Some of Greece’s nicest beaches may be found on the island of Crete. Greece is in eastern Crete. Many tourists are attracted to the island by its ideal surroundings, which include soft, golden dunes and pure, blue waters. Some parts of southern Crete are very hot in the summer.
When arranging a beach holiday, it’s necessary to do your homework and take your preferences into account because Crete has both sand and pebble beaches.
No matter what kind of beachgoer you are—each has its own appearance and feel—you’ll discover something you like.
In Greece, there is the largest palm tree forest and a beach. The beaches in the Greek islands are renowned. The Greek Islands are chaotic and beautiful. Vacation will become enjoyable when you visit the Greek Islands.
On the north coast, the stunning beaches are frequently busy and surrounded by eateries and stores. The renowned Matala beach and other amazing swaths of sand are located on the isolated south coast, facing the Lybian Sea, in stunning surroundings at the foot of rock walls.
Vai, in the island’s wild and remote east, is a little out of the way but well worth the trek, and Elafonissi, on Crete’s west coast, has a beach whose distinctive pink colour is caused by crushed shells. There are protected natural areas, beaches, and parks in Greece.
You can locate a beach town here if you want to unwind for a week or get away from the throng and tourist traps. Read through our ranking of the best beaches in Crete to get started.
1. Ammoudara Beach
Please make sure to visit Ammoudara Beach if you are staying in Heraklion which is in eastern Crete. Only a five-minute drive separates the Old City and the nicest beach in the region from this seven-kilometer stretch of golden sand. It is a long sandy beach.
This beach is perfect for individuals who like to stroll down the shore because of its great length. Rentable sun loungers and umbrellas are offered.
The majority of the time, this beach experiences wind, which draws a range of wind sport enthusiasts, including kiteboarders and windsurfers. If you want to try the sport, there is a kiteboarding school nearby.
Parking is simple, entry is straightforward, and adjacent restaurants and shops have everything a beachgoer may require. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
2. Souda Beach
Souda Beach is situated in a large bay with a sheer rock wall at one end, only 2.5 kilometres west of Plakias.
With a mixture of gravel and sand, the beach is relatively wind-protected. The sun loungers and umbrellas at two restaurants on the western end are free to use with purchase.
This beach is quite serene and low-key, making it ideal for truly unwinding. The rocky shoreline at the end is a popular local location for snorkelling and scuba diving because the water is clear and normally calm. Here you will find a cool, sweet water beach.
Souda beach can be reached by walking down the coastal road from Plakias. Stairs descend to the undiscovered pebble beach known as Fotinari beach at a sharp turn about halfway along the path.
Although this tiny cove lacks amenities, it is a nice place to go swimming in the morning and snorkelling. One of the best beaches in Crete is this one.
3. Seitan Limania Beach
Seitan Limania beach is regarded by many as one of the islands of Crete’s most breathtaking beaches, while this is debatable. This tiny beach, located in a gorge that opens up to the sea, is very breathtaking.
This location’s quiet, shallow water is perfect for folks who are not great swimmers. The possibility of the water being too chilly for swimming is perhaps Seitan Limania’s only drawback. The beach has small pebbles.
The tall canyon walls, according to the locals, block the sun’s ability to warm it. You’ll probably end up in the water whether it’s cold outside or not because the canyon floor offers wind protection and can get warm.
Cliff jumping and lying on the sand are two beach activities. There are vantage points along the canyon’s sides that are perfect for launching yourself into the glistening water below.
The neighbourhood goats, which have been known to appear on the beach, could also amuse or irritate you, depending on your perspective.
A car ride from Chania to Seitan Limania takes roughly 35 minutes. This beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Crete.
Georgioupolis is a charming beach resort that stands out from other beach towns since it is lush and green and is situated on an undulating landscape.
There are enormous trees all across the town, which is home to several wonderful eateries, boutiques, and cafés. The beach extends for almost two kilometres along the shore.
Lifeguards, sun loungers, and umbrellas are available at this long, sandy beach, and eateries can be found just next to the road. The shallow waters near the shore can be dangerous. It is a broad, lengthy beach.
Although the seas are typically choppy, they are shallow and safe for wading and young children.
Chania is 15 minutes away by car, while Rethymnon is 30 minutes away by car from Georgioupolis. There are several options for lodging available, and most of them are inexpensive. This beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Crete.
5. Plakias Beach
An expansive bay surrounds the lovely beach at Plakias, which is a long, wide crescent.
Plakias beach is situated on the south coast and looks southward toward Africa, providing lengthy days of sunshine that are not always present on the north shore, especially at beaches that are bordered by cliff walls. Given that offshore wind is more prevalent, the waves tend to be very tiny.
