The 10 most popular beaches beautiful of Crete

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Joel Fulleda

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Wild, white, characterized by dunes or palm trees, pebbles or fine golden sand: they are the beaches of Crete, the beautiful island in southern Greece bathed in the southern part by the Libyan sea.
Some easily accessible, others more inaccessible and hidden they can be visited during a boat excursion or trekking in the nature. But here are the top 10 to visit absolutely!


  1. Elafonissi, Kissamos
  2. Kedrodasos, Pelekanos
  3. Balos, Kissamos
  4. Golden Beach- Chrissi Island, Lerapetra
  5. Falassarna, Kissamos
  6. Go Beach, Go
  7. Triopetra, Lambi
  8. Preveli, Lefkogia
  9. Xerokambos Beach, Xerokambos
  10. Matala Beach, Matala
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Elafonissi, Kissamos

Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete due to the pink color of the sand and the transparent sea, it is located on the west coast of the island.
In front of the large equipped beach there is aislet within walking distance characterized by dunes and Mediterranean bushes.
Here at certain times of the year the Caretta-Caretta turtles come to lay their eggs.

  • Where it is: Elafonissi is located on the south-western coast of Crete, is 75 km from Hania and can be reached by car in 1 hour and a half. Alternatively, only one bus a day leaves from Hania or you can arrive by boat from Paleochora. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: white / golden and pink sand

2 - Kedrodasos, Pelekanos

Not far from Elafonissi is this other beautiful beach, not very busy and ideal for relaxing.
Hidden among nature, the juniper and cedar trees, inserted in an uncontaminated and wild landscape is characterized by soft sand that laps the transparent sea.
There are no facilities here and the place is often frequented by naturists and people looking for silence and solitude.

  • Where it is: The beach is located on the southwest coast of the island on the E4 path which connects Paleochora to Elafonissi. It can only be reached by car and is 73 km from Hania (1 hour and 30 by car) and the last stretch after parking along the dirt road can be reached in 10 minutes on foot. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation / naturism
  • Type: golden sand and dunes

3 - Balos, Kissamos

Probably the most photographed beach in Crete, Balos is famous for its magnificent lagoon with its center a promontory that can be reached by walking along the strip of sand.
This beach is characterized by soft, fine and white sand and a calm sea that takes on different shades of blue.

  • Where it is: Balos is located in the north west of Crete and is 53 km from Hania, 1 hour and 20 by car. It can be reached by car by parking at Capo Gramvousa and then on foot for about 30 minutes (on the way back, the climb is a bit steep but feasible) or by boats that leave from Kissamos. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: White sand

4 - Golden Beach- Chrissi Island, Lerapetra

Chrissi is an island which is 1 hour by boat from Crete, but here is one of the most beautiful Cretan beaches, the Golden Beach.
Characterized by dunes, cedars of Lebanon and Mediterranean vegetation, it has a soft and white sand that laps a blue and crystalline sea and you will feel like you are in the Caribbean more than in Greece.

  • Where it is: Chrissi is located in the south east of Crete, in the Libyan sea, and can be reached by daily ferries that depart from Ierapetra and take 1 hour. There are no accommodation facilities on the island, but it is possible to camp and during the day there are sunbeds, umbrellas and a bar. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: white sand and dunes

5 - Falassarna, Kissamos

The Falassarna beach is very wide and characterized by golden sand that slopes gently into a blue sea.
One area is equipped and a restaurant-bar is also available, while the westernmost part is free.
Here, as there is often wind, it is possible to practice kite surfing as well as devote yourself to relaxation.

  • Where it is: The beach is located in the northwestern part of Crete, 51 km from Hania (45 minutes) and 14 from Kissamos (20 minutes). It can only be reached by car or with organized day trips. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation and sport
  • Type: White sand

6 - Go Beach, Go

Once considered the most famous beach for the presence of a palm forest, it continues to be one of the most visited places in Crete even today.
Characterized by golden sand and blue sea, in high season it is overrun with tourists who reach her by bus to chatter and do water sports while in the less crowded months it becomes the perfect place for a little relaxation.

  • Where it is: Vai is located in the north-eastern tip of Crete 90 km from Agios Nikolaos (1 hour and 50) and 17 km from Palekastro (20 minutes). It can be easily reached by car or with organized trips. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation / sport
  • Type: golden sand

7 - Triopetra, Lambi

Characterized by large rocks that are located in front of the beach, this place is divided into Piccola Triopetra, towards the south, intimate and cozy, and Triopetra wide, long and with golden sand, ideal for long walks.
The beach is equipped and there are also several taverns ideal for resting in the shade during the hottest hours.

  • Where it is: Triopetra is located in the south center of the island, it is washed by the Libyan sea and is 50 km from Rethymnio; it can be reached in 1 hour by car via the paved road. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: sand, rocks and stacks.

8 - Preveli, Lefkogia

Considered an exotic beach due to the presence of numerous palm trees and a river that descends from the gorge behind forming a freshwater lake, Preveli is characterized by white sand bathed by an intense blue sea.
Particular the way to reach it on foot which starts from the monastery of the same name through a path made of steps.

  • Where it is: Preveli is located in the south central part of Crete, 39 km from Rethymno and 11 from Plakias. You can reach it by car to the monastery and then continue on foot, with good shoes. Alternatively, boats and organized excursions by sea depart from Plakias. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: sand

9 - Xerokambos Beach, Xerokambos

In a somewhat remote and not very touristy area is the beautiful beach of Xerokampos reachable through plateaus and villages that seem straight out of a storybook.
Characterized by inlets of pebbles and fine gravel there are also areas where the sand is white and soft.
The sea of ​​a thousand shades of blue and azure is often calm and ideal for swimming.

  • Where it is: The beach is located in the south east of Crete, 100 km from Agios Nikolaos, 70 km from Ierapetra and 47 from Sitia. It can only be reached by car and the advice is to stay here a few days to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this area. Get directions
  • Ideal for: relaxation
  • Type: sand, pebbles and fine gravel

10 - Matala Beach, Matala

Famous for having long been inhabited by a hippie community, Matala Beach is characterized by caves and caverns that surround it, with golden and grainy sand and a beautiful deep blue sea.
This lido is located right in the center of the village of the same name with shops, taverns, bars and everything else that can be used.
The beach is equipped and also suitable for the disabled.

  • Where it is: Matala is located in the central southern area of ​​Crete, 66 km from Heraklion (1 hour by car) and can be reached by car. Get directions
  • Ideal for: nightlife
  • Type: golden sand

Plan your trip to Crete: flights, hotels and tours

Crete is a very large Greek island that attracts many tourists every year. It has two airports, one in Hania and the other in Heraklion that connect it with all of Europe. Once here the suggestion is to rent a car so as to be able to move independently and reach the beautiful beaches.
To stay you can choose comfortable hotels, simple but equipped apartments or rooms in b & b.

  • starting from € 90,00 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 55,00 per room -
  • Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa Island: 1-Day Chrissi Island Cruise from Kissamos from Heraklion & Agios Nikolaos Knossos Palace: Skip-the-Line Entrance & Audio Guided Tour

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