Best Beaches in Crete: Top 45 Beaches According to a Local!

Best Beaches in Crete

Crystal clear waters, soft white sand, rocky coves, palm trees, a small islet, a dirt road to a remote location, or a boat trip… These are some of the ingredients that define the famous beaches of Crete. Here is a list of the best beaches in Crete, covering all the regions. Enjoy!

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Best Beaches in Crete that You Should Not Miss!

best Beaches in Crete

Best Beaches in Crete: Shores You Don’t Want to Miss

Crete has hundreds of amazing beaches, some of which have often been described as the best shores on the Greek Islands.

In this comprehensive list, I present Crete’s most famous and beautiful beaches.

This guide starts with 5 of the best beaches in Crete. These places of unique natural beauty are popular and often crowded during summer but are always worth visiting.

Best Beaches in Crete: Sandy Beaches

Elafonisi Pink Sand Beach

Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.269391 N, 23.531477 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Elafonisi is one of the best beaches in Crete.

Elafonisi Beach is Crete’s most popular and beautiful beach —and certainly the most beautiful beach on the island. Well-known for the pink shade of its soft sand, the islet of Elafonisi is about 70 km south of Chania in western Crete.

Elafonisi is a long beach with a small and shallow lagoon. Its turquoise and emerald waters are safe for kids. Strong winds can occasionally blow, yet the water tends to be calm throughout the season.

Elafonisi is located in a very remote and isolated village. It can be reached by public transport, driving along the coastal road of West Crete, or crossing the breathtaking gorge of Topolia.

The beach is well organized and has a vast car park, and new hotels and rental homes are opening season after season in the area. Elafonisi is a great beach for families with kids, solo travelers, couples, and those who love sports. You can find a super detailed guide to Elafonisi here.

Balos Beach & Lagoon

Region: Chania (North Coast) | 35.57962 N, 23.588481 E.

Best beaches in Crete
The shallow Balos Lagoon.

Although Elafonisi comes first as the best beach in Crete for many tourists, you will certainly recognize Balos Beach images! Balos Beach is on the Gramvousa Peninsula, a remote area in West Crete.

Alluring beauty, white sand, and crystalline emerald waters are a synonym of Crete’s Balos, making it one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

Although reaching Balos is not as easy, hundreds of visitors visit annually by daily cruise, car, or hiking. This guide to visiting Balos includes all the tips you need to know to prepare for a visit and the best things to do nearby.

Falasarna Beach

Region: Chania (West Coast) | 35.503712 N, 23.577256 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Falasarna Beach, Crete Island.

Falasarna Beach (also known as Falassarna Beach) is another favorite beach and probably one of the best sand beaches in Crete. Falasarna’s long and wide shore is about an hour from Chania town and is a fantastic day trip if you stay in the Chania region.

Due to its windy weather conditions, Falasarna is ideal for swimming and practicing water sports. However, spending long hours on the shore can be difficult when strong winds blow. On the other hand, on calm days, Falasarna is perfect for sunbathing and snorkeling.

There are excellent tavernas in the area, as well as beach bars and kiosks where you can buy drinks and snacks. Overall, the beach is fairly well organized, although quite isolated and ideal for a tranquil and relaxing vacation. My Falassarna guide to Falassarna includes tips, such as things to do in the area, the best places to stay, and more.

Vai Beach

Region: Lasithi (East Coast) | 35.254528 N, 26.265406 E.

Where to stay in Crete for Beaches - vai beach
Palm trees in Vai Beach.

Another top beach in Crete is the fantastic Vai Palm Beach, which is popular among the people visiting the east of Crete. It’s common to find it crowded in summer, even if it is remote and not easy to access. Vai hosts Europe’s biggest natural palm forest, which gives the area a magical and exotic feel.

Vai hosts Europe’s biggest natural palm forest, which gives the area a magical and exotic feel. The best times to visit are April, May, and the end of September. However, due to the dry and hot weather in the east of Crete, you can enjoy the best of Vai until late October and sometimes well into November.

