Discover + 45 Most Gorgeous Beaches in Crete (A guide by an insider!)

Although I’ve written already several guides to unique beaches of Crete and to different beaches grouped by region, you’ve often asked me for a list with the best of the best beaches in Crete. It’s always hard to leave stunning places aside for a question of space.

Besides, it’s not my intention to write the ultimate list of beaches, in the end, this is a very personal opinion. So I chose the 5 top for each category and grouped them all here. You can always go to the other articles and discover more Crete beaches… to make your own personal list of the best beaches in Crete.

Best beaches to visit in Crete, Greece

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CRETE ESSENTIALS
Last-minute plans? Check these top picks

Getting there
Book your ferry tickets in advance at the lowest price, with no hidden fees or extra costs.

Where to stay in Crete
For a boutique experience, Casa Delfino in Chania or Avli in Rethymnon. Mrs. and Mr. White (affordable luxury) is a gorgeous resort near Chania. Budget? Check Archipelagos in Rethymnon. Hostel type? The best ones are So Young in Heraklion and Cocoon City in Chania.

Top-rated tours in Crete
Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon from Kissamos (Bestselling tour from US$ 29.65).
Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day from Rethymno (Another best-seller, from US$ 36.73).
Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania (From US$ 41).
Knossos Palace: E-Ticket & Audio Tour (Check Knossos at your own pace, from US$ 19.34).

Touring Crete by car?
I use both Discover Cars and Rentalcars.com to reach places where my old jalopy won’t take me.

Need cash?
I’m obsessed with Transferwise! The best online money transfer service: Ridiculously low fees to exchange currency and debit cards accepted all over Greece.

Are you covered?
It’s always better to have travel insurance. Check quotes on World Nomads.

Three items you need in Crete
Don’t forget your daypack for beach days and excursions. Add a good map, the Lonely Planet Guide, or get a copy of my own guide to West Crete!

Top 5 beaches in Crete

1. Elafonisi Pink Sand Beach

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.269391 Longitude: E 23.531477

Probably the most popular and famous, and certainly the most beautiful beach in Crete is Elafonisi. Famous all over the world for the pink shade of its sands, the islet of Elafonisi is about 70 km south of Chania, in the west of Crete.

The beach is located in a rather isolated village, and it can be reached either by public transport, or driving along the coastal road of west Crete or crossing the breathtaking gorge of Topolia.

The beach has good organization and new accommodation structures are being opened season after season in the area. It’s a great place for families with kids, but also for solo travelers, couples and those who love sports. Visit this page to read a super detailed guide to Elafonisi.

>> Find accommodation in an Elafonisi hotel or check these top-rated Airbnb places <<

>> You can also check this Airbnb guide for Elafonisi <<

2. Balos Beach & Lagoon

Region: Chania (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.57962 Longitude: E 23.588481

Close second to Elafonisi, although it comes first for many tourists, Balos Beach and Lagoon is the most famous image you can find online whenever you do a research about Crete.

The image is a synonym of Crete all over the world for its alluring beauty. Although some consider it a place with a difficult access, not worth visiting, the truth is that the road to Balos is not that bad after all… or at least, it’s not the worst road you might have to drive on the island.

Those travelling with small kids, might be better considering a day cruise in order to avoid trekking down to the beach under the scorching Cretan sun. This guide to visiting Balos includes all the tips to get there and all the things to do nearby.

>> Best places to stay near Balos <<

3. Falassarna

Region: Chania (West coast)
Latitude: N 35.503712  Longitude: E 23.577256

Falasarna (usually also written as Falassarna) is another of my favorite beaches in Chania, which I visit whenever I have some free time from my gastronomic tours.

The beach is about an hour away from Chania and it’s a fantastic day trip you can take when you’re staying in the region.

One of the widest beaches of Crete, Falassarna is ideal for swimming and practicing water sports due to its windy weather conditions. Those days when the wind doesn’t blow, it’s perfect jor sunbathing and immersions too.

There are excellent tavernas in the area, including one of my favorite restaurants on Crete.

You might also want to read this 3 week itinerary in Crete.

There are also beach bars and places to buy drinks and snacks. Overall, the beach is fairly well organized and it’s also an enchanting spot for a few days in complete relax.

