From the dunes of Lafonissi and Xerokambos to the tropical shores of Kedrodasos and Chrissi, from the hidden beaches in the wild gorges of Sfakia and Asteroussia to the emerald bays of Triopetra and Plakias, from Balos and Elounda lagoons to the palm groves of Preveli and Vai, from piney beaches of Ierapetra to the long organized strands of the northern coasts, Crete offers the ultimate combination of carefree holidays and natural beauty, which can be finely reflected on its beaches.
The seaside resort of Loutraki is located 16km east of Chania, near the military base of Souda. Loutraki and Marathi are the two main touristic destinations in the region.
Ammoudi is located just 1km north of Agios Nikolaos city centre, in a large and well protected bay. It is a small sandy beach with shallow waters, which is preferred both by locals and visitors. It is hidden among large tamarisk trees and picturesque buildings, offering many options for accommodation and eating around. The beach has also water sport facilities.
The name is taken after the ancient city Itanos, sited in the area. Next to the archaeological site of Itanos there are the three consecutive bays of Erimoupolis (a second name of the region). Thus, you can combine your visit to the archaeological site with a dip in the cool waters. It is noteworthy to tell that part of the ancient Itanos is under water. Thus, a unique experience is to snorkel above the ruins, which now house only fish!
Stalis (or Stalida) is located 30km east of Heraklion, in the midway of Malia and Hersonissos. From a small seaside village set up by the residents of Mohos, Stalis is today a popular tourist resort, which is united with Malia town. The only difference with Malia is that Stalis attracts mainly families and things here are more peaceful.
Marmara (meaning marbles) or Dialiskari beach is a nice secluded small pebbly bay shaped near the exit of the imposing Aradena Gorge, in Sfakia region. It is located 85km south of Chania and 5km west of Loutro. It is the beach where the ramblers of Aradena Gorge rest. However, visitors coming from Loutro do usually visit the place.
Makrigialos is located 58km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 23km east of Ierapetra. It is a large village, located near the exit of the lush canyon of Pefki. Being initially a humble harbor with no roads in the ‘50s, Makrigialos has faced a strong growth and has become the largest tourist destination in the region. It actually consists of two settlements, Makrigialos and Analipsi, which are now united.
The beach of Tersanas is shaped inside a natural harbor, which faces south. It is a sandy beach with white fine sand and shallow crystal clear water. It is quite small and looks usually crowded, especially on weekends.
The peaceful resort of Anisaras is located 21km east of Heraklion, west of Cape Sarandaris. The area is now full with big hotels, which offer primarily all-inclusive services. In front of the hotels, there are small sandy beaches with rocky seabed. All beaches are well-organized with umbrellas and sun beds, which are offered for free to the customers of the hotels.