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The peaceful shore has spread out the sand before you, while the wavy sea approaches as if on a leisurely stroll like justice in the pastures of heaven.

(From a novel of Pantelis Prevelakis “Chronicle of a town”)

Heraklion Beaches

Heraklion Beaches

ammoudara

Amoudara


Amoudara is a fine beach located in the Gulf of Heraklion, 5 km west of the capital, on the northern coast of the prefecture.It has soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters and proposes a few facilities. The beach has been awarded with the EU Blue Flag for its clean waters and fine organization. Accommodations can be found in the area as well as many taverns.

   
hersonisos

 

Hersonisos


Hersonissos is one of the most famous, popular tourist resorts in Crete. It lies 28 km east of Heraklion Town. It is a busy resort offering all kind of facilities and accommodations to the thousands of visitors arriving every year. It has a long golden sandy beach which extends over many kilometres and also some palm trees and crystalline azure waters. Hersonissos also has a very interesting aquarium.

 

   
stalida

 

Stalida


Stalida is a beautiful cove located 33 km east of Heraklion Town. The attractive tourist resort full of verdant trees and flowered gardens embraces the wonderful white sandy beach with crystalline waters and many facilities. Accommodations of all categories and fine taverns can be found in the wider region.

 

   
agia-pelagia

 

Agia Pelagia


Agia Pelagia is a beautiful village lying 24 km north-west of Heraklion Town. It has a long beach with wonderful golden sand. The beach is always protected from the winds and offers a few rental facilities. Numerous accommodations of all types, taverns and bars can be found in the tourist resort. Agia Pelagia is an excellent choice for relaxing vacation.

 

   
agiofaraggo

 

Ayiofarango (The gorge of the Saints)


An excellent beach protected from the wind but with no facilities. Ayiofaraggo is a wonderful yet secluded beach located 80 km south west Heraklion town close to the village of Kali Limenes, at the end of a small gorge. There are two ways to reach Ayiofaraggo: by boat from Kali Limenes or on foot along the gorge. This gorge is a nice trekking path gifted with natural beauty. There are no tourist facilities in Ayiofaraggo and the beach is not organized. The closest hotels and taverns are found in Kali Limenes. This beach gets particularly popular for free camping and nudism, although it is not an officially nudist beach.

 

   
keratokampos

 

Keratokambos


A secluded village which is located 70 km south of Heraklion Town is a large bay with soft sand and clean water. Protected by the strong summer winds, Keratokambos is totally untouched by tourism. However, it has few traditional taverns and small hotels along the shore. Keratokambos can be reached through an asphault road from Kato Viannos, on the way from Heraklion Town to Myrtos. Keratokampos is a long beautiful beach with pebbles and sand on parts. If you walk to the east, then you will reach a beach with sand-dunes and almost nobody close to you. The rocky sea bottom makes the place excellent for snorkelling.

 

   
 kokkini-hani

 

Hani Kokkini


This tourist resort is quite popular in Heraklion for its beautiful hotel complexes and the sandy beach. It is a renowned resort offering plenty of luxurious hotels and other accommodations as well as numerous taverns, bars, shops and restaurants. The beach of the resort is fully organised, providing all the needed facilities and various sea sports. The village is located 13 km east of Heraklion Town.

 

   
 lygaria

 

Lygaria


Lygaria is a soft sand beach situated 23 km north west of Heraklion town. It is a lovely narrow stretch of sand with calm and warm waters. The sands are clean with parasols and chairs on the central part of the curvy stretch enclosed by tall lush green hills. It is popular as a perfect place to relax in a quaint setting after some partying at the well developed Agia Pelagia beach resort that lies close to Lygaria. There are enough facilities and amenities with many taverns, cafes and souvenir shops lining the back of the narrow beach. There are rooms and apartments available for rent near Lygaria. The road in the hills leading to the beach is a little steep, so be careful while riding on your own. Lygaria as well as the beaches to its west are safe from the Meltemia summer winds which can sometimes hit the northern coast of Crete. Lygaria is just 17km away from Heraklion to its northwest and it sits off the national highway to Rethymno. There are frequent bus services also to this area.