My complete guide to Falassarna includes several other tips such as things to do in the area, best places to stay, and more.

>> Check these top-rated hotels in Falassarna, or discover these villas that you can rent via Airbnb <<

4. Palm Beach of Vai

Region: Lasithi (East coast)
Latitude: N 35.254528  Longitude: E 26.265406

beach, sand, palm grove, Vai Beach, Crete

Another top beach of Crete is the fantastic Palm Grove of Vai. Vai is so popular among the people visiting the east of Crete that it is very common to find it crowded in summer.

Vai hosts Europe’s biggest natural pam forest which gives a magic and exotic feel to the area. The bay is wide and calm, the sea very clean and shallow, all conditions that make it a perfect place to swim.

Indeed, the beach of Vai is great for families with children, and much better if you visit in more tranquil months, such as April, May, the end of September, and October.

>> Top places to stay near the area of Vai <<

5. The Hippie Beach of Matala

Region: Heraklion (South coast)
Latitude: N 34.987405  Longitude: E 24.747813

Matala beach, Crete, Caves, Sunset

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

The beach combines both sand and pebbles, with a clear sea quite deep and subject to currents when it’s a bit windy. The coast of Matala is a good place for snorkeling and it’s also possible to explore the seaside caves renting a boat.

Probably Matala is not the best beach for families with children, although the caves by the sea will certainly interest the small adventurers.

In fact, the caves that stand on the rocky western side of the beach are an interesting attraction to visit.

Inhabited by hippies and ex-pats during the ’60s, the caves became a legendary place that made Matala one of the places where summer music festivals usually take place on the island.

Read more about the things to do in Matala, including the nearby villages and beaches, the archaeological sites and the places to stay.

>> Check the best places to stay in the village of Matala or stay in an Airbnb <<

Top beaches in the Chania region

6. Seitan Limania

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri)
Latitude: N 35.551902  Longitude: E 24.193404

>>Check the best Airbnbs in Chania Old Town<<

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

The sea is quite wavy and subject to current, however, the unique colors of the sea and the rough cliffs that surround the bay, making it an irresistible spot for those in search of the perfect postcard-picture of Crete..

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

>> Check the best hotels and villas to stay near the area <<

7. Stavros Beach

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri)
Latitude: N 35.591  Longitude: E 24.0957

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

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

Stavros beach lacks waves and there are no currents, making it the best beach in the area when the weather is windy.

This spot is a fantastic place for families, it’s well organized with umbrellas, showers, and sunbeds. There are wonderful tavernas in the area too, so all you need to get there is your beach bag, sunglasses, and goggles to spot the fish underwater.

This is another beach I included in the best beaches of Akrotiri and in the best beaches of West Crete lists.

>> Find top accommodation in Stavros or check my favorite hotel in the area <<

8. Georgioupolis Beach

Region: Chania (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.361922  Longitude: E 24.261377

The main beach (and chapel of Agios Nikolaos) as seen from the bridge over the Perastikos River.

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

Georgioupolis lies on a long but quite narrow shore, with a shallow and safe sea, usually calm and without strong currents, safe and ideal for families with small kids.

The best-known feature of Georgioupolis is the small chapel of Agios Nikolaos, that enters the sea following a rocky pier. A few meters towards the west of the beach, there’s a second shore, more isolated and 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.

>> Check the best-rated hotels in Georgioupolis. Discover also the top-rated Airbnbs in the area <<

9. Kalathas

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri)
Latitude: N 35.5543  Longitude: E 24.0872

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

Since it’s great for families but also for couples and sports lovers, this beach ticks all the boxes to become one of the best beaches of Chania.

The long and wide shore has a semi-circular shape and a wonderful little islet just 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 too.

It’s possible to practice different water sports or to hide away in the small cove next to the main beach. You can read more about Kalathas in this guide to the best beaches in Cape Akrotiri.

>> Check hotels and suites to book in Kalathas, or discover the best Airbnb properties <<

10. Paleochora

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.231045  Longitude: E 23.681817

Paleochora, Sea, Beach, Sand, Crete

Less than 80 km south of Chania, one of the most popular beaches and villages of Chania is Paleochora (also spelled Palaiochora).

