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.
Ligaria is located 21km north west of Heraklion and 1km east of Agia Pelagia. The Bay of Ligaria is closed and well protected from the winds blowing in the region. Nearby there are the ruins of the old monastery of Panagia Ligariani, where many monks lived in the past. The region gets its name from the monastery, which in turn gets its name from the beautiful plant “osier” (ligaria in Greek), with the flexible stems and the beautiful flowers, which used to abound in the area.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
Orthi Ammos is one spectacular sandy and shallow beach, next to Frangokastelo, located 80km south of Chania, at the edge of a big valley with very warm climate. The area is not overdeveloped, in contrary to the touristic area of Frangokastelo.
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.