 

   
 psari-forada

 

Psari Forada


A lovely and quiet resort located 88 km south east of Heraklion Town and 58 km west of Agios Nikolaos. The beach is long and sandy, while some capes on both sides protect it from strong winds. The water is clean and refreshing. Although the beach is not organized, some fish taverns and rooms to rent can be found in the village above. The closest tourist resort is Myrtos, but the region also has many secluded beaches to relax and traditional villages to get a view of rural life in Crete. Psari Forada or Sidonia is a beach with dark sand and tamarisk trees.

 

   
 treis-ekklisies

 

Treis Ekklisies


Treis Ekklisies is a secluded resort located 65 km south of Heraklion town. With a beautiful mountain backdrop and a wonderful view of the open sea, this tiny village some nice quiet holidays. Treis Ekklisies ( meaning three churches) can be reached through a 10-km long dirt road from Paranimfi village. The long beach in front of the village is not organized at all but the soft sand and clean waters are some of its unique characteristics. The beach is known for its family and friendly atmosphere and the natural environment. Along the beach, there are some delicious taverns and few rooms to rent. Due to the track road, the village doesn't get much frequented, so this is the ideal place for total privacy.

 

   
 vathi

 

Vathi


About 80 km south west of Heraklion town is the remote beach of Vathi with its clean waters, soft sand and rocky scenery, Vathi captivates all visitors. The beach is unorganized with no tourist facilities. The closest taverns and hotels are found in Matala or in the seaside village of Kali Limenes. Vathi is located 17 km from Sivas village. It can be reached through a track road from Sivas or by boat. On the way from Sivas to Vathi, there is an interesting monastery dedicated to Panagia Hodegetria (Virgin Mary the Leader).

 

   

 Source: explorecrete.com. & greeka.com

Lasithi Beaches

Lasithi Beaches

 

vai

Vai


The beautiful Vai beach, known as Palm Forest, is located 25 km east of Sitia and 94 km east of Agios Nikolaos town. It is the only indigenous wild date palm grove of Greece, extending over an area of 250 square kilometres and consists of 5000 palm trees which make it the largest known palm tree forest throughout Europe.

   
istro-beach-crete

Istro


In the coastal road south of Agios Nikolaos there are five to six beaches with blue waters, from Agios Nikolaos to Mohlos. One of them is Istros which is found 12 km south of Agios Nikolaos town on the road towards Ierapetra. The crystal clear blue waters and the white sand are two of the main characteristics that have made this beach so popular.

   
agia-fotia-lasithi-crete

Agia Fotia


The village of Agia Fotia is located 8 kilometres east from Ierapetra and 47 km south east of Agios Nikolaos Town, surrounded by tall pines. Agia Fotia has developed as a lovely tourist resort over the last years, however it keeps its quiet atmosphere and authentic character. The beach is covered with soft sand and is an excellent choice for swimming.

   
makrygialos

Makrigialos


Crete Makrigialos Lassithi: The coastal village of Makrigialos lies 24 km east of Ierapetra and 60 km south-east of Agios Nikolaos town, in the centre of Kala Nera Bay. Because of its long stretch of sand and its crystalline blue waters, Makrigialos has developed into one of the most important tourist resorts in the area. In the wider region, ruins of a Minoan mansion can be seen.

   
pachia-ammos

Pahia Ammos


The superb beach of Pahia Ammos (Thick Sand) is located 20 km south eats south-east of Agios Nikolaos town, in the Mirambelo Gulf. Beautiful olive trees and greenhouses embelish the surrounding area. The beach, as its name indicates, has wonderful soft and thick golden sand boarded by crystalline waters.

   

 

Chania Beaches

Chania Beaches

 

elafonisos

Elafonisi beach


Elafonissi beach is one of the prettiest beaches in the west coast of Crete and equally famous with Vai palm-forest beach. The exotic beach of Elafonissi in Chania, on the westernmost spot of Crete. Pinkish sand, very shallow but crystal water and really crowded till 16:00 when the tourist buses depart. This is the time to enjoy the beach of Elafonissi.There are a couple of restaurants and cafes at the area. Our advice: Do not stay at the crowded place. Cross the shallow water and move on to the little island.