Around the village, there are beaches for all tastes, sandy as well as pebbled, some of them organized while others are distant, far from the village, and lack organization.

Pachia Ammos is Paleochora’s main beach and it’s opposite the village, locals also call it Ln Bach, since it’s quite long (more than 500 meters).

The beach is shallow, has fine sand and even when it’s windy, you can move to the beach located opposite the cape, with pebbles but more repaired on windy days. These two beaches are organized, so it’s possible to rent a sunbed and an umbrella to spend the day.

If you want to read about the other beaches you can visit in Paleochora, including the nudist-friendly shores in the area, head here.

>> Check the best places to stay in Paleochora here or explore Paleochora’s best Airbnbs <<

Best beaches in the Rethymnon region

11. Preveli Palm Tree Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.152323  Longitude: E 24.473218

Preveli Beach is another famous palm tree shore of Crete, about 35 km from Rethymnon city.

To reach the beach from the north you will need to cross through the small but beautiful Kourtaliotakos Gorge. The river in the bed of the gorge is known as Big River, and it flows to the south until it reaches the sand beach.

The palm forest on the margins of the river gives a unique atmosphere to the area. The river meets the beach on a sandy shore, although there are some pebbles. If you visit, check the amazing heart-shaped rock formation in the middle of the sea. The beach is partially organized.

>> Check these top-rated places to stay close to Preveli <<

12. Plakias

Region: Rethymnon (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.190429  Longitude: E 24.39392

You can get to Plakias beach from Rethymnon driving through the tiny and narrow Kotsifou Gorge.

There are many different beaches with a visit, the main one is Plakias itself, 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 and the cliffs.

Skinaria, Damnoni, and Ammoudaki are three of the beaches that you can explore. The shores are ideal for immersions (there are several immersion schools operating in the area), and all of them are nudism-friendly beaches.

>> These are some of the best-rated places to stay that you can book via Airbnb <<
>> You can also check hotels in and around Plakias <<

13. Ligres Beach

Region: Rethymnon (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.137884  Longitude: E 24.530168

Perfect for lonely holidays, relaxation, and total rest, Ligres 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 immersions and snorkeling.

On the western side of the beach there are small springs and waterfalls. The beach has limited organization.

There is a great taverna overlooking the beach which also rents rooms for those who decide to spend the night..

>> Check these hotels to stay near Ligres <<

14. Triopetra

Region: Rethymnon (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.119377  Longitude: E 24.547915

TRIOPETRA BEACH - CRETE

About 52 km from Rethymnon town, the beach of Triopetra is one of the widest shores on the south of the region. Triopetra is a beautiful pebbled beach, fully organized and quite isolated.

It takes a bit more than an hour to get there from the northern coast but the drive through the mountains is really worth it.

The beach has interesting geological formations that connect the land to the sea. It’s possible to explore the big rock, but the area is quite slippery by the sea, so be extremely careful if you plan to climb to see what’s on the other side (there’s another quiet beach on the other side, smaller and not very crowded).

Despite being a popular shore of Crete, the wide area never feels really crowded. It’s possible to enjoy lunch and drinks in the nearby tavernas.

>> Check hotels and Airbnbs in the area of Triopetra <<

15. Beaches of Bali

Region: Rethymnon (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.414032  Longitude: E 24.782996

Courtesy: Callumn Anderson

Located on the northern coast of Rethymnon, Bali is one of Crete’s most visited resorts, therefore it tends to be crowded not just with visitors staying in the area, but also by day-trippers from Heraklion, Chania, and the town of Rethymnon itself.

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 the direct exposure to the northern windes.

Some of these bays are ideal for immersions and snorkeling too. The water, though is usually cooler than in other beaches due to the springs that carry freshwater from the Mount Psiloritis.

>> Check accommodation in Bali and surroundings. Or discover the best properties for rent <<

Top beaches in the Heraklion region

16. Malia

Region: Heraklion (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.282668 Longitude: E 25.462921

MALIA BEACH CRETE

One of the top chosen beaches of Crete, Malia is a beach and well-developed coastal town, fairly close to Heraklion, about 35 km east on the coastal road.

