The best beaches in Crete
If you ask anyone who has visited the island, everyone loves Crete for a different reason, from the excellent food and raki to its hospitable inhabitants. From the incredible nature to the fascinating history that can be discovered if you visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos. But there isn't anybody who has visited Crete and hasn't fallen in love with its beaches!
If you are thinking of going to the Megalonisos (big island) for a vacation this year, keep notes on the beaches in Crete that you should definitely visit. There is definitely one (okay, let's be honest, many more) for every type of traveler.
Which beach in Crete is the most sandy?
You will find golden sand in many Cretan beaches. But Falassarna is one of the largest and most famous sandy beaches on the island. It never becomes crowded, not even in August. It is located 60 km from the port of Chania, it is almost 3 km long and it has been added to the NATURA protection program. In several spots it is organized, with cafes and tavernas, while it has plenty of space for you to spread your towel freely.
The sandy beach of Falassarna
I want a beach in Crete with lovely shallow water
Elafonissi is one of the most famous beaches in Crete. The beauty of the spot is exotic, unprecedented and unique. The colors here are the protagonists: Golden sand with pink details created by broken shells and turquoise waters, make this beach an unforgettable destination. You can explore it by snorkelling or standing on your SUP, or simply from the comfort of your lounger. It is located 80 km from Chania and it is accessible by car or bus.
Elafonissi, an exotic beach
On which beach in Crete will I take the most impressive photos?
The Balos lagoon of course! It's the beach that Instagram adores and if you've been there even once, you know exactly why. You can spend the whole day diving and taking selfies in the warm, dazzling blue waters.
View of Balos beach
Balos, together with Gramvousa, the pirates island located opposite, is one of the must-see beaches in Crete. It is located in the prefecture of Chania and you will arrive there by car or by taking the boat from Kissamos.
Give me a beach in Crete with crowds and beach bars!
One beach is known for its frantic lifestyle in Crete, and that is Malia. The fun here starts in the morning at the beach bars, peaking in the evening, at any of the beach clubs. The party continues until the next morning and that is why the area is always packed with young visitors from Greece and other countries. Malia is 35 km from the port and the airport of Heraklion.
Where in Crete will I find water sports?
Hersonissos sets the island's pulse every summer with its vitality and energy. Its beach, together with its vibrant night life, never let the area to rest. This is a place frequented by many foreign tourists, which is why it has a lot of water sports facilities. From boat rental and diving to kitesurfing, SUP, flyboard, canoeing and everything new and original! Hersonissos beach is located in the prefecture of Heraklion and it is 25 km from the port.
Kitesurfing in Crete
Is there such a thing as a secluded beach in Crete?
To escape from the crowds, you must reach Chrysi. Its famous islet, also known as Gaidouronisi, is uninhabited and you will find it south of Ierapetra. The trip to Chrysi is made by boat from there and it takes about 45 minutes. On the island there are only beaches and a beautiful cedar forest. If you want complete isolation, you will go to Hatzivolakas, Vlychadia or Vagkes. These beaches are pristine with no trace of facilities.
Sandy beach of Ierapetra
Which beach in Crete has palm trees?
The one in the Palm Forest in Vai. The palm trees of Crete, the native species found only on the island, create an incredibly picturesque backdrop. You will find the same scenario unfold in front of your eyes at Preveli beach, in southern Crete. There you will see the small lake formed by the Mega River which, together with the Cretan palm tree of Theophrastus (as the palm tree is officially called), will turn your vacation into an unforgettable experience.
The palm trees of Vai
Which beach in Crete is close to an urban center?
Rethymnon is ideal if you are traveling with your family or if you do not want to cover long distances. It is the city that provides you with a long beach with hotels, beach bars, sunbeds, cafes and restaurants. It also has a lifeguard station, as well as water sports like waterbikes, beach volleyball courts and inflatable water games. Rethymnon beach is close to important sights such as the Venetian port and the lighthouse of Rethymnon.
View of Akoumiani Gialia in Rethymnon
Which is the best couples beach in Crete?
Akoumiani Gialia in Rethymnon is surrounded by high dunes in an eerie landscape. It stretches on a long sandy beach and along the way you will find caves where you can go skinny dipping or create romantic memories together with your loved one. In the same prefecture you will find Bali, a quiet, beautiful beach, which is ideal to spend the day at sea, especially off season.
View of Bali in Rethymnon
On which beach in Crete can I swim in the nude?
Crete has long been a hippies' favorite. Its good climate, plenty of beaches, and secluded coves, make the island an attractive destination for nudists. On many beaches you can simply drop your swimsuit and swim in the nude. One of them is located in the former hippies hangout in Matala, and specifically in Kokkini Ammos. It has been voted one of the best nudist beaches in the world and access is considered moderately difficult. Matala is located in the prefecture of Heraklion, 70 km from the port.
Matala, a hippies' favorite hangout
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