Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. It hosts numerous beautiful beaches and has managed to remain a favourite destination for tourists all around the world. From the pink sand in Elafonisi to the crystal blue waters in Vai, every beach in Crete employs a distinctive charm that makes it stand out.
With around 1000 kilometres of coastline, Crete boasts some of the world’s most picturesque and exotic beaches. In this article, we will delve into the magic of this island and provide you with a comprehensive guide on the best beaches to visit in Crete.
Whether interested in secluded coves or majestic cliffs, this article offers insights into the perfect beaches for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, and many other beach activities. Are you a beach lover looking to explore Crete this summer? Then keep reading to learn more about what Crete has to offer.
Crete, Greece’s largest island, is a magnificent and diverse paradise that boasts some of the best beaches in the country. With its extensive coastline that spans over 650 miles, the island offers a variety of beaches that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you are a solo traveller, a couple, or a family looking for the perfect beach getaway, Crete has covered you.
Here is a guide to the best beaches in Crete:
Balos Beach is a must-visit beach located on the northwestern coast of Crete. It is a natural reserve that boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and a pristine sandy shoreline that stretches for over a mile. The beach is nestled between two mountains, offering a breathtaking bay view. Balos is accessible by boat, car, or a short hike from the nearby villages.
Elafonisi Beach is a unique and stunning beach located on the southwestern coast of Crete. It is famous for its pinkish sand, caused by the crushed shells of tiny organisms called foraminifera. The beach is also home to shallow waters perfect for families with young children. Elafonisi is easily accessible by car or bus from nearby villages and towns.
Falassarna Beach is one of Crete’s most beautiful beaches on the island’s western coast. It boasts five coves, each offering a unique experience for visitors. The beach is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, golden sand, and stunning sunsets. It is easily accessible by car or bus from the nearby villages and towns.
Vai Beach is a unique and stunning beach located on the northeastern coast of Crete, near Sitia. It is famous for its palm tree forest that covers the beach and surrounding hillsides. The beach boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and a pristine sandy shoreline stretching over 300 meters. Vai is easily accessible by car or bus from the nearby villages and towns.
Agios Nikolaos Beach
Agios Nikolaos Beach is a charming and picturesque beach located on the northeastern coast of Crete, in Agios Nikolaos. It offers a beautiful view of the town’s colourful houses and boats, making it an excellent location for photography. The beach is easily accessible by foot or car and offers a range of amenities, including water sports, restaurants, and bars.
Agia Pelagia Beach
Agia Pelagia Beach is a popular and cosmopolitan beach located on the northern coast of Crete, near Heraklion. It boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters and a sandy shoreline perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The beach is easily accessible by car or bus from the nearby villages and towns and offers a range of amenities, including water sports, restaurants, and bars.
Episkopi Beach, just west of Rethymno, is an enormous non-touristy beachhttps://lovingcrete.com/a-celebration-of-margaritari-a-magical-jewel-on-a-pristine-beach/ with no hotels but miles and miles of lovely clean sand where you can sit for hours in peace. It is my favourite beach, where a single Greek family runs a stunning restaurant/coffee bar. There are even toys for the kids in their play area, and you get a free sunbed and shade for the day if you buy a drink or not.
Preveli Beach, located on the southern coast of Crete, is a destination that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the area’s natural landscapes while also enjoying a relaxing day at the beach. The beach is situated where the Kourtaliotis River meets the Libyan Sea, creating a unique ecosystem that attracts adventurers and nature lovers worldwide.
One of the most exciting aspects of Preveli Beach is the opportunity to explore the area’s wild side. The Kourtaliotis River runs through a stunning gorge known for its steep cliffs, towering trees, and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can traverse the river by foot or dip in the refreshing streams that wind through the gorge.
Plenty of hiking trails lead through the surrounding hills for those looking to take in the picturesque views and breathe in the fresh sea air.
The nearby Preveli Monastery is a must-see destination for those interested in history and architecture and offers visitors a chance to explore the area’s rich cultural heritage.
But for those seeking a true adventure, the real highlight of Preveli Beach lies in its wide range of outdoor activities. Visitors can go on a thrilling kayak tour along the river or opt for snorkelling and diving adventures in the crystal-clear waters of the Libyan Sea. The beach is also perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing with loved ones.
Rock climbing is a popular activity in the area for the more adventurous. The region’s cliffs provide the perfect challenge for those looking to test their skills and push their limits. Experienced climbers can scale the cliffs independently, while novices can participate in guided tours and lessons.
No matter what activity visitors choose, they will surely be rewarded with stunning scenery and unforgettable experiences. The beauty of Preveli Beach is in its versatility; it offers something for everyone, from those seeking an adrenaline rush to those looking for a peaceful escape.
Stavros Beach: It is a stunning crescent-shaped beach surrounded by towering cliffs and was the backdrop for the famous movie Zorba the Greek. Situated on the north-west tip of Akrotiri, it is a smaller beach but well worth a visit.
Agia Marina Beach
Agia Marina Beach is one of Greece’s most beautiful and picturesque beaches. Located on the northern coast of Crete, 10 kilometres west of Chania, the beach is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun. With its crystal-clear blue waters, pristine sandy beaches, and stunning coastline views, it’s no wonder Agia Marina Beach is a must-visit destination.
One of the most appealing features of Agia Marina Beach is its warm, clear waters. The beach has a gently sloping sea floor, perfect for young children and less experienced swimmers. The water is also spotless, making it an ideal snorkelling or scuba diving spot. Additionally, lifeguards are on duty throughout the day to ensure the safety of all beachgoers.
If you’re looking for a little more adventure, plenty of water sports are available at Agia Marina Beach. Jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing are all popular options, and several rental companies are located on the beach. For those looking to explore the coastline, boat rentals are also available.
Platanias Beach is a beautiful Mediterranean beach situated further along the northern coast of Crete. This beach is renowned for its crystal clear waters, soft sandy shores, and captivating views of the Aegean Sea. With an array of family-friendly activities and amenities available, spending a day at Platanias Beach is an excellent way to bond with your loved ones while creating lasting memories.
With its soft sandy shores and crystal clear waters, Platanias Beach is perfect for sunbathing and swimming. You can hire sun loungers and umbrellas, offer shade from the scorching sun, and enjoy the cool sea breeze as you soak up the sun. There is also a designated area for kids to build sandcastles, play games, and swim in the shallow waters. You can stroll to the Tavronitis River, a popular place for canoeing and kayaking. You can also visit the Agios Dimitrios church, a historical landmark dating back to the 5th century.
Matala Beach is located in the southern part of Crete. It is a beautiful and picturesque beach that attracts tourists from all over the world. The crystal clear waters, the magnificent cliffs, and the sandy beach make Matala an ideal destination for adventure activities and water sports.
Kayaking is one of the most popular adventure activities at Matala Beach. Visitors can rent kayaks and explore the coastline, the nearby caves, and the hidden beaches. The calm and clear waters of the beach make kayaking safe and suitable for all ages. Experienced kayakers can also venture out to sea and explore the rugged cliffs and the marine life in the deep waters.
One of the most thrilling water sports that can be enjoyed at Matala Beach is windsurfing. The beach is known for its constant and strong winds, making it an ideal destination for windsurfing enthusiasts. With its clear waters, wide beach area, and reliable winds, Matala is a perfect destination for beginners and experts alike.