Cretan Beaches

Karteros

KARTEROS BEACH

It is located 9 km east of Heraklion city. It is a beautiful, sandy beach with nice, clean waters. In summer, this beach gets very crowded because it is well-organized with water sports facilities, sun beds, umbrellas, showers and other leisure activities. The beach overlooks the islet of Dia, which was a significant Minoan religious site.

Saradari

SARADARIS COVES

The Coves of Hersonissos are located 27km east of Heraklion, starting from Cape Sarandaris and continuing to the east till the harbour of Hersonissos. They are really beautiful beaches with calm waters, since Cape Sarandaris protects them from the northwest winds. Access to all coves is easy and the surrounding area is well developed. The busy Hersonissos town is within walking distance, but if you want to stay at night close to the coves, there are several bars and cafes.

Listis

BEACH OF LISTIS

The beautiful beach of Listis is located 64km southeast of Heraklion, 3km west of Keratokambos and 8km east of Tsoutsouras. This quite small but idyllic beach has crystal clear waters and sandy seabed, ideal for both swimming and snorkelling. The beach is completely unorganised. Listis beach is accessible only by private cars and motorbikes. If you drive from Heraklion, take the provincial road Knossou-Harakas, towards the south. Drive past Knossos, the villages of Arkalochori and Viannos and head for Keratokambos. Little before entering the village, turn right towards the west and after 1,5km you may have to park. In order to reach the beach you have to descend a steep slope.

Matala

MATALA

Matala is located about 70km south west of Heraklion city. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Crete and a famous beach in the prefecture of Heraklion. Matala is famous for the carved caves in the rocks and the hippies who overcrowded the area in the ‘70s. Matala Bay is relatively sheltered from northerlies, but it is affected by south and westerly winds so be careful since the seabed is quite rocky in some places. If you choose to drive from Heraklion, follow the new National road (E75) towards Rethymno, to the east. After about 6km take the exit to Tympaki and Agia Galini and right after 300m follow the provincial road Herakliou- Phaistou. After about 46km you will reach Moires and just have to follow the signs to Matala.

Treis Ekklisies

TREIS EKKLISIES

Treis Ekklisies is a secluded resort located 65 km south of Heraklion town. It has a beautiful mountain backdrop and a wonderful view of the open sea. 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.

Vathy

VATHY

Situated at a distance of some 79 kilometres far from Heraklion and 17 from the traditional village of Sivas, at the Southwest, the pebbly beach of Vathy is found within in a small, close cove, well protected from the winds blowing in the area. In front of a tiny settlement with only a few buildings and permanent residents, the beach lacks any kind of facilities. For food and drink you should try to Sivas, or to the other resort of the area, far away from the beach. Access from Heraklion is possible only by rented or private 4WD cars and off-road motorbikes, as the unique road, starting after Sivas is a difficult dirty track 17 kilometres long. On your way to the beach, it is worth stopping to visit the Monastery of Panaghia Odigitria.

Beaches | Lavris Hotels Group

PLAKA

Plaka is more a small suburb of Elounda, about 4km away, than an independent village. There are some good taverns there. The water is crystal clear and the beach is made up of smooth white pebbles. Mountains encompass Plaka and the beach is protected from the wind so it is possible to swim in late autumn. A well-known sightseeing excursion is to the Island of Spinalonga which is steeped in history.

Almyros

BEACH OF ALMYROS

Almiros beach is located 2.5km south of Agios Nikolaos and is the most popular beach of the city. It is shaped near the exit of Almiros River, which empties on the south part of the beach. Next to the beach, the protected wetland of Almiros hosts several rare birds, towering eucalyptus trees, reed and palm trees. The beach is quite long and very well-organized. It is sandy and the water is shallow and usually calm, making it ideal especially for young children. The area has a few canteens, while there are also many options for water sports. The sea water is very cold in some places due to the river that flows all year.

