Cretan Beaches



Mother nature was very generous in the creation of Crete. The island is adorned with fantastic sceneries and exotic beaches. From Chania to Lassithi, one comes across many beaches with white sand tinted with pinkish hues due to the millions of crushed shells. Turquoise water, aquarium-like seabed, sand dunes, and rare coastal ecosystems give visitors the opportunity to discover their paradise in Crete.

The most famous and most photographed beaches on the island, known for their exotic water and majestic natural environment, are the heavenly lagoon of Balos at Gramvousa peninsula and beach Elafonissi, which lies at the southwestermost edge of the island. Between them, lie the virgin beaches of ancient Falassarna. For those looking for seclusion, there is the hidden paradise of Kedrodasos and the White Lake near Chrissoskalitissa monastery and the African seascapes of Agiannis and Lavrakas at Gavdos island.

The southern coast of Rethymnon hosts some of the most beautiful, untouched exotic beaches of Crete. Near Agios Pavlos, the huge sand hills of Melissa descend steeply and vanish into the sea, forming a beach, where one may sense the most positive vibrations of the island. On the adjacent beaches of Ligres and Pahia Ammos by Kerames the scenery remains mysterious. However, the most brilliant turquoise waters in Rethymnon are found on the beaches of Skinaria, Ammoudi, and Damnoni, all located near Plakias.

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 near Lendas, Aspes, and Agios Nikitas. Those preferring to stay close to “civilization” can swim below the legendary caves of Listis near Kastri and the dunes of Komos by Matala. On the north coast, in the coves of Sarandaris at Hersonisos, Potamos by Malia, as well as on Dia island one comes across heavenly coves with vivid blue watercolors.

The eastern part of the island hides some of the nicest surprises. The exotic beaches of the islands Chrissi and Koufonissi (Lefki) can be explored by taking a sea trip on excursion boats from Ierapetra and Makrigialos, respectively. The protected palm beach at Vai and Itanos strongly reminds us of an African landscape, while the secluded beaches of Karoumes and Xerokambos are a must-see for nature lovers. The dry rocky landscape changes dramatically a few miles to the west, on the serene strands formed below the slopes of Thripti mountain. The capital of Lassithi, Agios Nikolaos, hosts the lovely beaches of Almiros, Istron, and Ammoudara.

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Hiliaderfia beach at Koufonissi

In the southeastern part of the magic island is formed Chiliaderfia Bay with 4 beaches and 2-3 islets colored by the characteristic white color of the rocks of the area, which in ancient times gave the island its name Lefki (i.e. white). All beaches have shallow water, as clear as anywhere in Crete, and fine golden sand.


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