels more like an island in the Cyclades. Its name means “bath” and originates from the ruins of the baths that were located here, and are still visible today. Loutro was the port of the ancient city of Anopoli, and…

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Filaki & Vritomartis Beach

Filaki & Vritomartis Beach

On the southern coast of Crete, west of Chora Sfakion, we come across two beautiful, and relatively unknown beaches that are frequented by those that prefer swimming in the nude! Vritomartis Vritomartis was the ancient Minoan goddess of hunting and mountains and was worshipped in this region. The beaches around this area are secluded, with pebbles and stones and relatively exposed to the south winds. Crystal clear and refreshing waters welcome you as you take in the view of the…

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Krios Beach and Lake Krios

Krios Beach and Lake Krios

Cape Krios is located on the southwestern tip of Crete island west of Paleochora. Krios Beach This is a beautiful beach, relatively undeveloped and unknown to visitors in the area. It is a place suited to rest and solitude, with crystal clear waters and small pebbles. The beach stretches on for quite a long way which is why it is often thought of as three distinct beaches. On the west part of the main beach, we find an idyllic and…

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Grammeno Votsalo & Kountoura Beach

Grammeno Votsalo & Kountoura Beach

East of Krios Cape, on the road to Palaiochora, we find the villages of Agia Kyriaki and Gialos. Here, there is an especially pretty beach called Grammeno Votsalo (or the Inscribed Pebble but it is most often referred to simply as “Grammeno“). The name comes from the multi-coloured pebbles found on the beach, which are so streaked and veined with various minerals that seem as though they have words written on them. Grammeno Votsalo is set on a small mass…

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Anydri & Gialiskari Beach

Anydri & Gialiskari Beach

On the southern coast of Crete between Palaiochora and Sougia, we find the stunning beaches of Anydri and Gialiskari. Starting in Palaiochora, we drive east towards the Gulf of Selino until we pass Camping Paleochora. After about 4 km, we spot the two sandy stretches of land. Anydri beach Just like most beaches on the southern coast of Crete, in the region of Chania, Anydri is secluded and reaching it will take some planning and a bit of patience. It…

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Elafonissi Beach

Elafonissi Beach

If there is one beach visitors are often aware of in Crete, it is Elafonissi. Recognized as one of the best beaches in the world, countless times, it is a unique experience and enchants everyone that visits. It would be fair to say that Elafonissi is an emblem of the island, and is featured on countless postcards. It is to be found just 80 km from Chania and 43 km from Kastelli, next to the monastery of Panagia Chrysoskalitissa. According…

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Frangokastello Beach

Frangokastello Beach

Frangokastello beach is huge, with massive sand dunes, and shallow turquoise waters all beneath the towering walls of the Venetian fort. The fort and this beach are in a small plain southeast of the White Mountains to the south of Chania. Frangokastelo is well-known for its Venetian fortress that dates back to the 4th century which witnessed scenes of bloodshed during a battle in 1828 between the Cretan guerrilla leaders who had taken refuge here and the Turks. During this…

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Orthi Ammos Beach

Orthi Ammos Beach

In the region of Sfakia, on the southern coast of Crete, we find the beach of Orthi Ammos (meaning “standing sand”). It owes its name to the lofty sand-dunes that surround it. Just like most of the beaches on southern Crete, Orthi Ammos is relatively quiet, with crystal clear and icy waters, that open up towards the Libyan Sea. The closest town is Frangokastello to the west; you can reach it by driving south from Chania through the villages of…

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Agios Ioannis – Sarakiniko

Agios Ioannis – Sarakiniko

The beach of Agios Ioannis in Gavdos is smaller than that of the popular Sarakiniko nearby and less well known. The beach and area are completely unspoilt, with no infrastructure, so you will have to plan and bring everything, including water and food with you. A small taverna (Sophia’s) operates during the summer months but it is best to ask ahead to avoid surprises. The water is clear and shallow; the beach ends in dunes with cedar trees that offer…

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Vatalos & Koutelos Beaches

Vatalos & Koutelos Beaches

West of Frangokastello, on the southern coast of Crete towards Chora Sfakion, we find two charming beaches named Vatalos and Koutelos. Vatalos Beach Vatalos beach is only 2 km and less than a 20-minute walk from the centre of Frangokastello, near the settlement of Agios Nektarios. It is a large and rather unorganized stretch of land, with a balance between rocks and sand. As is the case with most beaches on the southern coast of Crete, nudism is permitted. While…

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Imeri Gramvousa

Imeri Gramvousa

Imeri Gramvousa is one of two rocky islets off the northwest side of Crete island, that lies two nautical miles from Balos lagoon. During the summer season boats run daily from Kastelli Kisamou to the small island – a journey of around an hour. After a stopover of two hours, the boat goes on to Balos, which it reaches after another 15 minutes. While on the island, do not miss the chance to visit the famous castle that dominates the highest…