The beach is wide, extending all the way to the lesser-known but still gorgeous Stalida. Malia is a loud and busy the beach while the village is also famous for its nightlife. In fact, Malia is the town to go if you’re looking for discos, clubs, and music bars.

The resort is preferred by young people all over Europe who choose Malia for its well-earned title of party-resort of Crete.

>> Check these top hotels to stay in Malia. You can also explore the best Airbnbs in Malia <<

17. Agia Pelagia

Region: Heraklion (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.404731  Longitude: E 25.018634

Agia Pelagia is another popular beach in the region of Heraklion, as it is conveniently close to the city, and yet it manages to keep a somewhat relaxed village atmosphere.

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

On the main beach of Agia Pelagia, there are a few good restaurants along the seaside, some of them serving also to the people who rent umbrellas at the beach.

The village is quite alive also at night, with a few well-known pubs and beach bars as well.

>> Check these hotels and suites in Agia Pelagia or go for the comfort of a private home with Airbnb <<

18. Stalida

Region: Heraklion (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.293943  Longitude: E 25.429442

Stalida (or also Stalis) is a seaside resort located on the northern coast of Crete, half-way between Hersonissos and Malia, no more than 20 km from the center of Heraklion. It’s a good place to stay since it’s not as busy as the capital, nor as crowded as Hersonissos, and it’s certainly less loud.

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

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

>> Check these top-rated hotels in Stalida as well as these Airbnb homes to rent <<

19. Kalamaki

Region: Heraklion (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.028793  Longitude: E 24.759173

Less than 10 away by car from the beach of Matala, Kalamaki is a small village and tranquil beach, perfect to avoid the overcrowded and overpriced famous beach of Matala.

Home to just a few places to stay, a few seaside tavernas and interesting crafts shops, this relaxing village has all the ingredients for those who come to Crete with the intention of resting from an agitated year of work.

There’s a sandy beach great for kids with spectacular sunset views. For those who would like to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, knowing that they are not completely isolated, it’s also possible to go out for dinners in the popular resort of Agia Galini, about 22 km away.

>> Check these convenient Airbnb homes in Kalamaki or discover the hotels in the area <<

20. Red Beach

Region: Heraklion (South coast)
Latitude: N 34.987405 Longitude: E 24.747911

sand, sea, Red Beach, Matala

Also known as Kokkini Ammos, Red Beach is a famous naturist beach just a few kilometers away from the hippie beach of Matala, on the south coast of Heraklion.

The beach is a well known nudist beach on Crete that can be reached only on foot, hiking past the promontory that lies east of Matala.

The beach got its name due to the red color of the sand. It’s a beautiful place for snorkeling, but as many other beaches in the south, it’s quite aAs its name tells you, it has reddish-golden sand and waters are crystal clear, it’s a good place for snorkeling thanks to the colorful seabed. The hippie spirit is a bit more authentic than Matala’s.

>> Check here the best places to stay near Red Beach <<

Top beaches in the Lasithi region

21. Voulisma
(Indeed one of the best beaches in Crete!)

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 35.125594  Longitude: E 25.746135

Since Vai Beach already 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 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 and beautiful turquoise and shallow, perfect for families but also for 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 there is a great beach bar overlooking the bay.

>> Check these top-rated hotels near Voulisma <<

22. Kouremenos

Region: Lasithi (Eastern coast)
Latitude: N 35.214828  Longitude: E 26.268117

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 but also for those who enjoy water sports such as windsurfing and kite-surfing.

The seabed has a fantastic submarine landscape, so make a point to visit Kouremenos if you’re keen on snorkeling.

There’s some organization on the beach, including umbrellas and sunbeds to rent. There’s no need to pack your lunch since there are also a few tavernas and a beach bar as well.

>> Read the reviews and book the best hotels near Kouremenos <<

23. Kato Zakros

Region: Lasithi (Eastern coast)
Latitude: N 35.098624 Longitude: E 26.262238

Kato Zakros
(Source: Olaf Tausch – CC BY 3.0).

There are two small but petty beaches in the area of Kato Zakros as well as a very long shore. The area has limited organization but the tavernas by the beach have an excellent reputation for their fresh fish.