The Plakias beach is on the western side of town. There are numerous locations along the beach where you can hire chairs and umbrellas.
Stay on the center or western side of the beach if you prefer a beach with a bustling atmosphere surrounded by restaurants and stores.
Go to the eastern end of the beach if you want peace and quiet and a few modest beach restaurants that just serve beverages and nibbles.
Clothing is not required on the beach’s far eastern edge. Regardless of the location you pick, you can hire umbrellas and sun loungers.
The Plakias beach gets sandier as you travel further east, and the rocky peninsula and steep cliffs wall provide for stunning photographs.
The Akrotiri peninsula is an island in Greece. The Akrotiri peninsula is a volcanic area. It is a spectacular beach. When in Greece, do pay a visit to this one because it sure is one of the best beaches in Crete.
6. Voulisma Beach
Voulisma Beach, one of the most breathtaking beaches on Mirabello Bay, if not the entire north coast, is only a short drive from Agios Nikolaos.
You’ll be reaching for your camera when you see a long, curved length of sand with imposing cliffs behind it situated in a large harbour. The clean water and light golden sand combine to create an amazing shade of blue.
Even if you are not a strong swimmer, this is the ideal location for swimming. Until you reach the bay, the water is shallow and warm. If you did not find a sweet water beach near your house then you can travel here for that.
The beach’s almost complete lack of development—no tavernas or stores line the shore, and the roadway is up and out of sight—is one of its best qualities.
You’ll only be able to see the sun, beach, and sea. You don’t even need to get out of your sunbathing chair because a restaurant located over the beach serves customers there.
In one location, you may hire Jet Skis and use big inflatables for water sports. The main highway is close to the beach, and the gravel lots have free parking.
The parking lot’s steep flight of stairs descends to the beach. The busiest time of year has a lifeguard on duty. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
7. Glyka Nera Beach
Try Glyka Nera Beach if you want to experience something completely different. Either a 15-minute boat journey from Hora Sfakion or a breathtaking 30-minute walk from the clifftops along a coastal trail will get you there.
The cool freshwater seeps from between the rocks and pours into the sea, earning the Glyka Nera beach, also known as Sweetwater Beach, its notoriety. The beach and palm forest are beautiful.
As a result, compared to many other beaches you may have visited, the water here will be cooler. The location of the beach is breathtaking, with enormous towering cliffs rising directly up from the rear of the beach and turquoise blue waters that appear to reach the horizon.
Despite the beach’s remote location, a modest over-water taverna serves food and cool beverages.
Keep an eye out for automobiles stopped on the shoulders to find the trailhead for the coastal hike down at the last curve in the road before the parking lot at Ilingas Beach. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
8. Matala Beach
One of the busiest tourist destinations on Crete’s south coast is Matala beach. The beach at Matala, which is located on an inlet facing the Libyan Sea, is well-known for the caves at one end of the shore that was home to hippies in the 1960s, including singer Joni Mitchell.
The charm of what attracted the hippies here still exists, even though they are long gone. The caves are accessible for a modest cost. Small stones and soft sand make up the beach’s long and vast expanse. Matala is a fantastic place to go snorkeling.
Popular day trips from Heraklion go to Matala. The drive from Heraklion to Matala takes a little more than an hour and is wonderfully beautiful as it crosses the highlands. It is a fantastic location.
Here, parking can be a challenge. One little property is available right behind the beach, but it fills up quickly. Parking on the streets is possible away from the beach. Matala beach is one of the most famous beaches as well as the best beaches in Crete.
9. Elafonissi Beach
A few hour’s drive from Chania, a well-known tourist destination is the magnificent beach of Elafonissi.
The pink crushed seashells that cover the shore of this well-known white and pink sand beach give it a faint rose tint that contrasts well with the turquoise brilliance of the water. It is one of the world’s most stunning pink sand beaches.
Two shallow lagoons, perfect for wading and floating, are separated by a short stretch of beach. Unlike many of the pebble beaches that are so prevalent in the Mediterranean Sea, the sand here is soft.
You should be aware that Elafonissi beach can experience strong winds, so check the wind forecast before you travel to make sure you can enjoy your day.
This is the location to visit if you kiteboard or windsurf. Ideal circumstances for ripping across the shallow sea are steady winds.
For those interested in learning this high-adrenaline sport, there is a kite school that offers lessons. The small beach is the most beautiful beach in town. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
10. Vai Beach
Vai beach is worth the trip, even though you may feel like you are travelling to the edge of the planet. Vai beach, which is located in the far eastern part of Crete, is home to one of the biggest palm groves in all of Europe, with an estimated 5,000 palms.
