The most famous and most photographed beaches on the island of Crete, known for their exotic water and majestic natural environment, are the heavenly lagoons of Balos at Gramvousa peninsula and Elafonissi, which lie in the southwestern edge of the island. Between them, lies the virgin beaches of ancient Falassarna. For those looking for seclusion, there is the hidden paradise of Kedrodasos and White Lake near Elafonissi and the African seascapes of Agiannis and Lavrakas on Gavdos island.
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Georgioupolis is a seaside resort located 38km east of Chania and 21km west of Rethymnon. It is a small coastal town, situated in a lush valley filled with rivers and springs. The town lies on the western edge of a vast long beach with 10km length. Georgioupolis beach stretches 2km to the east, starting from the river Almiros and ending in Kavros beach, which is a natural extension of the first beach.
Loutro is a small seaside village situated approximately 71 km south of Chania, at the end of Cape Mouri. It is believed that this was the site of the ancient city of Phoenix and was the ancient port of Anopolis. Later, it became a winter port for Chora Sfakion, due to the fact that the enclosed bay and the small island at its entrance create a natural harbor where ships can be safe even in very bad weather.
Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece. Kournas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year. For this reason, it is protected under the Natura 2000 program.
The tiny beach of Macherida is located 14km northeast of Chania and 1km west of the village Chorafakia, hidden in a rocky bay. The beach is named after the rocky cape in its north end that reminds of a knife (“machairi” means “knife” in Greek). According to another version, it is named after the flower Gladiolis italicus that is called “machairida” in Greek.
The seaside village of Agia Marina is located just 9km west of Chania. It is one of the most popular resorts in Chania, with thousands of hotels and all types of touristic infrastructure. The village is named after the local church of Agia Marina.
The main beach of Nea Chora is very well organized, with several amenities nearby. It is a nice sandy beach, with rocks in some places. Nea Chora is ideal for those that do not want to leave the city centre.
Aspri Limni (i.e. White Lake) is one of the most gorgeous beaches in Crete, that almost nobody knows. This is a small secret beach, located 500m west of Chrysoskalitissa monastery and 70km southwest of Chania. Thousands of visitors are attracted by the nearby exotic Elafonissi lagoon, but actually nobody has heard of this magnificent neighboring place.
Menies or Diktynna is located 45km northwest of Chania, on the northeastern shores of Cape Rodopos and at the exit of Foundas Gorge. It is a lovely secluded beach with pebbles and deep crystal blue waters.