The beach is sandy although some areas have pebbles. The sea is deep blue and shallow, waveless, and calm. This makes it a great place for small kids.

>> Discover where to stay in Kato Zakros <<

24. Xerokampos

Region: Lasithi (Southeastern coast)
Latitude: N 35.032634  Longitude: E 26.213779

XEROKAMPOS - CRETE

Xerokampos is a series of lonely and beautiful beaches in the remote southeastern Crete.

There are several beaches worth a visit to the area, Mazida Ammos is the biggest one. It’s enclosed by the small peninsula of Trachilos and has alluring blue waters and fine sand.

Amatos (or Ligias Lakos), is another small shallow pebbled beach not far from Mazida Ammos. The beach is not organized so it’s better to pack all you need to spend the day.

>> Check hotels in or near Xerokampos. Or book an Airbnb rental in the area <<

25. Myrtos

Region: Lasithi (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.004495  Longitude: E 25.585051

Myrtos Beach

Myrtos is a beach and village in Lasithi that offers every necessary facility both to those traveling for a day only as well as those who stay in the area for longer periods of time.

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 as it lies on a wide but rather calm bay. It’s a dark sand beach mixed with coarse pebbles. There is a good organization, including showers, restaurants, and beach umbrellas too.

>> Check the best properties where you can stay in the area <<

Top hidden beaches in Crete

26. Illingas

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.202332 Longitude: E 24.124587

Illingas Bech

Illingas is a hidden cove you can reach taking a small boat either in Loutro or in 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, this because the beach is at the end of the gorge of Kavi.

Those keen on mountain trails and trekking can arrive at Illingas walking from the main road connecting Chora Sfakion and the village of Anopolis.

>> This is the best area where to stay close to Illingas Beach <<

27. Machairida

Region: Chania, Cape Akrotiri
Latitude: N 35.56189  Longitude: E 24.0862281

Machairida (or also Maxairida) is a perfect beach for hiding away and disconnecting from the rest of the world.

This is a very small shore with a few rocks and a fine sand beach with beautiful ble 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 very early in the morning so as to find a spot to spend the day.

Machairida is also a fantastic spot for sunset since it faces directly the west coast of Crete. Such a hidden spot has turned naturally into a well-known nudist beach on Cape Akrotiri.

>> Best places to stay in the area of Machairida <<

28. Ravdouxa

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou)
Latitude: N 35.541957  Longitude: E 23.727748

Ravdoucha is a small village on the western side of the Rodopou peninsula, right in front of the Gulf of Kissamos.

There are two different beaches in the area, both known as Ravdoucha. They’re pebbled beaches, mixed with sand in some areas. The smallest beach of Ravdoucha has a taverna and there are also a few rooms to let and a couple of beautiful touristic villas.

The biggest beach of Ravdoucha has a rocky pier from where you can dive and fish too.

>> Check these places to stay in Ravdoucha <<

29. Afrata

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou)
Latitude: N 35.566845  Longitude: E 23.777523

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 it’s necessary to drive past the village and follow the irregular road through the small gorge until the parking lot just meters from the beach.

The beach is not crowded, there are good facilities and some organization, 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.

>> These are the best places to stay in Afrata <<

30. Menies

Region: Chania (Cape Rodopou)
Latitude: N 35.664774 Longitude: E 23.767768

Menies beach

The beach of Menies is perfect for those keen on adventures and driving deserted roads on the island. The beach is in the deserted Rodopou Peninsula, in the region of Chania.

There are no asphalt roads to get there, just a very scenic dirt track. Otherwise, it’s also possible to go to Menies by boat.

The beach is s small slice of paradise with white sand and pebbles, and a shallow, crystalline sea.

>> These are the closest places to stay for a visit to Menies <<

Best beaches in South Crete

31. Loutro

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.19919  Longitude: E 24.07828

Loutro village, Loutro beach, Crete, South Crete, Sea, Mountains

Loutro is a beautiful fishing village located on the southern area of Crete, which can be reached only by means of a ferry boat (departure from Chora Sfakion), or 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 spend the night. If you prefer to stay in Chora Sfakion Loutro can make a perfect day trip.

