Falassarna, also written Falasarna, is on the Western coast of Crete, and it’s known for having the most beautiful sunset on Crete. The atmosphere of the village is relaxed, and the background of the harsh Cretan mountains makes it all incredibly gorgeous. Here’s a complete guide to Falassarna Beach, Crete, with a few tips to make the most of your days in this corner of West Crete.
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- About Falassarna Beach, Crete
- Read before you go
- How to get to Falassarna Beach
- Falassarna, Balos or Elafonisi: Which one to choose?
- Guide to Falassarna beaches
- Where to stay in Falassarna
- Best place to eat in Falassarna
- Things to do in Falassarna Beach, Crete
About Falassarna Beach, Crete
As you approach the bay and go down the road that leads to the coast, the shades of the sea go from deep dark navy blue to the most stunning turquoise. Visitors stop by the side of the road just to admire the colors.
The area is quite tranquil, there are a few places to stay, not many restaurants, one supermarket, and virtually no nightlife. Apart from water sports and beach life, the choice of activities is minimum.
Falassarna Beach is not just a place to stay when visiting the nearby Balos Beach. The village is second to none as far as landscapes. Many visitors stay late on the beach to witness one of the most fabulous sunsets in Crete.
Read before you go to Falassarna
Basic information about Falassarna Beach
- Regional unit: Chania
- Location: Northwestern Crete
- GPS Coordinates – Latitude: N 35.501621 | Longitude: E 23.579582
Distances & Map of Falassarna
Distances to Falassarna from Crete’s main cities:
- From Agios Nikolaos: 250 km, 3 h 50 m
- From Heraklion: 192 km, 3 h
- From Rethymno: 116 km, 1 h 50 m
- From Chania: 54 km, 1 h
How to get to Falassarna Beach
How to get to Falassarna by car: We are convinced that traveling by car is more convenient and cost-effective on Crete, plus it gives you a lot of flexibility. Besides, reaching Falassarna beach by car is fairly easy.
If you are traveling from Chania, take the National Road Chania – Kissamos. Pass through Kissamos-Kastelli, continue to Platanos, and follow the signs to Falassarna. Once you are on the hill overlooking Falassarna beach, drive the bending road down the hill for about 3 km to get to the seaside.
Public transport: There are several daily buses from the Public Bus Station in Chania.
Route: Chania – Platanos – Falassarna / Falassarna – Platanos – Chania. To check prices and schedules, visit the official website of Ktel Public Bus Services Chania.
Falassarna, Balos or Elafonisi: Which one to choose?
This is a question that I always get from the people that come to my Gastronomic tours and are planning to visit the beaches of Chania during their holidays. I always say that it’s a very personal decision and something we have often discussed here on the blog. However, if you have no idea which one to choose, these guides to Balos and Elafonisi can help you make up your mind.
If you are visiting or staying in Chania, Crete, and plan to visit more beaches other than the beautiful Falassarna, check this guide including the best beaches in West Crete.
Guide to Falassarna beaches
Falassarna beach can be considered as one big, wide bay. However, there are different beaches within this bay that you can choose according to the kind of place you enjoy the most. Let’s see which are the beaches in Falassarna and what are their characteristics.
Falassarna, Small Beach
Falassarna Small Beach is located towards the north, and it’s one of the smallest beaches in the area, about 400 km long, Some people also call this area Petalida, (in fact there’s a small family-run hotel on top of this beach with that name).
This is the most secluded of all the beaches in the bay, with rocky formations on the fine sand beach that are popular among campers and naturists. For more information about nudist beaches in Crete, check this full insider’s guide to naturism in Crete.
In the area, you can also spend the morning getting lost among the olive groves or hike incredible mountain trails. Either way is a recipe to discover unexpected sea views.
Falassarna Big Beach, Pachia Ammos
Usually known as Big Beach, the biggest shore of the coastline is Pachia Ammos, a beautiful long golden sand beach, with services including lounges and umbrellas, several beach bars, and the possibility to practice different water sports.
There are several parking spaces above the beach, usually free, be aware that you will need to hike back up to get to your car.
It’s easy to avoid the crowds in Falassarna. Therefore, despite being the area extremely popular among tourists during the whole season, you can always find a more secluded place to stay.
For instance, if you head towards the south of Pachia Ammos, you will find another long sandy beach, about 800 m long, that people tend to disregard because the sea has a fairly rocky bottom. If you keep going South, there is another secluded bay you can visit.
Where to stay in Falassarna
Forget about the sophisticated lifestyle of touristic resorts in Falasarna. The magic of the place requires you to choose simplicity. Closeness to nature and no-frills are a must.