The bay is wide and calm, and the sea is very clean and shallow, making it a perfect place to swim, especially for children.

The best way to get there is by car. The beach is a short drive from the city of Sitia. Check this complete guide to Vai for further details.

Matala Beach

Region: Heraklion (South Coast) | 34.987405 N, 24.747813 E.

Matala beach, Crete, Caves, Sunset
Matala Beach.

Matala, Crete’s hippie beach, is located on the southern coast of Heraklion and is another great sand beach on the island that everyone wants to visit.

The beach combines soft golden sand and pebbles with a clear sea that is quite deep and subject to currents when it’s windy. The coast of Matala is a good place for snorkeling, and it’s also possible to explore the seaside caves along the shore by renting a boat. The caves on the western side of the beach, located on a cliff right by the sea, are also worth visiting.

Inhabited by hippies and ex-pats during the ’60s and ’70s, the caves became legendary, making Matala a popular destination.

Every year in June, Matala also hosts a 3-day summer music festival. You can read more about the things to do in Matala, including the nearby villages and beaches, the archaeological sites, and the places to stay.

You might also want to read Where to Stay in Matala and How to Get from Heraklion to Matala.

Let’s now focus on the best beaches in Crete in each of the four regions on the island, starting at the westernmost part of Crete

Best Beaches in Crete: Chania Region

Seitan Limania

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri) | 35.551902 N, 24.193404 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Seitan Limania Beach.

Stefanou Beach (popularly called Seitan Limania or the Devil’s Ports) is a spectacular beach at the tip of the Akrotiri Peninsula, about 30 minutes from Chania town.

The sea is quite wavy and subject to currents here. The unique colors of the sea and the rough cliffs surrounding the bay make it an irresistible spot for those searching for the perfect postcard picture of Crete.

The beach lacks organization, so you should carry everything you need to spend the day. Since hiking to the beach is a must to reach the shore, you’ll be better off wearing closed footwear, such as tennis shoes or hiking sandals. Read more about this beach in this Akrotiri Beaches guide.

Stavros Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri) | 35.591426 N, 24.095389 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Stavros Beach.

Stavros Beach is another of my personal favorites. I’m lucky to live quite close and visit whenever I can. In Stavros, the sea is shallow, and the water has an incredible green shade that makes it look exotic.

Sometimes, the sand acquires a beautiful pink tone that makes you wonder if making it to Elafonisi is worth the effort (yes, we know it is!).

Stavros Beach lacks waves and currents, making it the best beach in the area when the weather is windy. This spot is fantastic for families; it’s well-organized with umbrellas, showers, and sunbeds.

There are also wonderful tavernas in the area. I included Stavros Beach in two other articles:


Region: Chania (North Coast) | 35.361922 N, 24.261377 E.

Best beaches in Crete
The main beach (and chapel of Agios Nikolaos) from the bridge over the Perastikos River.

The small village of Georgioupolis, in Apokoronas (Chania region), is home to a beautiful sandy beach that is quite popular with locals and tourists alike.

The beach of Georgioupolis lies on a long but quite narrow shore. It features a shallow coast and safe waters, usually calm and without strong currents. This is an ideal beach for families with small kids.

The best-known feature of Georgioupolis is the small chapel of Agios Nikolaos, which enters the sea following a manmade rocky pier. A few meters towards the west of the beach, there’s a second shore, often less crowded, where a cold, crystal river merges with the sea. The river is deep enough for kids to dive from a small wooden bridge without being dangerous.

Kalathas Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri) | 35.554363 N, 24.086984 E.

Kalathas, Akrotiri Crete

Kalathas is one of my favorite beaches on the island, and it’s definitely among my kid’s top favorite shores in Crete. It’s also one of the top beaches in the Chania region because of its closeness to the city center. Kalathas features clean waters, a wide shore, and excellent facilities.

Since it’s great for families, couples, and sports lovers, this beach ticks all the boxes to become one of the best beaches in Chania. The long, wide shore has a semi-circular shape and a wonderful little islet opposite the coast.

