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.
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.
The village retains the traditional elements of Crete intact and is an ideal destination for a relaxing holiday. The villagers, mostly originating from the village Sfaka, are very friendly and you will feel very familiar with them on the first day. If you're lucky, you might meet some of the events organized by the locals, such as fishing contests.
The beach is the longest in the area with a length exceeding 1.5km, bounded on the north by the Cape Tenta and on the south by the Cape Plaka. It has fine brown sand, shallow turquoise waters, and several tamarisk trees around it. It is slightly organized in some areas with umbrellas, showers, and beach bars.
Gorge Katsounaki is located in the dry Eastern Crete, east of Xirokambos settlement. The river passing through the gorge leads to the beach of Xerokampos River, next to the beautiful sand beach of Alona. Hiking in the canyon is easy and the landscape with tall walls is very wild. You can walk upside down from Alona.
If you exclude the repelling landscape of tanks, you will certainly be enchanted by the beautiful beaches of Kali Limenes, which are suitable for swimming all year round. As its name name suggests, sea in Kali Limenes (i.e. Fair Harbors) is almost always calm, except in winter. This was one of the reasons for the construction of the tanks here. If you visit the place on weekend, all its beaches are crowded by thousands of people, despite the tiring route in Asterousia.
Geropotamos is located about 18km east of Rethymnon and 3km west of Panormo. It is named after the homonym river that empties in the east end of the beach. The small beach is sandy and has crystal clear water, which is very cool because of the river, which has water all year round and forms a small deep lake near the shore.
In front of the suburbs of Rethymnon stretches a long sandy beach, which is an extension of vast beachfront that starts near the harbor of Rethymno and extends to the east for 13km. It is very well organized, with a plethora of choices for food, drink and accommodation.
Kokkinos Pirgos (i.e. Red Tower) is located 67km west of Heraklion and close to the town of Tymbaki. The name is taken after the tower that was there and was built with reddish soil. The purpose of this tower at this point is still unknown. It is the seaside village of Timbaki, home of the port of the region and developed touristically.