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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The monastery of Koudoumas is located 74km south of Heraklion, on the western side of Cape Martelos and south of Kofinas Peak (the highest peak of Asterousia Mountains). The whole area is full of cavities where hermits used to live. To reach the monastery, you have to drive in a passable dirt road of 20km, starting from the village Sternes, which descends from an altitude of 1000m to the sea level.
Pourgonero beach is located at Krassas area, just 500m east of the port of Tsoutsouras, in the area where the houses of the settlement stop. It is actually the eastern part of Tsoutsouras bay, located in front of the hill Sarakinos. According to the legend, the eternal sarcophagus of King Minos, the mythical king of Crete, is burried below this place.
Madé (or Madés) is a small coastal village located near Ligaria, 20km northwest of Heraklion and 1.5km east of Ligaria beach. It is located near the northernmost edge of the Gulf of Heraklion, which called Cape Bourouni of Rogdia. To get this far from Heraklion, drive in the highway to Chania and take the exit of Ligaria. Just after 1.5km you will see a sign for Madé.
Loutra (i.e. Baths) is located 3km east of the seaside village Lendas, 77km south of Heraklion. It is known to locals because it hosts the port of Lendas, which is protected by the Cape Trafoulas on the east.
The beach, which is in one of the most isolated areas of the island, has beautiful pebbles and is surrounded by tall vertical cliffs. The beach is mainly accessed by boat, but you could also trek from Agios Nikitas. The surrounding area is ideal for fishing. Moreover, if you come by boat, do not forget to walk in the gorge and admire the rugged landscape, till the dead end with falls that get dry in summer.
Kastri is located 72km southeast of Heraklion, in the sheltered bay of Keratokambos. It is the biggest of the two settlements of the region (the second is Keratokambos), which are now united. In recent years Kastri has faced a considerable development, mainly because the surrounding beaches are a magnet for visitors.
Linoperamata (or Ellinoperamata) is a long sandy beach, that is located 8km west of Heraklion, west of Almiros river. This is actually the west part of the 7km long beach starting at Linoperamata and ending at Pancretan Stadium, 1km west of Heraklion.
Kladissos is located 21km northwest of Crete, west of the resort of Agia Pelagia. The beach is situated in front of the largest hotel of the region that spans the entire area of the Cape of Souda.