Kalathas is well-known among the locals, but several tourists have discovered it and usually visit it during July and August. It’s a great place to spend the whole day, with a few tavernas nearby and a great beach bar. Practicing different water sports or enjoying a more secluded experience in the small cove next to the main beach is also possible.


Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.231045 N, 23.681817 E.

Paleochora, Sea, Beach, Sand, Crete

One of the most popular beaches and villages in the Chania region is Paleochora (also spelled Palaiochora), less than 80 km south of Chania. Along Paleochora’s coast, you will find beaches for all tastes: sandy and pebbled, organized and close to the village center, or isolated and distant and lacking organization.

Pachia Ammos is Paleochora’s main beach and it’s opposite the village, locals also call it Long Beach, since it’s more than 500 meters long. This beach is shallow and has fine sand.

Local’s Tip: A good thing about Paleochora is that you can still go to the beach when it is windy. When the wind blows on one side of the peninsula, it won’t blow on the opposite side. So, if you visit Paleochora on a windy day, go to the beach on the opposite side of the cape.

Visit this complete guide to Paleochora to learn about the other beaches in the area, including the area’s nudist-friendly shores.

Read also about the best places to stay in Paleochora.

Best Beaches in Crete: Rethymnon Region

Preveli Palm Tree Beach

Region: Rethymnon (Southern Crete) | 35.152323 N | 24.473218 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Preveli Palm Tree Beach.

Preveli Beach is a palm-tree beach on the island. It is about 35 km south of Rethymnon city. To reach the beach from the island’s north side, you must cross through the beautiful Kourtaliotako Gorge. The river in the bed of the gorge is known as Big River, and it flows to the south until it reaches the coast.

The palm forest on the river’s margins gives the area a unique atmosphere. The river meets the beach on a sandy shore, although there are some pebbles.

If you visit, check out the fantastic heart-shaped rock formation in the middle of the sea. The beach is partially organized, so packing a lunch might be a good idea. Remember that hiking will be necessary to reach the shore, so wear appropriate shoes to enjoy the experience fully. This guide to Preveli provides more information on preparing for a visit.

Plakias Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South Coast) | 35.190429 N, 24.39392 E.

Best beaches in Crete
The beautiful beach of Plakias, in Rethymnon.

You can get to Plakias Beach from Rethymnon by driving through the tiny, narrow Kotsifou Gorge. The area has many different beaches, but the main one is Plakias, which is quite spacious and organized.

The different shores are divided by rocky promontories that create unique hidden bays and produce dramatic backdrops with stunning views of the sea, the nearby olive groves, and the cliffs.

Skinaria, Damnoni, and Ammoudaki are three beaches you can explore in the region. The shores are ideal for underwater exploration, snorkeling, and scuba diving (several immersion schools operate in the area). All of the beaches are nudism-friendly.

Ligres Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South Coast) | 35.137884 N, 24.530168 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Ligres at sunset.

Ligres Beach is perfect for lonely holidays, relaxation, and total rest. It is located on the southern coast of Rethymnon, about 5 km from Triopetra Beach. The peaceful shore is long and wide, while the sea is deep, ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Small springs and waterfalls are on the beach’s western side. The beach has limited organization, but a great taverna opposite the shore also rents rooms for those who decide to spend the night.

Triopetra Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South Coast) | 35.119377 N, 24.547915 E.

Triopetra Beach.

About 52 km from Rethymnon town, Triopetra Beach is one of the widest shores in the south of the region. It is a beautiful pebbled beach, fully organized and quite isolated. Since the area is vast, it never feels crowded. Lunch and drinks can be enjoyed in the nearby tavernas.

Getting there from the northern coast takes over an hour, yet driving through the Rethymnon mountains and valleys is a worthy experience.

The beach has interesting geological formations that connect the land to the sea. The big rock area can be explored, although it can be slippery. Be extremely careful if you plan to climb to see what’s on the other side (there’s another quiet beach, smaller and not very crowded).


Region: Rethymnon (North coast of Rethymnon) | 35.414032 N, 24.782996 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Bali Beach.

