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 few tamarisk trees offering their shade. The waters are crystal clear and refreshing, and the small bay is protected from the northern winds. At the northwest end of the beach, you will find a couple of charming tavernas. Here you can dine with a view of the beach and the small islands of Grantes to the distance. If you are a fish lover, this is a great place to taste fresh seafood and other Cretan delicacies. Nearby there are also a couple of accommodation options if you chose to base yourself in Chiona.
Next to the beach, there are some smaller bays, which offer more privacy and are favored by nudists. While here, you can visit the Minoan settlement – an extensive town – at Roussolakkos. A windsurfing centre also operates in the village for those that wish for more active holidays. A short walk to the north, on the other side of Kastri, we find the beach Kouremenos. Moving further north, you will meet more bays and the beaches of Maridati and Kedromouri. Of course, you cannot miss a visit to Palm Forest Beach or “Vai“, which is home to the largest palm forest on the island and all of Europe and is a protected and valuable ecosystem. The area is only open during the daytime so make sure to get there early and be careful not to damage the trees or litter. Freedom camping is strictly prohibited in Vai.
There is so much to see and discover on the eastern cape of Crete, from stunning beaches to the archaeological sites of Itanos and the monastery of Toplou nearby. Come prepared for a unique experience!