Vai beach was only “discovered” in the middle of the 1970s when a Bounty chocolate bar television advertisement was filmed there. Sun loungers and umbrellas are the sole beachside amenities. The long journey will be worthwhile because of the clear water, the smooth sand, and the endless vistas of the ocean.
On the Vai beach, you have the option of relaxing in the sunshine, or you can choose to pick the ideal position further back, beneath one of the palm palms. The ancient ruins are beautiful. The Vai beach has golden sands.
This small beach is the most beautiful beach in town. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
11. The Beaches of Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos is the ideal location if you’re searching for a stunning beach in a bustling town setting, where you can step outside of your hotel or apartment in the city center and go for a morning swim or eat with a view of a beach at sunset.
Kitroplateia Beach is the beach that is easiest to go to. Unbelievably beautiful views of the towering mountains on the other side of Mirabello Bay can be seen from this beach.
Behind them are many restaurants, and palapas and beach chairs stare out over turquoise and gorgeous blue water. The magnificent port and lake regions of Agios Nikolaos are conveniently close to this beach.
Almyros Beach is accessible by foot but farther away from the hubbub of the city center. In reality, this beach is superior, offering the same breathtaking views of the sea and fine, golden sand. The sun beds are by the beach.
Only a 15-minute journey by your own car from Agios Nikolaos, the breathtaking Voulisma Beach mentioned above is a wonderful location for a day at the beach. It is the most famous as well as the best beaches in Crete.
12. Balos Beach
You’ve probably seen a picture of Balos beach if you’ve been perusing postcards as you go around the shopping areas. Looking down at the shore, you are struck by the variety of greens and blues. Balos beach is the best beach.
Balos beach is a remote beach on the northwest coast of the Cretan peninsula and is best accessed by boat from Kissamos port. Balos beach is connected to an outlying island, similar to Elafonissi in nature, creating small lagoons and calm waters.
When you get there, you’ll understand why Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana stopped by Balos beach with their private yacht. You are drawn to this little corner of paradise by the gorgeous, silky, white sand and the amazingly beautiful blue ocean.
Consider driving if you enjoy a little adventure and don’t mind a 30-minute walk to Balos beach. By doing this, you’ll be able to set your own schedule and stay away from the crowds that board the regular boats.
The local government is striving to improve the condition, although some of the route remains gravel and can be rough.
13. Frangokastello Beach
At Frangokastello, history and the natural world come together. A stunning beach with fine sand and the seemingly endless Libyan Sea to the south are visible from this old Venetian palace. It is a nice beach, why go so far away?
The Frangokastello beach is gradually sloping, making it the perfect destination for a family with young kids and a great day excursion from Chania.
The trip takes about 75 minutes, but allow more time because the route travels through the breathtaking Imbros gorge and you’ll probably stop to take pictures.
After relaxing in a chair for a while, go up to the castle and take a look. You might even find yourself alone since this location isn’t very popular with tourists. People also go to beach bars to relax. It is also one of the best beaches in Crete.
There are a few restaurants that sell fresh seafood and other typical Greek cuisines, and there are a few seats and umbrellas that may be rented. The Aegean sea is in Greece.
Ortho Ammos, a fully unspoiled beach with sand dunes that slope into crystal clear waters, is about 300 meters along the beach.
The quick stroll is well worth it to visit this undiscovered beach. The Akti Cafe, located at one end, offers delicious food and stunning views of the coastline.
14. Preveli Beach
The Libyan Sea is a stunning shade of deep blue in the background as you look down into Preveli Beach.
You’ll get a peek that will convince you that it will be worthwhile to make the steep drop down a stone walkway, and you’ll be correct. You can always rent a boat from Plakias if you don’t feel like walking.
A freshwater stream runs through the middle of the Preveli beach, which is sandwiched between two tall hills. Preveli beach has palm trees close to the shore, giving the impression of a green oasis in a desert landscape. Come prepared because there are no rental chairs or umbrellas available here.
Although the sea is crystal pure, the beach is composed of pebbles. Don’t undervalue the uphill and downhill walk. There are several places with stone stairs, but it is rocky overall.
It is advised to wear sturdy walking shoes and to bring extra water because climbing back up in the hot afternoon sun might be strenuous. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
If you are driving, simply follow the directions to the Preveli Monastery; as you approach close, a road splits to the left and leads to a sizable parking area at the top of a hill.
The descent trail begins from here. You can get views of the Preveli beach from just past the top of the parking lot if you’re solely interested in a bird’s-eye view.
