Crete’s coast line is over 1,000 km long with beaches for any preference. There are endless sandy beaches, pebble beaches, organised cosmopolitan beaches, as well as desert pristine beaches, and beaches for diving and water sports. Here are some of Crete’s beaches and their location on the map:
This beach is located in the south of the Prefecture of Rethymno, in a verdant area at the end of the Kourtalioti George. As you exit the Preveli Monastery park your car and start walking to the palm forest. The extended sandy beach is located after the palm forest, with the magnificent waterfalls that end into the sea. The landscape looks tropical and this excursion will definitely surprise you. Many describe the area of Preveli as a paradise on earth.
The beach of Agios Pavlos is located in the south of the Prefecture of Rethymno, approximately 50 km from Agia Galini. A quite sandy beach without crowd of people and noise, suited for those who love a relaxed getaway. The quite high sand hills stand majestically and show the way to the beautiful beach, which enchants the visitors especially at sunset. Also, friends of yoga will enjoy their stay there, since a lot of yoga enthusiasts from all over the world visit the area and participate at seminars and events carried out there.
South of Rethymno about 50 km from the city the idyllic beach of Triopetra is located. When arriving at the beach the view from the top is very impressive. The sea is crystal clear and the beach is sandy. The beach of Triopetra provides peace of mind and relaxation. We suggest staying until the sunset, because it is famous for the great colours it wraps the sky and the sea of Triopetra.
The beach of Plakias is located about 40 km southwest of Rethymno. It is one of the largest beaches on Crete with very clear water and sandy beach. If you like nude-bathing you can visit the east side of the beach. There are more beautiful beaches in the area like Damnoni and Ammoudi.
The village Rodakino is located approximately 47 km southwest of Rethymno. It is located at the exit of a gorge, west of Frangokastelo and east of Plakias. It is divided in Pano (upper) and Kato (lower) Rodakino. When you arrive at Rodakino follow the road to Korakas and visit the magnificent beaches. The coast has smooth gravel and in the east you can explore gorgeous rock caves. You will find clear water, good food and friendly local people who will welcome you.
In Agia Foteini you will find some of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Crete, with crystal clear water, suitable for swimming and unique surrounding. In the village Kerames, in the fish harbour, you will find a tavern which serves fresh local seafood.
Matala is located in the south of Crete in the Prefecture of Heraklion and in a distance of about 70 km from Heraklion. It is a small fishermen’s village with a very famous, gorgeous, sandy beach. The clear blue water combined with the small artificial rock-cat caves are the elements which make the beach of Matala unique. It is world-wide known that in the 1970s the rebel youth of that generation, the so-called hippies, found shelter there. Among them were some famous artists of that generation, such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Cat Stevens. Since then the caves are protected by the Archaeological Department and it is forbidden to stay there. There are a lot of shipwrecks found in the area. Inside the caves are graves dated from the Greco-Roman and pre-Christian era, while some presume that in the prehistoric era the caves where used as living areas. It is worth to mention that in a rock a hewn church of St. Mary was found.
One of Crete’s most magical beaches is located in the southwest coast. Elafonisi is one of the exotic beaches of Crete, located about 80 km from Chania. Special features are the white sandy hills, the blue, clear and shallow water, the peace and quietness. The nature reminds of exotic places and the shallow waters don’t deepen for quite some meters. The landscape is captivating, because it is very rare to find another beach with these features in Greece. By walking a few minutes to the west, you can easily reach the beach with the cedar forest.
Northwest of Crete is a peninsula called Gramvousa, the magical beach of Balos is located west of it. On Gramvousa exists a castle build by the Venetians and used as a fortress against the invaders who wanted to conquer the island from time to time. Special features are the fine white and red sand, the shallow waters and at some point a lagoon with clear blue-green water. You can visit Gramvousa and Balos by taking a daily ferry from the port of Kisamos (Kasteli). The beach of Balos is also accessible from the land. You will have to drive on a rocky gravel path and after a certain point park the car and continue on foot descending to the beach.
The beach of Georgioupoli is located in the north of Crete, in the Prefecture of Chania bordering to the Prefecture of Rethymno. The beach is large and very clear. The beach extends approximately 9 km towards Rethymno and the surrounding area is verdant and has a rich fauna. One characteristic feature of Georgioupoli is the small, white church located in the middle of the sea, build on a construction of stones. If you visit Georgioupoli it is worth to visit the villages Vryses, Kastelos and Fylaki, as well as the beautiful lake Kournas, where you can survey the significant Byzantine churches of Agios Georgios and Agia Eirini.