>> Find top-rated hotels in Loutro as well as unique villas and flats for rent in Airbnb <<

32. Kedrodasos

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.26903 | Longitude: E 23.557351

Blue sea, sand dunes, Crete

Kedrodasos is a beach about 1 km east of Elafonisi 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 not organized. 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.

>> Check the best properties close to Kedrodasos <<

33. Beaches of Gavdos Island

Region: Chania (Island off the south coast)
Latitude: N 34.83666  Longitude: E 24.083215

Although the picture above shows the shore of Tripiti, Gavdos Island is home to many more stunning beaches and it’s always a great idea to plan a stay long enough to have time to explore at least some of them.

The island is the southernmost point in Europe and belongs to the region of Chania. To reach Gadvos, you can board a ferry boat either in Chora Sfakion or in Paleochora.

If you head to my main article about Gavdos, you will be able to check the tips to catch the right boat, as well as the complete list of Gavdos’ beaches.

Among the shores worth a visit, don’t miss to check Agios Ioannis, 4 km from the main beach Sarakiniko. Also, hike to the beautiful Tripiti Beach… and don’t forget to snap a selfie on the famous chair of Gavdos.

>> Check here hotels in Gavdos or discover the best Gavdos villas and rental places <<

34. Goudouras

Region: Lasithi (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.014835  Longitude: E 26.097818

Goudouras beach

The beach of Goudouras is located 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, small and bigger pebbles, and there aren’t many facilities except for a few umbrellas to rent

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

>> Check the best places to stay near Goudouras <<

35. Beaches of Chrissi Island

Region: Lasithi (Island off the south coast)
Latitude: 34.873509  Longitude: 25.70358

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

To reach Chrissi, it’s necessary to board a ferry boat either in the coastal village of Makrigialos or in the port of Ierapetra. There’s more information about getting there and things to see in Chrissi in this detailed post about Ierapetra.

>> To visit Chrissi Island, spend the night in Ierapetra, check these Ierapetra hotels <<
>> If you prefer the comfort of a house, you will love these Airbnbs in Ierapetra <<

Best beaches in Crete for families

36. Frangokastello

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.181586  Longitude: E 24.231458

Frangokastello is a beautiful and organized sandy beach on the southern coast of Chania, not far from the village of Chora Sfakion.

The traditional image of the village is the imposing fortress standing almost on the sand of the village’s main beach.

Frangokastello is a top choice for families thanks to the shallow waters. 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 it’s also great for snorkeling.

>> Find the best hotels in Frangokastello <<

37. Almyros

Region: Lasithi (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.19106  Longitude: E 25.71524

The river that ends on the beach.

Together with the spectacular beach of Voulisma, Almyros is one of my top favorite beaches in Lasithi. Almyros is a fantastic shore, super extense, wide, and safe, where it’s never hard to find a good place to stay to spend the day.

Here, the sea is very calm, which makes it a favorite spot for families with small children.

In fact, kids especially love the small river that connects to the sea and the bridge on top of it, at the end of the beach.

>> Find top-rated accommodation in the area. Or read this review to find out where we stayed <<

38. Ammoudara (Agios Nikolaos)

Region: Lasithi (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.164897  Longitude: E 25.717814

Ammoudara beach

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

This shore is perfect for those families staying in the city center but who want a more relaxing beach to spend the day.

Ammoudara is a fine sandy shore. The sea is calm, waveless, and it’s usually safe from northern winds. The beach is organized and has ample spaces for kids to play and swim in total safety.

>> Find good places to stay near Ammoudara <<

39. Tersanas

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri)
Latitude: N 35.56189 Longitude: E 24.09248

Tersanas

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 really shallow and super protected, which makes it perfect for kids. The beach is well organized and there’s a comfortable beach bar selling cold coffees, drinks, and snacks.

>> Best places to stay in Tersanas <<

40. Marathi

Region: Chania (Cape Akrotiri)
Latitude: N 35.505203  Longitude: E 24.173665

Marathi beach is located in Cape Akrotiri, facing the natural bay and port of Souda.

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.

>> Top-rated accommodation close to Marathi <<

Top naturist beaches in Crete

41. Ammoudaki

Region: Rethymnon (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.172594 Longitude: E 24.418969

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 the most traditional naturist bays of Crete although the smaller one, Mikro Ammoudaki has been assaulted by tourists in the peak months of summer during the past seasons.