   
elafonisi-crete

Balos lagoon- Gramvousa Island


Balos is among the best beaches in Greece and one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete that lies 60 km north west of Chania Town. It is seen as a lagoon from the hills above the beach. On the rugged, unspoiled north coast of Crete sits a thin strip of moon-white sand surrounded by crystalline waters, looked upon only by craggy cliffs and darting swallows. This is little-known paradise lagoon; opposite the windswept, unsettled headland of Mount Geroskinos sits the rocky islet of Gramvousa and on top of this island, there is a steep Venetian castle with gorgeous view to the region and the sea. Beyond are craggy, tiny islets named Agria and Imeri, wild and tame respectively. Reaching this beach is an adventure in itself.
You may access the beach:
- on foot from Kalyvianni village in 3 hours.
- follow the dirt road from kalyvianni village to the parking place and then walk for 15 minutes. The condition of the road is not good and it may prove a serious problem for some cars.
- by boat from Kissamos. The boat departs at 09:30 and returns at 16:00. It is the most convenient solution and you will also visit the Gramvoussa Venetian fortress at the island of Imeri Gramvoussa. The disadvantage is that you will miss the incredible view of the Lagoon from the parking place, unless you climb the steps for 15 minutes.

Note: Unfortunately there is a very bad tar problem, so be careful of where you step.

   
falasarna

Falasarna


is a beautiful sandy beach on the very north west tip of Crete. This long, wide beach with luscious, fine sand is located 15 kms from Kastelli-Kissamos and 52 kms from the regional capital, Chania. This used to be a wild, deserted beach. Today it shows a few modern signs of the twenty first century, as it is dotted with small hotels, rooms and greenhouses. It still remains relatively untouched, and the beach, cliffs and wide open spaces are glorious.
There are several beaches in the Falassarna bay:
- small sandy beaches close to the ancient Falassarna town (north)
- the "Long Beach" or "Pachia Ammos", which is the famous long and wide sandy beach of Falassarna.
- another sandy beach with a rocky seabed (south). No facilities here.
- a small pebbly beach close to the port of Falassarna (south). There are rooms and taverns. No sunbeds and umbrellas.

   
sougia

Sougia


Sougia beach, although it is a pebble beach, is one of the best beaches for several reasons: being 1200 m long and located by a small village it is never crowded, there are no beach umbrellas (but the inhabitants of Sougia have thoughtfully provided a few showers), nudism is tolerated on a large part of the beach, the sea and the beach are very clean, the surrounding landscape is beautiful, the pebbles are fine so not at all uncomfortable to lie on. The small village of Sougia in the south-west of Crete has managed to remain unaffected by the growth of tourism in Crete. It is still a peaceful haven, with a long beach, plenty of good accommodation and excellent places to eat, all at prices below those found in most of the island.

   
 palaiochora

Paleochora


Paleochora differs from many villages on the south coast of western Crete in that it is a large village where Cretans live and work all year around. Its popularity with foreigners goes back to the hippy heydays of the 1970's . Nowadays, many more visitors come to spend their holidays in Paleochora but they are still, on the whole, more of the individualist type.
The village is not pretty but its long sandy beach is superb (although it's often windy) and there is a good choice of hotels, rooms for rent, good restaurants and pleasant bars.

   
 loutraki

Loutraki


A tiny beach on the peninsula of Akrotiri (near Marathi). The beach is nothing special but the water is crystal clear. .Nowadays there is a hotel bar blaring music right next to the beach.

   
 agia roumeli

Agia Roumeli


The beach is quite nice, varying between fine and coarse pebbles. The part nearest to the village gets crowded during the afternoon with Samaria walkers wanting to cool off but walk 200 meters and you are almost alone. In the morning and once the last ferryboat leaves it is almost deserted. Nudism is OK away from the village. Is not so easy because there are no roads leading to Agia Roumeli. But this is also what makes this place special. You can either walk (along the coast or though the gorge of Samaria) or take the ferryboat from Hora Sfakion, Sougia or Paleochora

   
 marmara

Marmara


A tiny beach, an hour walking from Loutro, at the entrance of the gorge of Aradena. It is called Marmara (Marble Beach) because of the smooth white rocks next to the beach. An insider tip some years back but no more: a boat brings people from Loutro every morning and being a small beach it can quickly feel crowded. Nudism is only possible if you stay on the rocks. The water is clear and cold.

   
 loutro

Loutro


The small village of Loutro, nestled in a small cove and protected from the weather by the Phoenix peninsula probably became popular with tourists because it had no road access. This kept it from developing in a haphazard way even though it grew a lot from the tiny settlement it was 30 years ago. The access to the village is only on foot or by ferry boat from Chora Sfakion and other villages on the South coast. There is a number of very good restaurants directly on the sea front.