Add to that the authentic character of the villagers: Few words but well spent and utter hospitality. Our place of choice is a quiet angle almost at the end of the (only) road.
During my different trips to Falassarna over the years, I’ve tried many different hotels and studios. I was never disappointed and I could recommend each of the following with equal enthusiasm. Find down here a list of the best places to stay in Falassarna.
Falassarna Bay is located very close to Falassarnas Big Beach, about 100 m, and has recently renovated their rooms, with open views to the spectacular bay of Falassarna.
Rooms also include a small kitchen where you can prepare your quick meals to go to the beach or fix a drink to enjoy in your balcony. This place has excellent reviews, and you can book here.
Another place we enjoyed staying at a few years ago is Kalami Rooms & Apartments, also facing the grat bay of Falassarna.
What we enjoyed the most in this hotel is that despite having all the facilities of a studio type of accommodation, and therefore your own private kitchen, they also serve breakfast, so it’s one thing less to worry when you get up in the morning. Check the reviews and book here ...if you find availability!
>> Check the best Airbnbs in the area of Falasarna
A very (really, very!) popular place to stay in Falassarna is Falassarna Beach. It is a family-run hotel where people like to come back every year, which makes it hard to find availability, so don’t doubt to book if you find an available room.
The place is only 70 m from the main beach and there are a garden and a bar with sea views. All units have a small kitchen but you can also have your breakfast served in the dining area. There’s also a restaurant serving local dishes. This is a place you shouldn’t miss, check reviews and book here.
If you can’t still make up your mind about where to stay in Crete and what to do in each region, you might want to check out this guide.
Petalida is a family-run hotel with incredible views of the sea and the mountains. When you wake up in the morning and step out on the balcony you can see the blue sea and the first sun rays in the mountains. You can have breakfast on the terrace facing the Small Beach of Falassarna.
This is a family-run studio that offers the legendary Cretan hospitality. Unfortunately, you cannot book online, so you can contact them by phone (+30 6945 027066) or risk and visit without a reservation. Be sure they’ll be happy to welcome you to Falassarna.
Best place to eat in Falassarna
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Greek food, Cretan raki, and Hellenic hospitality. The place where I’ve learned the most about it all is Crete, specially Falassarna. My return proved me right. Every year, they welcome me like an old friend, with a hug, smiles and the (always unchanged) most incredible home-made dishes I have ever tasted in my life.
Besides and since I moved to Crete, we have made it our tradition to celebrate the 1st of May in this taverna opposite Falassarna Beach. On that day, every year we book our table and celebrate, dance local music, and sing from midday until late in the evening.
Especially in Greece, the culture of welcoming guests is so rooted in the heart of the nation that it’s quite hard not to find a wonderful place to eat. However, and even having eaten in different places in Falassarna, no place beats Taverna Spilios.
Taverna Spilios combines perfection in food with extreme care for customers, attention for kids, joy and a special extra something that is so hard to explain in a review and so easy to see from the looks of those who are receiving you.
Things to do in Falassarna Beach, Crete
Don’t miss the sunset in Falassarna Beach
The golden hour in Falassarna has often labeled as one of the most spectacular on the island. And I can’t disagree. The open and direct view of the West, together with a clear atmosphere, free of smog and contamination, resulting in one of the most stunning sunset spots on Crete.
At around 8.30 pm (in mid-summer) people start gathering in strategic points of the beach with their photo cameras and phones ready to shoot the moment when the sun goes down on Falassarna.
If you prefer to dine early, choose a table in one of the many tavernas up the hill or make yourself a quick dinner to enjoy from the privacy of your balcony. The sunset in Falassarna is really unique.
Visit Ancient Falassarna
This ancient settlement was a major trading and important naval center, the only closed harbor in west Crete, built taking advantage of the local lagoon with a channel that connected it to the sea making it particularly safe. The city flourished during the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.
An area inhabited since the early Minoan period with an ideal position and a direct connection with the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Two reasons that made its prosperity possible. One of the activities that helped the economic rise of Falasarna was piracy, which made Romans invade and destroy the city in 69 B.C.
The real reason for the decline of Falasarna was, however, the great earthquake of 365 A.D. Its most important result implied the elevation of the west coast of Crete by about 6,6 meters.
This is the real reason making the ruins of Ancient Falasarna extremely interesting: the harbor of the old city now lies more than a hundred meters from the sea!
Finding Ancient Falasarna: Follow the main road of the village until its very end, a little church, Agios Georgios, on the slope of the mountains, will be helpful to spot the area near the entrance. (Mondays closed. Entrance: free, donations accepted).
