Beaches in Rethymno

Beaches in Rethymno

The region of Rethymno on the west coast of the island is located between Chania and Heraklion and is easily accessible to visitors arriving in Crete from either location. With more than two dozen beaches, it is one of the most beautiful places you can choose to explore and combines impressive mountainscapes, charming villages and sandy coastlines.

Just like in nearby Chania and Heraklion, the main centre of the island is where you will find cosmopolitan beach resorts and a bustling hub of activities. On the northern coast, Bali Beach and nearby Karavostasi and Livadi are some of the most well-known family-friendly and peaceful bays, however, they do tend to get pretty busy. Bali once carried the name, “Astali” from the ancient town that was present here, but the current name stems from the Turkish word for “honey” due to the large number of beehives.

Driving south, 55 km from Rethymno, the charming settlement of Agia Galini offers a more secluded and relaxing atmosphere for a swim. Keep driving west through the villages to reach the pristine waters and sand-dunes of Agios Pavlos and enchanting Triopetra (Three Stones) before you approach Preveli. The unique ecosystem of Preveli is an oasis of palm trees and turquoise waters with soft sand and lush vegetation. This is where the Kourtaliotis river meets the sea and you can hike across the river to find more swimming coves to explore. Access is challenging due to the long hike so make sure to bring appropriate footwear.  Unknown, but just as charming, are the beaches of Ligkres and Rodakino (Peach Beach). The area of Plakias has witnessed a lot of tourism developments in recent years, with a lot of charming beaches, some secluded and others more cosmopolitan in nature, like Ammoudi, Damnoni and Souda.

The coastal area on the north coast of Rethymno that stretches west towards Georgipouli is characterized by undisturbed and rocky shores that are excellent for a quick swim if you don’t wish to travel far. Petres beach, 12 km from Rethymno town, is frequented by locals and has crystal clear waters and an excellent taverna. In this area, you also find a lot of excellent beach bars.

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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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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