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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Kokkinos Pirgos (i.e. Red Tower) is located 67km west of Heraklion and close to the town of Tymbaki. The name is taken after the tower that was there and was built with reddish soil. The purpose of this tower at this point is still unknown. It is the seaside village of Timbaki, home of the port of the region and developed touristically.
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.
If you exclude the repelling landscape of tanks, you will certainly be enchanted by the beautiful beaches of Kali Limenes, which are suitable for swimming all year round. As its name name suggests, sea in Kali Limenes (i.e. Fair Harbors) is almost always calm, except in winter. This was one of the reasons for the construction of the tanks here. If you visit the place on weekend, all its beaches are crowded by thousands of people, despite the tiring route in Asterousia.
Psaromoura is located 22km northwest of Heraklion, just 500m north of Agia Pelagia. Like all beaches in the area, it faces East and is sheltered from the north winds usually blowing in the area. Right on the beach there are no hotels or restaurants, but there many facilities within walking distance.
Agios Antonios (St. Anthony) is located 71km south of Heraklion, between the hamlet of Agios Ioannis and the Monastery of Koudoumas. The area is very isolated and can be accessed only via a footpath that connects Agios Ioannis with the monastery. The trail passes between pine trees.
Arvi is a large seaside village located 79km southeast of Heraklion and 35km west of Ierapetra, in a large valley formed in front of the imposing Gorge of Arvi. It is built on the location of the homonym ancient Arvi. In the valley of Arvi and the surrounding area, there are too many greenhouses. The locals deal mainly with agriculture, because the warm climate of the region helps the production of bananas, fresh vegetables and olive oil.
Hersonissos is a very busy, touristic town located 28km east of Heraklion. 2km east of the Hersonissos port, you'll find several nice coves, that constitute the complex of east Hersonisos beaches.
About 1km east of Chrysostomos settlement we meet the amazing beaches of Maha. The first beach is rocky and is mainly used as harbor. It is unorganized but there are some rooms and a tavern nearby, from where a dirt road leads to the beach.