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 footwear to navigate the sharp rocks and make getting in and out of the water easier. Access is easy by car along a dirt road, which you find by driving north of Kokkino Chorio. There is a rather steep road that descends all the way to the beach – with enough space for half a dozen cars. Alternatively, you can park at the top of the hill and take a short walk down, which is the preferred approach for most visitors.
Koutalas is popular with divers and snorkelers, and if you make it here for a swim, you will probably notice a few scuba diving lessons or teams setting out for underwater exploration. Elephant’s Cave, one of the best diving spots on the island, is located nearby. This massive cave, with a width of 9 m, is full of beautiful red and white stalagmites and stalactites. It takes its name from the fossilized remains of an elephant that were found in the cave. The cave offers insight into how the area would have looked thousands of years ago when the level of water was much lower.
The beach of Almyrida is less than 5 km away and is another popular seaside resort for visitors. 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. Almyrida is known for its fresh fish tavernas located right on the beach. There are various other tourist activities in the area; 10 km inland we find the Archaeological Site of Aptera. It was one of the most significant and powerful city-states of Western Crete and of considerable size, indicative of the power it had during its pinnacle. Other beaches worth visiting in the area are Ombros Gialos, Kera Beach, Kalives, Kalyvaki and Georgioupoli.