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 beach is surrounded by pines and cedars, making it a favorite destination for campers for those who love hiking. If you come to the river it is worth observing the fossils on the rocks or have some spa with the clay!
In Xerokampos the landscape is arid and truly eerie, characterized by bare rocks and steep mountains. The vegetation is limited to bushes and there are some places with a few olive groves. A small tourist destination has started developing during the last years, especially after the roads were paved with asphalt.
Galini is located 47km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 13km east of Ierapetra, by the beach of Achlia, located 500m on the east. Galini is a small village, slightly developed, which is built in a lush landscape with pine trees. The coast around the village is full of hidden coves with pebbly beaches, where access is tricky, since only some well-hidden paths lead there.
Analipsi later was occupied by the the shepherds of Saint George village, in Lasithi Plateau, where the winter is very cold. Thus, they moved their cattle here in winter. Today, the lucky descendants of the shepherds have large properties in the area, with hotels, shops, restaurants and all sorts of tourist facilities.
Dia is a small uninhabited island located 12 miles north of Heraklion. During the summer, excursion boats run daily to Dia, where the visitor can admire the rugged landscape of the island and swim in the crystal clear waters. The place where the boats stop is called the port of St. George.
Chiona means carob storehouse in the Cretan dialect and is taken after the storehouses that were usually built next to the shore in order to transfer carobs with ships. Indeed the area was known for trading carobs. Here you can have a perfect day, especially if you combine your visit in Chiona with eating at the famous local fish taverns of Batis and Amanakis.
Iligas is an amazing turquoise-water sandy beach, 1km west of Chora Sfakion and 74km south of Chania. Iligas is located at the end of Kavi Gorge, that starts close to Anopolis. There are two beaches, separated with a big cavy rock.
Chora Sfakíon or Sfakia is a small town on the south coast of Chania. It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakia, and is a small town of just 278 inhabitants (2001 census). It lies on the south coast near the end of the Imbros Gorge, 74km south of Chania.