Located on the northern coast of Rethymnon, Bali is one of Crete’s most visited resorts. Therefore, it tends to be crowded with visitors staying in the area and day-trippers from Heraklion, Chania, and nearby Rethymnon town.

Bali is home to several different bays, quite narrow and protected from the northern wind, which makes it truly different from the rest of the coast of Rethymnon, usually quite wavy and affected by direct exposure to the northern winds.

Some of these bays are ideal for immersion and snorkeling. The water is usually cooler than on other beaches due to the springs that carry freshwater from Mount Psiloritis. This guide to Bali and this article listing the best beaches in Rethymnon provide more details about the shores in the area.

Best Beaches in Crete: Heraklion Region


Region: Heraklion (North Coast) | 35.282668 N, 25.462921 E.


Malia is one of the top chosen beaches and village resorts in Crete. This well-developed coastal town is near Heraklion, about 35 km east along the coastal road.

The beach is wide, extending to the lesser-known but still gorgeous Stalida. It features a long sandy shore with organized structures. Overall, the beaches in Malia can be loud and busy. The village is famous for its nightlife and is popular among young crowds from all over Europe eager to explore Crete’s party resort. Malia is the town to visit if you want to go to discos, clubs, and music bars.

Click here to find the best party hotels in Malia.

Agia Pelagia

Region: Heraklion (North Coast) | 35.404731 N, 25.018634 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Psaromoura Beach in Agia Pelagia.

Agia Pelagia is another popular beach in the Heraklion region. It is conveniently close to the city yet maintains a somewhat relaxed village atmosphere.

There are several bays along the coast, some accessible only by boat. Others, instead, have organized structures and offer water sports such as SUP surfing and kayaking.

On the main beach of Agia Pelagia, there are a few good restaurants along the seaside, some of which also serve people who rent loungers and umbrellas. The village is lively also at night, with a few well-known pubs and beach bars. If you think that Agia Pelagia can be the place you’d like to stay on the island, this Agia Pelagia guide offers further details to learn more.

Stalida (Stalis Beach)

Region: Heraklion (North Coast) | 35.293943 N, 25.429442 E.

Best beaches in Crete

Stalida (or also Stalis) is a seaside resort on the northern coast of Crete, halfway between Hersonissos and Malia, no more than 20 km from the center of Heraklion. It’s a good place to stay because it’s not as busy as Crete’s capital or as crowded as nearby Hersonissos.

The beach is sandy and organized, with sunbeds, umbrellas, and a varied range of tavernas to serve meals, snacks, and drinks, also on the beach.

The beach is a favorite among families as it’s quite safe. However, there are a few rocks on the seaside, some hidden and others a bit slippery, which kids should be careful with. The rocks are part of a small cape that divides the beach into two sections.


Region: Heraklion (South Coast) | 35.028793 N, 24.759173 E.

Best beaches in Crete
The sunset from Kalamaki.

Less than 10 minutes by car from Matala Beach, Kalamaki is a small village and tranquil beach, perfect to avoid the overcrowded beach and the overpriced (and limited) accommodation options in Matala.

Home to a few places to stay, seaside tavernas, and interesting crafts shops, this relaxing village has all the ingredients for those who come to Crete to rest from an agitated year of work. There’s a sandy beach great for kids with spectacular sunset views.

Knowing that they are not completely isolated, those who would like to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere can go out for dinners or evening walks in nearby Matala or the popular resort of Agia Galini, about 22 km away.

Red Beach

Region: Heraklion (South Coast) | 34.987405 N, 24.747911 E.

Red Beach Mojito Bar
Red Beach, Matala.

Also known as Kokkini Ammos, Red Beach is a famous naturist beach on Heraklion’s south coast, just a few kilometers from the hippie beach of Matala. The beach is a well-known nudist beach on Crete. It can be reached only on foot, hiking past the promontory east of Matala.

The beach’s name comes from the red sand. It’s a beautiful place for snorkeling, but like many other beaches in the south, it’s also a popular tourist destination.

The shore is quiet, has reddish-golden sand, and the waters are crystal clear. Thanks to the colorful seabed, it’s a good place for snorkeling. The hippie spirit is a bit more authentic than Matala’s.