   
 kalives

Kalives or Kalyves


Kalyves is a large Cretan village, not just something that was created out of nowhere for tourists and this is part of the charm of the place. Kalyves lives all year around. The countryside around the village is one of the greenest in Crete and the backdrop of the White Mountains is beautiful.  Kalyves is located about 20 km to the East of Chania. There are frequent buses along the national road but the bus will let you off about 1 km away from the village. If you don't want to walk there are also several buses a day from the centre of the village to Chania. The village has a number of restaurants and eating places.

   
 fragkokastelo-beach

Frangokastello


Frangokastello is located along the coast on an arid plain with a beautiful mountain background in a remote corner of the region of Sfakia. Some say that the name Frangokastello derives from the local phrase "Kastelli Fragon" (The Castle of the Franks), while, others claim, it derives from the Italian phrase "Castel Franco" (Brave Castle).  Frangokastello is a long way from anywhere. You will need to drive over the mountains from the North coast (on a good but very winding road). Public transport is very limited so a car is almost essential unless you want to use taxis.

   

Rethymno Beaches

Rethymno Beaches

Rethymno boasts beaches with crystal clear water, which makes it an ideal resort for summer holidays. Apart from large organized beaches the visitor will find picturesque and remote bays, sandy or rocky inlets, at both the north and south coast. Most of the beaches were awarded the Blue Flag which acknowledges and guarantee clean beaches.

Our suggestions

 

NORTH

 

Citybeach

Rethymno


A long sandy beach starting east of Rethymno town and ending in Skaleta, organized facilities are offered to bathers such as umbrellas, loungers and sea sports. Moreover, there is surveillance by lifeguards.

   
episkopi

Episkopi


Things are more leisurely here, on this sandy beach, where there are not any tourist infrastructures. Besides, the visitor can find a few beach bars, well organized and equipped, offering sodas and traditional dishes.

   
georgioupoli

Georgioupoli


The 9 km (6 mi) beach is the main attraction of the area, with Kalyvaki beach on the other side of the river as well, a pretty beach with low sand dunes.
The beach is smaller than the large one to the east but more sheltered. It is organised and there are restaurants serving lunch.

   
panormo

Panormo and Bali


Great facilities can also be found at these places, which have developed from picturesque fishing villages to tourist resorts.

   
   
SOUTH 

 

The whole situation is different on the southern coast; crystal clear and cold water, isolated beaches.

 

   
plakias

Plakias, Souda and Damnoni


Choose the village of Plakias if you want an organized sandy beach, sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as a couple of cafes and restaurants where you can have a drink or something to eat. On its west there is the beach of Souda, the rocky coast is indented with a multitude of little coves. Damnoni is east from Plakias with a long sandy organized beach, offering sport facilities. Tavernas are located abobe the beach.

   
preveli

Preveli


Preveli, the renowned beach with its palm trees and blue waters, a river going down into the sea, receives thousands of visitors. This is actually the mouth of Megalos Potamos. If you do for a walk into the palm tree you can see naturally ponds and waterfalls. Give it a try!
Above the beach is located the holy monastery of Preveli.

   
sxoinaria

Schoinaria


Suitable for those you like staring at the bottom of the sea. You will surely be amazed by the scenery. Facilities can be also found here in a probably smaller scale. Be prepared and buy all you need from Lefkogia, a village before Schoinaria beach.

   
ammoudaki

Ammoudaki


Words are superfluous. Crystal clear water, facilities can be found on this little bay. Having fanatical devotees, it is usually crowded, but it worths it! Be aware that it also attracts quite a number of nudists.

   
Triopetra 

 

Triopetra, Ligres, Ayia Fotia, Agios Pavlos


Isolated beaches, away from it all. Gifted with amazing crystal clear water. On these three different beaches there are naturally little almost individual-sized beaches here and there. Choose one of those in case you want complete relaxation and isolation. There is a tavern from where you can buy something to drink or eat at reasonable prices, near to every of these beaches.

 

   
 rodakino

 

Rhodakino


Mainly fishing village located west of Plakias. The beautiful beach of Korakas can be reached from Rhodakino. Less crowded, has a lot to offer from the visitor. The only drawback is the long distance if you have Rethymni city as a base.

 

Crete Beaches

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