>> Check the best places to book a room near Ammoudaki <<

42. Sarandaris Coves

Region: Heraklion (North coast)
Latitude: N 35.333544  Longitude: E 25.38477

Sarandaris

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.

>> Top-rated hotels in Hersonissos and stunning properties via Airbnb <<

43. Kommos

Region: Heraklion (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.014615  Longitude: E 24.760182

Kommos
Kommos (Jebulon / CC0 Wikimedia Commons).

Not far from the hippie beach of Matala, Kommos Beach is usually listed as one of the best top nudist beaches on Crete. The shore, quiet and lonely, is a golden sand beach with very little organization.

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

>> Check the best places to stay near Kommos <<

44. Lentas

Region: Heraklion (South coast)
Latitude: N 34.929874  Longitude: E 24.922728

Lentas

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

This shore is one of the main nudist beaches in the same area, others are Diskos and Kali Limenes.

Lentas is a pebbled beach with some tamarisk trees fro shadow. Just like many other nudist beaches of Crete, this is not an organized beach.

>> Find the best accommodation in the area of Lentas <<

45. Glyka Nera

Region: Chania (South coast)
Latitude: N 35.201796  Longitude: E 24.107225

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

Small pebbles, clear sea, and natural water springs are some of the ingredients that make this a wonderful beach. Personally, I consider Glyka Nera the best nudist beach you will find on Crete.

>> Find top-rated accommodation near Glyka Nera <<

Are you ready to explore Greece? It can be the trip of your lifetime. Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your itinerary. If you happen to also tour West Crete, check this guide. You’ll find detailed info about where to go, what to see, where to eat, and more!

Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!

Coming to Crete any time soon? These resources will help you organize the trip!

Start by reading these helpful tips to plan a trip to Crete, which covers details such as when it’s best to travel, what documents you need, or how to get a SIM card. Check family holidays in Crete if you travel with kids.

To visit Crete’s heavenly beaches, check my guide to the best beaches in Crete. Discover what region is best to stay or check what things you can do in Crete.

For updated information about the island, join my private group on Facebook, or get my West Crete Guide!

Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!

I never move around Crete without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy, light, roomy, and super comfortable travel partner I just love. To visit villages, sites, and museums instead, I carry this little crossbody bag.

When driving around, I pack my Crete Michelin map and my Nikon D7200. In Summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion, the sun on the island can be pretty aggressive.

Airfares to Crete can change from one airline to the other, make sure to compare prices with a powerful search engine. Planes are fast, but nothing like the romantic experience of traveling by sea in Greece. With Ferry Hopper, you can book your ferry tickets in advance at the lowest price.

If I need to book accommodation, I personally use different search engines. Booking.com
and Hotels.com are my go-to options.
Sometimes, the best way to make the most of your time on Crete is to join an organized tour. GetYourGuide has top-rated tours to save time and money. From cooking lessons to archaeological site tours, skip-the-line attractions, and airport transfer!

Do you have everything you need? Then you just have to get ready to discover Crete, Greece’s most beautiful island!

  • Further reading

If you would like to read more about Crete’s best beaches, you should also check these articles. Those staying in Chania should definitely check both West Crete beaches and the stunning beaches on the Akrotiri peninsula. The southern coast of Crete boasts the most spectacular, unspoiled beaches on the island while the remote shores in East Crete are lonely and fascinating, ideal to relax and enjoy.

Traveling with kids? There are so many child-friendly beaches on Crete that you’ll have a hard time choosing which one to visit. Falasarna as well as Elafonisi are among them. For a romantic beach holiday, head straight to Balos Beach and Lagoon! And if you’re longing for some naturist swimming and sunbathing, do check my guide to Crete’s best naturist beaches. It’s super helpful and includes GPS coordinates to find your way!

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, send me a message through the contact form and I’ll be happy to add it to this list.

Which if these beaches has made it to your list?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

About the Author

Hola! I’m Gabi. Welcome to The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog! I moved to Crete to explore the island all year round. I love taking pictures and driving on the mountain roads of Crete. I’m a beach freak and on this island I’ve found heaven on earth!


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