Preveli

PREVELI

Preveli beach with palm riverside is one of the most famous and favorite beaches of Crete. The name and the wider region, due to the homonymous historic monastery near which is, dedicated to St. John the Theologian. A stroll or pedal boat along the river, through palm trees and oleanders up the canyon is a unique experience. At the exit of the gorge, where the river ends Kourtaliotis creating a delta, is the beautiful beach of Preveli. The beach has light-colored sand and pebble bottom, and the water is crystal clear. It is approximately 35 km. From Rethymno and 10 km. From Plakias.

Agios Pavlos

AGIOS PAVLOS

The beaches of Agios Pavlos are located in the beach front, the road leaving the village Sachtouria. There are successive sandy beaches, with vast dunes, sea caves and crystal clear waters. From the beaches you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets in an ideal location for relaxation.

Balos

BALOS

On the northwest coast of cape Gramvoussa, in the bay formed between Cape Tigani and Trypiti, located the lagoon of Balos. It is a quiet beach across the small islands Wild and Imeri Gramvousa, turquoise, warm waters and white sand. Actually, they are shells broken into tiny pieces, which give pink to white sand. The water in front of the beach is shallow, while elsewhere deepens. Every day during the summer season, boat routes made from Kastelli Kissamos to Balos, with a stop and a 2 hour stay in Imeri Gramvousa. The route of Imeri Gramvousa Balos lasts approximately 15 minutes. Where the boat disembarks passengers and stays for three hours, allowing them to enjoy relaxing moments in the calm waters. Alternatively, you can start with your vehicle and pass through a dirt road that starts from the village Kaliviani, to be directed to the parking lot located above the beach of Balos. From there, continue walking down the path with the big stone steps, which after 15 minutes of easy downhill takes you to the beautiful beach. The second way of the beach approach is more difficult, but worth it, as the view that you will see - Balos and Gramvousa from above - is magnificent.

Elafonisi

ELAFONISI

The Elafonisi beach is one of the most famous beaches of Crete and quite often featured in many travel guides as one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Access through national road Chania-Kissamos (E90) and then before Kastelli turn left into provincial road Kisamos-Chrisoskalitissas. Elafonisi is literally a small island connected to the mainland by a shallow passage of several hundred meters, which can be crossed on foot. This whole area, which is part of the program NATURA EU, characterized by pale sand, shallow crystal clear with turquoise color, and small pink "patches" due to crushed seashells.

Seitan

SEITAN’S PORTS

Though it seems totally remote, this spectacular beach is located just a short 20 km drive from the city center of Chania. In order to get to Seitan Limania you have to drive towards the airport of Chania. Turn left right before the airport towards village Chordaki and then follow the signs to Rizoskloko. At some point you will start seeing small signs that will lead you to the beach. Don't be surprised if you meet a closed door in the middle of the road; it has been put there to fence the goats of a shepherd and you are pleased to close it behind you as you go through. The asphalt road descends to where it seems to be the middle of nowhere and ends at a parking area that serves the beach. A steep but easy-to-walk path starts from there and within 15 minutes it ends at this well-hidden paradise. At and around the beach you will find no amenities, which means you will have to carry your water, snack or anything else you might need, as well as to leave nothing but footprints at the beach as you leave. This tiny cove might easily get annoyingly busy so, if possible, try to avoid weekends and any dates at the peak of the tourist season.

Loutro

LOUTRO AT SFAKIA

It is a quiet, built amphitheater, picturesque fishing village on the south coast of Chania, which is dominated by white, blue and indigo, making it reminiscent of Cycladic Island. Due to the lack of roads, Loutro is ideal for those wanting a quiet holiday away from the bustle of the city or the busy tourist centers. From Loutro, in the summer months, there is a cruise boat daily to the beaches Marmara and Glyka Nera and by boat to Sfakia, Agia Roumeli (Samaria gorge), Sougia and Paleochora.