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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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.
The island of Imeri Gramvousa is located 20km northwest of Kissamos, opposite the imposing Cape of Gramvousa and 2 miles northwest of the famous lagoon of Balos. Gramvousa is famous for its historical Venetian fortress, which still stands at a height of 137m, over the beach. The fort had also been used by pirates.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.