Driving on dusty dirt roads across rocky pastures and hiking in the canyons usually end up in a refreshing swim at a splendid secluded beach. The hues of the sea play their color game with the stones and the sun. Some of the most popular beaches are Agiofarago, while there are still impressive beaches at Vathy, Trafoulas by Lendas, Aspes and Agios Nikitas. Those preferring to stay close to “civilization” can swim below the legendary caves of Listis by Keratokambos and the dunes of Komos by Matala. Οn the north coast, in the coves of Sarandaris at Hersonisos, Potamos by Malia, as well as on Dia island one comes across heavenly beaches, where the water is azure blue.
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Keratokambos is a small seaside resort situated 72km southeast of Heraklion, a few miles east of Tsoutsouras and Viannos. Keratokambos, with the nearby village of Kastri, have become a new tourist destination during the last years, because more and more visitors come to the area and enjoy the beautiful shores. Indeed, in front of the village of Keratokambos a vast beach, several kilometers long, stretches to both directions.
In front of the village lies a quiet beach with coarse gray sand and beautiful crystal clear waters. The village is not well developed and still retains the unique Cretan authenticity. You will find only 2-3 taverns and very few rooms. The beach has no umbrellas, but there are some tamarisk trees in front on the settlement offering natural shade.
The most common way to get there is to drive in the rugged dirt road that starts from the village Ahendrias and ends at the Monastery of St. Nikitas after 15km. The fascinating route runs along steep cliffs and wild sharp rocks, a characteristic landscape of the Asterousia Mountains.
Tripiti (or Trypiti) is located 73km south of Heraklion and 12km east of Lendas, in a small plain at the exit of the gorge of Tripiti (not the homonym gorge of Sfakia area). The name is taken after the church of Panagia Tripiti, which is built inside a cave at the base of the canyon.
Martsalo is a secluded beach in the west Asterousia Mountains, one of the most inaccessible areas of Heraklion. It is located just a few kilometers from the “horn” of Messara Plain, the Cape Lithino, and 80km southwest of Heraklion.
Fodele beach is located 26km northwest of Heraklion and just 3km north of the village Fodele, which is believed to be the birthplace of the painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, mainly known as El Greco. The National Road connecting Heraklion and Chania passes beside the beach.
Listis is located 69km southeast of Iraklion, between Kastri (2km western) and Tsoutsouras. The street linking Kastri and Tsoutsouras passes next to the beach. However, in order to get to the beach you should descend a steep slope. Alternatively, you can get off at the next beach of Kamboula and walk eastwards. Whichever way you choose, it definitely is worth it.
Trafoulas or Dragon Bay is located 4km east of Lendas and 69km south of Heraklion. It is a completely isolated beach of south Crete, which is formed at the exit of a small canyon on the Cape Trafoulas or Trahilas. According to the legend, this beach was visited by King Minos and his men, while the neighbouring Loutra beach was the bathing beach of Minos's wife, Pasiphae, and her female followers.