15. Falassarna Beach
The beaches in Falassarna have all the same advantages as their well-known counterparts in Elafonisi and Balos but without the crowds or the logistical challenges of getting there.
Falasarna’s beaches are long and sandy, with crystal-clear waters, and are only a short drive from Chania.
You won’t have any trouble locating a sandbar on any of the five beaches that make up this region. If you’d rather, you can also rent a chair and an umbrella. A modest swimming place with great views can be found in a rocky inlet close to one end of the beach.
The waves can be rather strong due to the onshore, westerly prevailing breeze. The refreshing swim was the perfect way to end our break. It has a seaside village.
Be sure to visit the old Minoan harbour that remains a few kilometres inland from the shore on your trip to or from Falasarna.
16. Istro Beach
The village of Agios Nikolaos, which is located in the Lassithi region of Crete, is not very far from Istro beach. Because of the warm, clear seas that are ideal for swimming and the smooth, white sand banks, the beach is well-liked.
A few overhanging trees provide some nice shady locations on the sand, and the sand is surrounded by small, green granite cliffs. There is also a tonne of places around where you may rent a lounger and an umbrella.
It’s a really nice pick for a beach day with all the conveniences, and there are food huts nearby if you become peckish. This large sandy beach was very crowded.
Although this beach can get crowded, it’s still a more tranquil alternative than others, making it easy to unwind when visiting. If you want a great beach, go to Istro Beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches as well as the best beaches in Crete.
17. Sissi Beach
Due to Sissi’s stunning coastal location and numerous well-known beach resorts, this beach is well-known among tourists.
An excellent alternative if you want to see some of the nicest beaches in Crete without the crowds and noise that frequently go along with them is that it is still quite calm despite its popularity.
This sandy beach is a perfect place to relax. Apart from this, you can also visit Florida to enjoy the vacation in Palm Beach. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
There are a few beaches in Sissi, and many of them are tiny, wind-protected bays made of sand. As a result, they are extremely tranquil and great for swimming.
There are additional bays close by that are much more peaceful, such as Boufos and Avlaki, however many of these coves are packed with umbrellas and loungers.
18. Kommos Beach
Kommos Beach is a stunning, slightly wild beach five kilometres south of Matala that is not wind-sheltered, hence big waves are typical there. Because of this, families with young children should avoid it.
While the southern part of the beach is busy and prospering with loungers and umbrellas dotting the sand, the northern end of the beach is a popular destination for nudists called ‘nudist beach’. There are many tourist facilities here on this beach.
The main beach is named after the nearby archaeological Minoan ruin site of Kommos, which is not accessible to the general public.
This beach is ideal for watching the sunset because it is more open. You might do this while holding a drink from one of the beachside bars. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
19. Stavros Beach
Stavros beach is a beautiful sandy cove that’s perfect for unwinding on vacation. With umbrellas and sun loungers, the circumferential beachfront is nicely catered.
Stavros beach is conveniently located 20 kilometres from Chania Town. The natural beauty of this beach is really amazing.
Although Stavros beach is a well-liked summer vacation spot for locals, the area is completely unspoiled due to the limited visitor development.
A few restaurants and taverns are available for a bite. It’s ideal for unwinding on this sandy beach. You must go to this beach, which is among the best beaches in Crete.
Hollywood gave the barren hump on one side of the bay its name since Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates’ Oscar-nominated film Zorba the Greek was filmed there.
Fresh fish is delivered to the neighborhood bars from a tiny fishing jetty that is harbored close to the hill. Chania is 15 miles away from the coastline. Stavros beach has a small fishing village.
20. Malia Beach
The resort town of Malia beach, 35 kilometers east of Heraklion, is one of Crete’s busiest.
It is well-known for its chaotic nightlife and Malia Palace, Crete’s third-largest Minoan palace. Without its sandy beaches, Malia beach could not flourish as a tourist destination.
There is typically so much crowding that a pin cannot fit between any two sunbeds! You can discover every form of comfort here.
Malia beach is unquestionably not a place you want to go if you’re looking for a quiet beach. The calm beaches of Pyrgos and Potamos may be found to the east, past the neighbourhood harbour.
Malia Beach is a wide beach. The olive groves on this beach are beautiful. It is one of the most beautiful beaches as well as the best beaches in Crete.
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Greece’s greatest beaches are found on the island of Crete. These beaches are ideal for a quiet getaway because they have clear water and nice sand.
In this article, we provided a list of the 20 best beaches in Crete. The natural beauty of all the spectacular beaches is really amazing. If you’re looking for a breathtaking beach vacation, be sure to check out these popular destinations.