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Sfinari & Platanakia Beach

Sfinari & Platanakia Beach

Sfinari The beach of Sfinari in the prefecture of Chania is a tranquil spot, ideal for relaxing family holidays. In addition to its beach, the village is known for its fish taverns. It is located at a distance of 60 km from Chania and 32 km from Kastelli Kissamos. It is the perfect choice for those keen on diving, because of its magnificent and lively sea-bed. On the surface, it is far quieter, with calm waters and soft sand or…

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Falassarna Beach

Falassarna Beach

Falassarna has been declared one of the best beaches in Europe and one of the most beautiful in the world. In effect, Falassarna is a long stretch of sand that runs on for more than 3 km. The main beach is Pachia Ammos (Deep Sands), it is about 1 kilometre in length and made up of soft white sand and turquoise waters. The whole area has been established as a tourist destination and has all the necessary amenities including sun-beds…

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Agia Roumeli Beach

Agia Roumeli Beach

Τhe village of Agia Roumeli is located at the mouth of Samaria Gorge, 56 km south of Chania, where the land meets the Libyan Sea. This was the location of the ancient city of Tara, but today is small and fairly isolated. Up until 1954, the village was situated some 2 km north of its present position within the gorge itself, but after serious flooding was destroyed. Today, amidst lush scenery, the ruins of the old houses stand alongside those…

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Kedrodasos Beach

Kedrodasos Beach

The southwesternmost part of Crete island is characterized by narrow and windy roads, lush forests and small picturesque bays that are formed like magic where the rugged mountains meet the coast. South of Elafonisi is an area of wild and remarkable beauty called Kedrodasos or the Forest of Cedars. Reaching this area can be tiresome but worth it, as so many visitors can attest to. Elafonisi is arguably one of the most popular and well-known beaches on the island and…

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Kokkini Ammos Beach

Kokkini Ammos Beach

Kokkini Ammos beach (meaning Red Sand) is a secluded beach which can be reached only on foot. It has reddish sand that has given it its name, and turquoise waters. The beach is located south of Matala on the southern coast of Crete island, in the prefecture of Heraklion. The rocky cliffs that rise to the north have in some parts, fabulous designs cut into them – like the sphinx and various other esoteric symbols. The sculptures are the work…

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Kommos Beach

Kommos Beach

On the western side of Matala, one of the most popular resorts in southern Crete, in the prefecture of Heraklion, we find Kommos beach. It spans the area at the south end of the Gulf of Messara and this was in times past the port of Festos. Near the beach you will today happen on the ruins of the old city of Kommos. Findings suggest that this was a central Minoan harbour and a prosperous town with active trade routes…

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Agiofarago Beach

Agiofarago Beach

Agiofarago beach is located at the exit of a small but stunning gorge that runs about a kilometre south of Martsalo. It takes its name from the 300 hermits that lived in the area. The gorge is approximately 1.5 km long and leads to a beach surrounded by high cliffs; the isolated strand has small pebbles and deep, crystal-clear water. Getting there by foot is only possible through the gorge (an easy trek of less than an hour), or by…

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Potamos Beach Malia

Potamos Beach Malia

Malia lies 37 km east of Heraklion and is a popular destination, with excellent infrastructure and vibrant nightlife that attracts thousands of visitors each summer. There are several beaches in the area to accommodate all visitor needs and preferences. For those who prefer to avoid or escape the crowds at the main beach of Malia, Potamos beach further to the east is an excellent option. It is named after a small river that flows there forming a wetland of great…

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Stalis Beach

Stalis Beach

On the north coast of Crete island, a few kilometres from Hersonissos and 33 km from Heraklion lies the seaside town of Stalida. Stalida means taking a break for a rest and is a tourist resort whose boundaries merge with those of the nearby Hersonissos and Malia, even though it is not as well known as the latter. The magnificent 2 km strand offers golden sand, clear waters and rocky formations at the edges. It is, however, open to the…

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Limanakia Beach Chersonissos

Limanakia Beach Chersonissos

Limanakia of Hersonissos is one of the most popular swimming spots for tourists in Crete. Located 26 km east of Heraklion, it is composed of a string of bays with white sand and blue-green waters that make up separate beaches, some popular and crowded and others offering a bit more privacy. The atmosphere is busy, but not as crowded or hectic as in nearby Hersonissos. The centre of the village has all the amenities and activities a visitor would need,…

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Aposelemi Beach

Aposelemi Beach

Aposelemi beach is located between the seaside resorts of Kato Gouves and Analipsi, at a distance of 19 km from Heraklion. This is where the Aposelemi river flows down to meet the Mediterranean Sea. It is some 750 m in length, with sand and shallow waters, and is semi-organized in some parts. Visitors will find a few sunbeds, umbrellas, and also some tamarisk trees to provide natural shade to the visitor. The area around the river’s mouth has formed an…

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