Best Beaches in Crete: Lasithi Region, East Crete

Voulisma (One of the Best Beaches in Crete)

Region: Lasithi | 35.125594 N, 25.746135 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Voulisma Beach.

Since Vai Beach made it to the top 5 best beaches in Crete at the beginning of this post, the next beach you should visit in Lasithi is Voulisma or Golden Beach, one of the best beaches in the area known as Istron, opposite the Mirabello Bay.

Considered one of the most beloved beaches on the island, Voulisma is in the village of Istro, only minutes away from Agios Nikolaos.

Voulisma is a long bay with clear sand, beautiful turquoise water, and shallow waters. It is perfect for families, couples, and groups of friends. Such a beautiful shore cannot go unobserved, and it’s often jam-packed in summer. The beach is well organized, and a great beach bar overlooks the bay.


Region: Lasithi (Eastern Coast) | 35.214828 N, 26.268117 E.

Best beaches in Crete

Not far from the city and port of Sitia, Kouremenos is another beach worth a visit in the region of Lasithi.

This beach with incredibly light blue waters is on a wide bay, about 2 km long, with fine, yellow sand. The place is a favorite for families and those who enjoy water sports such as windsurfing and kite-surfing.

The seabed has a fantastic submarine landscape. So, if you enjoy snorkeling, make a point to visit Kouremenos. You can rent umbrellas and sunbeds, and you won’t need to pack your lunch since there are also a few tavernas and a beach bar.

Kato Zakros Beach

Region: Lasithi (East Coast) | 35.098624 N, 26.262238 E.

Best Beaches in Crete: Kato Zakros Beach
Kato Zakros.

Kato Zakros Beach features an extensive shore and two small coves near the Minoan Palace of Kato Zakros. The area has limited organization, yet a couple of tavernas by the beach enjoy an excellent reputation for their fresh fish.

The beach is sandy with some pebbled areas. The sea is deep blue and shallow, waveless and calm, making it a great place for small kids.


Region: Lasithi (Southeastern Coast) | 35.032634 N, 26.213779 E.

Xerokampos is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete.

Xerokampos encompasses many lonely and beautiful beaches in remote southeastern Crete.

The biggest shore in Xerokampos is Mazida Ammos, which is enclosed by the small peninsula of Trachilos. It has alluring blue waters and fine sand and is often deserted.

Amatos (or Ligias Lakos) is another small shallow pebbled beach near Mazida Ammos. The beach has no organized facilities, so it’s better to pack what you need for the day. For more details about Xerokampos, check out the best beaches in East Crete here.


Region: Lasithi (South Coast) | 35.004495 N, 25.585051 E.

Myrtos Beach - Crete - Best Places in Crete for families

Myrtos is a beach and village in Lasithi that offers every necessary facility to day travelers and those staying longer.

The area is a typical southern village, laid-back and quiet, perfect for a holiday off the more vibrant inhabited centers of the north.

Myrtos is known for its calm sea because it lies on a wide but tranquil bay. It’s a dark sand beach mixed with coarse pebbles. There is a good organization, including showers, restaurants, and beach umbrellas.

Best Beaches in Crete: The Top Hidden Beaches on Crete Island

Have you heard about these lesser-known beaches in Crete before? Check them out down here, you can thank me later!!

Illingas Beach

Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.202332 N, 24.124587 E.

Illingas Bech

Illingas is a hidden cove that can be reached by a small boat from Loutro or Chora Sfakion. Solitary and isolated, the area is a favorite spot for naturism.

The beach of Illingas (also spelled Iligas and Illigas) is also known as Kavi Beach because it is at the end of the Kavi Gorge. Those keen on mountain trails and trekking can arrive at Illingas, walking from the main road connecting Chora Sfakion and the village of Anopolis.


Region: Chania, Cape Akrotiri | 35.56189 N, 24.0862281 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Machairida Beach.

