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harbours

Crete

10 picturesque harbours of Crete

Crete's maritime legacy is intricately bound up in it's culture and there are many beautiful harbour towns and villages to visit dotted around the coastline. Here are just a few. Visit the Towns and Villages section of our website for a full list of places to visit. Apart from the popular harbours of Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion, find more!

Agia Galini

The seaside village of Agia Galini keeps visitors entertained all summer round and is still very much a working fishing port. Start your day early and you can watch the day’s catch being auctioned on the quay and pick up some fresh fish for yourself. Then enjoy your swim near the exit of Platys Potamos River and ascend to the statue of Icarus, at the side from where the mythological figure is said to have flied.

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Mirtos

Described as a tiny, picturesque, traffic free harbourside village with narrow streets of old Cretan houses, Mirtos harbour is the perfect spot to perch on enjoy waterside views and indulge in delicious Cretan Cuisine dishes. Wander through narrow streets and browse shops filled with locally made handicrafts and confectionery.

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Elounda

Elounda harbour is a cosmopolitan resort that sits on the south coast of Elounda lagoon, just 5 miles from Agios Nikolaos. Perch on the harbourside seating with a traditional Cretan pasty, take the ferry across to Spinalonga Fort or get refreshed on one of Elounda's beaches.

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Bali

Bali harbour is a charming fishing port surrounded by some small glorious sandy beaches, at the shade of the steep Talean Range, which has faced a touristic development in the last decades. Although the fishing fleet in Bali harbour has decreased over the years, various types of fishing vessel still head out for a daily catch, to sell on to locals and visitors alike. Apart from enjoying the beaches, consider visiting the Medieval monastery of Attali and get inspired by its colorful gardens.

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Sitia

Sitia is Lassithi's second largest harbour and is the province's first and last port. Today, as well as being a beautiful visitor destination, Sitia is at the forefront of the region’s economy. The town boasts a golden beach along side the harbour, in which visitors can bathe and enjoy the sun with all amenities nearby. In the evening wander around the narrow streets of Sitia, walk up to the fort of Casarma and relax in the cafes on the pier.

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Sougia

Sougia is situated on the south coast of Crete and is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The small town has been built on the west side of the Agia Irini gorge exit and an amazing pebbly beach is formed just in front. Although you get the impression that the town is newly built, you will get surprised by its long history. Apart from the ancient basilicas, do not miss the hiking trail to ancient Lissos, coming through a beautiful gorge.

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Lendas

Lendas harbour is situated within a tiny fishing village in South Heraklion, below the imposing Lion Rock and on the site of Grecoroman Levena. The harbour is surrounded white-and-blue lichened houses which huddle together creating a stunning location, ideal for eating, having a coffee or swim. You can access Lendas from Messara plane and keep driving to the west to Kali Limenes, crossing the wild Asterousia Range

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Sissi

Popular for retaining its original character, charm and beauty, Sissi harbour is a favorite destination for many oldcomers in Crete. For fantastic coastal views take the east road towards Milatos and catch photos of the waves breaking on the rough rocks. Don't forget to visit the historical cave of Milatos and wander in the streets of the old village.

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Kalives

Kalives harbour is situated at the exit of the rivers Xidas and Kiliaris, offering some spectacular beach leisure moments. The town was built at a strategic position of the rich Apokoronas province, as evidenced by the numerous forts that you can still visit around. Above the beach of Kalives you can still visit the remnants of Apicorno fort that gave its name to the entire province of Apokoronas.

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Loutro

Loutro is an award-winning holiday destination for those who seek the absolute seclusion in West Crete. The picturesque harbour, which was once dependent on fishing, is a must visit attraction when holidaying in Sfakia area. You can arrive only on foot or by ferry from Chora. Get lost in the narrow streets, walk up to the fort that once protected Loutro and enjoy genuine Cretan Cuisine on the seaside restaurant.

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These are just a few. What's your favourite Cretan harbour and why? Let us know by commenting below.

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