The most famous and most photographed beaches on the island, 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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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.
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.
Kato Stalos, which is the coastal part of Stalos, has a fantastic sandy beach. The beach is very well organized and is providing all the possible touristic services. For this reason, the beach is awarded every year with blue flag.
The seaside village of Platanias is located 11km west of Chania. The wider area has faced a great development during the last decades and now is actually a suburb of Chania. The village is built on a hillside with fantastic view. During summer nights, the great clubs in the area host thousands of people, both Greeks and foreigners, who dance until dawn.
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.
Fragokastelo (ie the castle of the Franks) is one of the most famous beaches of Crete, famous for the local Venetian castle on the beautiful beach and the legendary ghosts of Drosoulites. It is located 13km east of Hora Sfakion, 80km southeast of Chania, in a small valley south of the White Mountains.
The Golden Beach (greek: Hrissi Akti) is located 2.5km west of Chania and a few meters east of Agii Apostoli. It actually consists of two sandy beaches separated by a small hill. The west cove is the main Golden Beach and the east one is called Aptera beach.