Machairida (also Maxairida or Macherida) is a perfect beach for hiding away and disconnecting from the rest of the world. It is a tiny shore with a few rocks and a fine sand beach with beautiful blue waters.

There’s no organization at all (there’s virtually no space for any facility). Since it’s a very small beach, it’s always better to head to Machairida early in the morning to find a spot to spend the day.

Machairida is also a fantastic sunset spot since it faces Crete’s west coast. This hidden spot has naturally become a well-known nudist beach on Cape Akrotiri.

Ravdouxa Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou) | 35.541957 N, 23.727748 E.

Best beaches in Crete

Ravdoucha is a small village on the western side of the Rodopou peninsula, right in front of the Gulf of Kissamos. The area has two beaches known as Ravdoucha (or Ravdouxa). They’re pebbled and sand-mixed in some areas.

The smallest beach of Ravdoucha has a tavern, a few rooms to let, and a couple of beautiful holiday villas. The biggest beach has a rocky pier from where you can dive and fish.

Afrata Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou – North Coast) | 35.566845 N, 23.777523 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Afrata Beach, Crete.

Afrata is a tiny but alluring shore, a few kilometers from the village of Kolymbari, on the eastern side of the Rodopou Peninsula, facing the Gulf of Chania.

To reach the Bay of Afrata, drive past the village and follow the irregular road through the small gorge until the parking lot is just meters from the beach. The beach is usually not crowded; good facilities include bathrooms, a tavern, and a few umbrellas to rent.

It’s a perfect spot for fishing, snorkeling, and other submarine sports. The beach combines small and big colorful pebbles that create a fantastic underwater scenario.

Menies Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou) | 35.664774 N, 23.767768 E.

Menies beach

The beach of Menies is perfect for those keen on adventures and driving deserted roads on the island. It’s situated on the deserted Rodopou Peninsula in the Chania region. There are no asphalt roads to get there, just a scenic dirt track. Otherwise, a boat trip from Chania to Menies is also possible. The beach is a small slice of paradise with white sand, pebbles, and a shallow, crystalline sea.

Best Beaches in Crete: The South

My favorite coast on Crete is certainly the one facing the Libyan Sea. It is solitary and relaxing, and the sea is incredibly beautiful. These are my top picks for beaches there, but you will find more in this guide to the best beaches in South Crete.


Region: Chania (South Coast) | N 35.19919 N, 24.07828 E.

Loutro village, Loutro beach, Crete, South Crete, Sea, Mountains
Loutro village, south coast of Crete.

Loutro is a beautiful fishing village in the southern area of Crete, which can be reached only by ferry boat (departure from Chora Sfakion) or by hiking the high coastal path along the beach.

There’s not much to do in the village other than enjoying the magnificent emerald waters and the stunning mountain landscape of the island.

There are nice tavernas on the beachfront and a few hotels to stay. If you prefer to stay in Chora Sfakion, Loutro can make a perfect day trip. You can read this Loutro guide to find out more.

Kedrodasos Beach

Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.26903 N, 23.557351 E.

Blue sea, sand dunes, Crete

Kedrodasos is a beach about 1 km east of Elafonisi and surrounded by a unique juniper forest. Usually included among the top beaches of southern Chania, Kedrodasos is a fairly isolated place, only accessible via a dirt track.

The beach is lonely, unspoiled, and unorganized. It’s ideal for naturism and a paradise for informal holidays if you’re keen on camping (read more about camping rules in the area here). The beach has fine, whitish sand and pristine, shallow waters. Since it’s close to Elafonisi, both shores can be visited on the same day.

Goudouras Beach

Region: Lasithi (South Coast) | 35.014835 N, 26.097818 E.

Goudouras beach

The beach of Goudouras is on a quiet bay on the southern coast of Lasithi, not far from the small village of Asprolithos. This rather unknown shore is a perfect sport for a lovely holiday by the sea.

The beach has a combination of coarse sand and pebbles, and there aren’t many facilities except for a few umbrellas to rent

Another dreamy beach in the area is Votsalaki, a somewhat hidden bay surrounded by beautiful high hills that offer great coastal views and allow for great pictures of the Libyan Sea.

