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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Thousands of visitors, descending the Samaria gorge, reach Agia Roumeli every day and enjoy their bath in the main beach, Gialos, stretching in front of the taverns. However, there are some very nice and quiet beaches around, one could explore. One of these beaches is Mashali and is actually the west part of the bay of Agia Roumeli.
Xotikospilio (i.e. the cave of elfs) is located 70km southwest of Chania, 30km south of Kissamos and 1.5 km northwest of Keramoti village. It is named after the small cave next to it where locals have seen elfs!
Votsala or Halikia are located after the west end of Paleochora harbor, 79km south of Chania city, next to the exit of Kakodiakianos River and extend for about 1km to the east. Halikia and Pahia Ammos are the two main beaches in Paleohora town. Halikia has round pebbles and is well organized and preferred mainly by Greeks than the sandy beach of Pahia Ammos
The beautiful beach of Skotini is located at the Cape Sideris, between Ravdoucha and Agios Vasilios, just before Panagia Myrtidiotissa at Choni, at the exit of a small and quite steep gorge. You can reach the beach by walking the impressive path that starts from the area of Saint Marina.
Some meters west of Koutelos beach, there is the secluded beach of Leska. Its name means “Steep Place” or “trap” in Cretan dialect and is taken after the steep cliffs around the beach. It is a pebbly beach with sand in some places, while on the west there is a very small cove with stony seabed. It can be accessed mainly on boat, as walking along the coast from Koutelos beach is risky due to the collapsing grounds and the high cliffs.
The beach Avlaki is located at the exit of the gorge Avlaki in Arkoudovounia area, Cape Meleha, about 16km east of Chania. The access (especially the return) is quite arduous, as it takes about an hour's walking on downhill cobblestone path.
Psilos Volakas is the most popular of the nearby beaches that you will find in the west, after the small Kalamia beach, about 1.5km west of Paleochora.