A few meters before the entrance it is also possible to visit the Throne of Falasarna, probably a podium used for public speeches.
Check the Archaeological Museum of Kissamos
This museum comes in great for a better understanding of the ruins of Falasarna. It’s a good idea to combine both visits on the same morning as they are not more than a few kilometers away from each other.
The museum is in a Venetian-Turkish building in the Venetian area of Kissamos. It shows the history of the district of Kissamos, from the Prehistoric period through Early Christianity. Even if you are not fond of museums, this one is easy to visit and appreciate, reasonably didactic for children and quite small too.
The ground floor presents artifacts belonging to different cities of Crete (Polyrrhenia, Ancient Phalassarna, Drapanias), while the upper floor is devoted to Kissamos, mostly during the Roman period, overshadowed by the Minoan era.
There are unique mosaic floors belonging to important urban villas. The biggest of them depicts an allegory of Dionysus, but there is a smallest one, incredibly well-preserved.
It features a unique combination of the four seasons with three female figures representing Summer, Winter, and Spring.
The collection of coins and jewelry is an impressive snapshot of the economic importance of the area.
If you’re traveling to Falasarna and want to live a great experience, get in touch with…
– Petalida Rooms & Studios: +30 6945 027066
– Taverna Spilios: +30 28220 41010
Remember: Since Falassarna is so close to Balos Beach and Lagoon, you will find more information about things to do in the area if you read my article about Balos. In it, there’s information about Polyrrinia, Sfinari Beach, and more.
If you want to explore the Southwestern coast, check Elafonisi Beach, but also Kedrodasos, Topolia, Elos, and Chrysoskalithissa Monastery in my article about Elafonisi.
Are you ready to explore Crete? It can be the trip of your lifetime. Get in touch if you need extra help to plan a Crete itinerary and join our Crete Travel Group on Facebook. Or check this West Crete guide if you’re touring Falasarna, this beach is one of the most important chapters in the book. You’ll find detailed info about where to go, what to see, where to eat, and more!
Coming to Crete any time soon? These fantastic resources will help you organize the trip!
- Start by heading right to my post with helpful tips to plan a trip to Crete, which goes over every detail you need to know, from when it’s best to travel to what documents you need, or how to get a SIM card. You can also check my post to plan a Crete trip with kids!
- Probably, you’re also planning to spend some time at the beach on the island. Check my guide to the best beaches in Crete to choose the one you like the most. Read this article to decide what area suits best to stay in Crete, or check this post is you still don’t know all the things you can do in Crete.
- Finally, to have updated information about the island, join my private group on Facebook about Crete and download a copy of my West Crete Travel Guide to have it always with you on the island!
Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!
- I never move around the island with any of these… my Osprey backpack has been the most loyal travel partner over the last 5 years. It’s sturdy, light, roomy, and super comfortable! I just love it. To visit the old town, archaeological sites, and museums, this little crossbody bag is always around.
- When driving around Crete, I always pack my Michelin map, clear, accurate, and easy to read and my Nikon D7200, I’m lost without any of them. In summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion, the sun on the island can be pretty aggressive.
- Greece, and especially Crete, is a fairly safe destination, however, I’m sure you know that it’s always better to travel with an insurance policy for complete peace of mind. My favorite? World Nomads. Already left home? Buy your travel insurance online now!
- Always bring with you a good travel guide to Crete! The best Crete Travel Guide I’ve found so far is the one published by Lonely Planet. It has all the information you need.
- Airfares to Crete can vary immensely from one airline to the other, make sure you always compare ticket prices with a powerful search engine. Getting to Crete can be really comfortable with an airplane, but nothing beats the romantic experience of traveling by sea. I always choose Direct Ferries to visit other Greek islands or to travel directly to Crete from Athens. It has a powerful search engine to get the right ticket you need!
- If I need to book accommodation in Crete or anywhere else, I personally use Booking.com. Their Genius Loyalty Programme allows me to find better fees. As they say, the more you stay with them, the more rewards you get.
- Road trips in Crete are the most authentic way to explore the island. Find the cheapest rental car using a good car rental search engine. Discover Cars searches over 500 trusted rental companies for you to find the best deal. Compare prices for rental cars in Crete here.
- Sometimes, the best way to get to know a place better and make the most of your time on Crete is to join an organized tour. GetYourGuide has a great selection of proposals that help you save time and money. From cooking lessons to archaeological site tours, skip-the-line attractions, and even 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 this article featuring over 40 stunning beaches in Crete. 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!
Is Falassarna Beach in your travel plans?
Let me know in the comments below!
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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!