Best Beaches in Crete: Gavdos Island

Region: Chania (South Coast) | 34.83666 N, 24.083215 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Tripiti Beach, Gavdos.

The picture above shows the shore of Tripiti, one of the many beaches on Gavdos. This small island is the southernmost point in Europe and belongs to the Chania region. To reach Gadvos, you can board a ferry boat in Chora Sfakion or Paleochora. Staying long enough in Gavdos is key to exploring the whole island. Check out this Gavdos accommodation guide to maximize your time there.

Among the shores worth a visit are Agios Ioannis Beach, which is 4 km from the main beach of Sarakiniko, and the beautiful Tripiti Beach. This Gavdos post has tips for catching the right boat and the complete list of Gavdos’ beaches.

Best Beaches in Crete: Beaches on Chrissi Island

Region: Lasithi (South Coast) | 34.873509 N, 25.70358 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Chrissi Island, Lasithi

Arguably, some of the best beaches in Crete are located on the tiny island of Chrissi, which is only a few nautical miles away from the city of Ierapetra. The crystalline, blue waters of the Libyan Sea bathe the island’s coasts.

To reach Chrissi, you must board a ferry boat either in the coastal village of Makrigialos or in the port of Ierapetra. This Chrissi Island guide provides more details on how to get there.

Best Beaches in Crete for Families

Are you traveling to Crete with the kids? Then you’ve made a perfect choice! There are plenty of great and safe beaches for kids on the island. Below are some of the best child-friendly shores, but there are many more in this guide to the best beaches for kids in Crete.


Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.181586 N, 24.231458 E.

Venetian castle, sand, beach

Frangokastello is a beautiful and organized sandy beach on the southern coast of Chania, not far from the village of Chora Sfakion. The village’s traditional image is the imposing fortress standing almost on the sand of its main beach.

Thanks to its shallow waters, Frangokastello is a top choice for families. The bay is quite open, and it can get a bit windy at the end of the season.

The sand is fine and golden, the sea transparent and quite shallow. The spot is perfect for children who love to explore and is also great for snorkeling.

Almyros Beach

Region: Lasithi (North Coast, near Agios Nikolaos) | 35.19106 N, 25.71524 E.

Best beaches in Crete
The river on Almyros Beach.

Together with the spectacular Voulisma Beach, Almyros is one of the best beaches in Lasithi. Its shore is fantastic, wide, and safe, and finding a good place to spend the day is never hard. Here, the sea is very calm, which makes it a favorite spot for families with small children.

Kids especially love the small river that connects to the sea and the bridge on top of it at the end of the beach.

Ammoudara Beach (Agios Nikolaos)

Region: Lasithi (North Coast) |35.164897 N, 25.717814 E.

Ammoudara beach
Ammoudara Beach, Lasithi.

One of the most family-friendly beaches on Mirabello Bay is Ammoudara. This top family beach is just 5 km from Agios Nikolaos, facing the spectacular, calm waters of the Gulf of Mirabello.

This shore is perfect for families staying in the city center but who want to spend the day at a more relaxing beach. Ammoudara is a fine sandy shore. The sea is calm and waveless and usually safe from northern winds. The beach is organized and has ample spaces for kids to play and swim in total safety.

Tersanas Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri) | 35.56189 N, 24.09248 E.


Located in a hidden position within the Akrotiri Peninsula, Tersanas is still rather unknown to occasional visitors of Crete.

It’s near the village of Chorafakia, not far from the more famous Stavros Beach. The coast is shallow and super protected, making it perfect for kids. The beach is well organized, and a convenient beach bar sells cold coffees, drinks, and snacks.

Marathi Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri) | 35.505203 N, 24.173665 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Marathi Beac at sunset.

Marathi Beach is on Cape Akrotiri, facing Souda’s natural bay and port. Moms adore taking their kids to Marathi as it’s a very quiet bay, virtually waveless, super clean, and safe, with crystal waters and soft, fine sand.

Dads, instead, love Marathi as it’s possible to fish from the small pier, and it’s home to very convenient tavernas that serve fresh fish and cold beers.

