The most famous and most photographed beaches on the island, known for their exotic water and majestic natural environment, are the heavenly lagoons of Balos at Gramvousa peninsula and Elafonissi, which lie in the southwestern edge of the island. Between them, lies the virgin beaches of ancient Falassarna. For those looking for seclusion, there is the hidden paradise of Kedrodasos and White Lake near Elafonissi and the African seascapes of Agiannis and Lavrakas on Gavdos island.
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The main beach of Nea Chora is very well organized, with several amenities nearby. It is a nice sandy beach, with rocks in some places. Nea Chora is ideal for those that do not want to leave the city centre.
Gerani is a small coastal village located 13 km west of Chania, located between Maleme and Platanias. It is situated in a verdant valley with olive and citrus groves.
Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year. For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program.
The beach is surrounded by pines and cedars, making it a favorite destination for campers for those who love hiking. If you come to the river it is worth observing the fossils on the rocks or have some spa with the clay!
Fragokastelo (ie the castle of the Franks) is one of the most famous beaches of Crete, famous for the local Venetian castle on the beautiful beach and the legendary ghosts of Drosoulites. It is located 13km east of Hora Sfakion, 80km southeast of Chania, in a small valley south of the White Mountains.
Marmara (meaning marbles) or Dialiskari beach is a nice secluded small pebbly bay shaped near the exit of the imposing Aradena Gorge, in Sfakia region. It is located 85km south of Chania and 5km west of Loutro. It is the beach where the ramblers of Aradena Gorge rest. However, visitors coming from Loutro do usually visit the place.
Orthi Ammos is one spectacular sandy and shallow beach, next to Frangokastelo, located 80km south of Chania, at the edge of a big valley with very warm climate. The area is not overdeveloped, in contrary to the touristic area of Frangokastelo.
The seaside village of Platanias is located 11km west of Chania. The wider area has faced a great development during the last decades and now is actually a suburb of Chania. The village is built on a hillside with fantastic view. During summer nights, the great clubs in the area host thousands of people, both Greeks and foreigners, who dance until dawn.
Sougia is a small village located 75km west of Chania, at the exit of the beautiful Gorge of Agia Irini. A favorite destination for hippies in the 70s', today it is a perfect choice for peaceful holidays in a beautiful landscape with all the basic amenities provided.
The Golden Beach (greek: Hrissi Akti) is located 2.5km west of Chania and a few meters east of Agii Apostoli. It actually consists of two sandy beaches separated by a small hill. The west cove is the main Golden Beach and the east one is called Aptera beach.
The seaside resort of Loutraki is located 16km east of Chania, near the military base of Souda. Loutraki and Marathi are the two main touristic destinations in the region.
Beach Filaki (meaning "Prison") is located 3km east of Chora Sfakia and 75km south of Chania. Located close to the only hotel exclusively for nudists in Crete, called "Vritomartis, Filaki and the adjacent beaches of Ammoudi are mainly occupied by nudists.
Iligas is an amazing turquoise-water sandy beach, 1km west of Chora Sfakion and 74km south of Chania. Iligas is located at the end of Kavi Gorge, that starts close to Anopolis. There are two beaches, separated with a big cavy rock.
The beauty of the beach and the surrounding region cannot be reflected within the lines of this text. It is not surprising that the Discovery Channel has declared Agiannis as the second best beach in the world after one beach in Hawaii. Indeed, Agiannis is a stunning secluded sandy beach, in a wild African landscape.
The seaside resort of Kalamaki is located 6km west of Chania and is the seaside part of Galatas village. Galatas is located in a fertile plain with citrus and olive groves.
The two beaches of the Holy Apostles (greek: Agii Apostoli) are located just 3km west of Chania and is a beautiful resort. The first cove at west is located just besides the east edge of Glaros beach. It is a beautiful sandy beach with all amenities and a large parking place nearby and easily accessed.
Sfinari beach is located 60km west of Chania and 30km south of Kissamos, in front of the homonym village. The village is built at the exit of a lush deep valley and is surrounded by beautiful towering mountains.
Maleme beach is sandy and the wider area is touristic. Next to the beach you will find all necessary amenities. If you are looking for a remote place to swim, you can find a quieter part of the beach at its west end, next to the old military airport.
Chora Sfakíon or Sfakia is a small town on the south coast of Chania. It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakia, and is a small town of just 278 inhabitants (2001 census). It lies on the south coast near the end of the Imbros Gorge, 74km south of Chania.
The long beach in front of the village is a nice pebbly beach, which is actually a small part of the vast beach that runs from Kolimbari and extends up to Chania. This is ideal for swimming, especially on windless days.