Best Beaches in Crete: The Best Naturist Beaches

Are you into naked swimming and sunbathing? Check the following beaches or read this ultimate guide to nudist beaches in Crete!

Ammoudaki Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South coast) | 35.172594 N, 24.418969 E.

Ammoudaki beach - South Rethymnon, Crete

Ammoudaki, on the south coast of the Rethymnon region, is a small hidden cove close to the bigger village and beach of Plakias. It has very fine golden sand and stunning turquoise waters. 

Ammoudaki and the smaller cove of Mikro Ammoudaki are two of Crete’s most traditional naturist bays. However, the smaller one, Mikro Ammoudaki, has been assaulted by tourists in the peak months of summer during the past seasons.

Sarandaris Coves

Region: Heraklion (North Coast) | 35.333544 N, 25.38477 E.

Best beaches in Crete

In the vibrant area of Hersonissos, quite close to the center of Heraklion, Sarantari or Sarandari is a series of small sandy coves well hidden not only by the cape by also by some high rocks that provide the necessary privacy.

The waters are very clean and transparent, making it a great place to explore the submarine bed of the beach. The lively scene of the seaside resort of Hersonissos is only meters away from this hidden nudist beach. If you plan to stay in the area, reading about the best hotels in Hersonissos is a good idea!


Region: Heraklion (South Coast) | 35.014615 N, 24.760182 E.

Best beaches in Crete

Not far from the hippie Matala Beach, Kommos Beach is usually listed as one of the best nudist beaches in Crete. The quiet shore features golden sand, and there is little organization.

The landscape is lush and green, and the shore is so wide that one never feels observed. From here, you can spot amazing sunsets. Be careful because the sea can be a bit wavy when it’s windy.


Region: Heraklion (South Coast) | 34.929874 N, 24.922728 E.


Lentas is on the southern coast of Crete, about 75 km from the capital of Crete, and quite close to the famous Agiofarago Beach.

This shore is one of the main nudist beaches in the same area, just like Diskos and Kali Limenes. Lentas is a pebbled beach with tamarisk trees for shade. Like many other nudist beaches of Crete, it is not organized.

Glyka Nera

Region: Chania (South Coast) | 35.201796 N, 24.107225 E.

Best beaches in Crete
Glyka Nera.

Glyka Nera (also known as Sweetwater Beach) is on the southern coast of Chania, close to the famous village of Loutro. You can reach Glyka Nera by boat from Loutro or walk the mountain path from Chora Sfakion (or from Loutro).

Small pebbles, a clear sea, and natural water springs are some of the ingredients that make Glyka Nera a wonderful beach. It is one of the best nudist beaches in Crete.

Are you planning to visit any of the best beaches in Crete?

This complete guide to the best beaches in Crete is currently up to date and includes the latest information. There are more Crete beaches here. If you cannot find the beach you want to read about, let me know in the comments.

🏖️ Please, help us protect the beaches in Crete. Respect the environment and don’t leave any trash behind.

I publish new content about Crete almost every day! Bookmark my Crete and Practical Guides pages to learn more before your trip.

Are you dreaming of a getaway to Crete but feeling overwhelmed with planning?

  • You can join my Facebook Group, Things to Do in Crete, a friendly gathering of Crete enthusiasts.
  • With my consultation call services, I have assisted countless travelers in crafting the perfect Crete experience. Email me for more information!

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Although Crete is a safe destination, consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones from unexpected situations.

>> Join our Facebook Group!

More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. You can also get one of the digital travel guides I’ve written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Crete

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these places to stay:

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Be sure to book ahead of time to ensure availability!

🛎️ Find the best hotels in Crete here

📍 Top tours I recommend on the island:
Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa
Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site

🚘 The best way to get around Crete is by car. Check rental car rates for Crete here.

📲 Book a consultation call if you need help planning your trip to Crete!

This Guide Belongs to a Board! Pin this Guide to the Best Beaches in Crete For Your Next Adventure!

Best Beaches in Crete, Greece

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the island. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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