Crete is a perfect island for those who love to enjoy the beach without any clothes on… it’s is a well-known secret! Even though nudism is not officially allowed, the most beautiful hidden coves on Crete are the ones that fans of naturism have been visiting for years. If you are one of the many naturists that visit Crete every year, check this list including the best nudist beaches in Crete.
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Last-minute plans? Check these top picks
Where to stay in Crete
For a luxury boutique experience, Casa Delfino in Chania or Avli in Rethymnon. Mrs. and Mr. White (affordable luxury) is a gorgeous resort near Chania. Budget trip to Crete? Check Archipelagos in Rethymnon or Sofia Hotel in Heraklion. Hostel type? No problem! The best options are So Young Hostel in Heraklion and Cocoon City Hostel 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?
By far the best way to discover the island. I use both Discover Cars and Rentalcars.com to reach far off places where my old jalopy won’t take me.
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!
- Nudism on Crete
- Top 5 nudist beaches in Crete
- Other nudist beaches in Crete
- A naturist holiday resort in Crete
- Nudist beaches on the islands near Crete
Nudism on Crete
Officially, there are no nudist beaches in Greece yet, sunbathing without clothes is not forbidden. I’ve been often asked whether this is a practice frowned upon by locals, and my answer is no, or not always!
Let’s make things clear, Greece is a deeply religious country and most locals don’t even ever dream of sunbathing naked on a popular or familiar beach.
Going topless is a bit more common in well-known places such as Elafonisi, Balos, or Falassarna, but not every woman you find will be wearing just the bottom of her swimming suit. It’s not that common, just a bit more common than naturism. Crete still needs to go a long way before turning into a place where topless is an everyday thing.
However, discrete naturism is common in many areas. And you can do it knowing that nobody will bother you or stare. Let me help you find that perfect hidden cove that every nudist on Crete knows about!
INSIDER’S TIP: This small list features some great nudist beaches on the coasts of Crete. However, if you’re too lazy to go through it, get a map, rent a car, and drive south. Wherever you find a small hidden cove, just take off your clothes. Nobody will ever say anything!
>> The best way to explore Crete’s beaches is to do it in your own car. Compare car rental prices <<
Top 5 nudist beaches in Crete
Latitude: N 35.26903
Longitude: E 23.557351
Characteristics: Sandy beach – Not organized.
Kedrodasos is a wonderful beach located about a kilometer east from the more famous Elafonisi Beach. It’s one of West Crete’s most beautiful sand beaches, with juniper trees and some hidden rocky coves, perfect for sunbathing naked.
The sand is soft and white, while the sea is of a vivid turquoise shade.
>> If you want to visit Kedrodasos, check this guide to the beaches in West Crete <<
The beach completely lacks organization, and it has lately turned into a trendy place. This has largely discouraged naturism enthusiasts who have found a more secluded area about 1 km east of the beach. This area is known as Agios Ioannis, and there are three different shores completely naturism-friendly.
Where to Stay near Kedrodasos, Crete
Most of the people that usually visit Kedrodasos choose to camp in the area. Even when camping on the beach is not really permitted in Greece, well… neither is nudism and yet here’s a list of nudist beaches. So, as long as you take care of the environment, don’t light fires, and remember that the juniper forest is indeed protected, there’s no major risk in camping.
If you want to spend the nights in the comfort of a regular bed, check the following nearby places to stay.
Xasteria is located near Chrisoskalitissa Monastery, it’s a wonderful villa with garden views, and the reviews are excellent.
Very close to the beach of Elafonisi, you can check Musagores Rooms with stunning mountain views.
Glykeria Hotel has unique views of the Libyan sea (I usually eat dinner here after a day at the beach).
Elafonisi Villa Above the Beach is just 2 km from Kedrodasos Beach.
>> Prefer the comfort of a home? Check this guide to Airbnbs near Kedrodasos and Elafonisi <<
Plakias, Damnoni, and Ammoudaki
Latitude: N 35.190429
Longitude: E 24.39392
Characteristics: Sandy beaches with small pebbles – Some nudist beaches in Plakias are organized.
Most beaches in the area of Plakias, on the southern coast of Rethymnon, can easily be considered naturist-friendly. People easily get rid of their clothes for a swim, usually in the extremes of each of these beaches.
There are two small coves close to Damnoni, with golden fine sand and crystal waters: Ammoudaki and Mikro Ammoudaki.
Both have traditionally been placed on the list of the best nude beaches on the southern coast of Crete. However, things started changing, especially when Mikro Ammoudi became more popular and crowded, with no much naturism left during the months of July and August.
Ammoudaki is still a good option for naturists. Here, it’s possible to rent umbrellas as well as enjoy a very quiet atmosphere.
>> You can discover more about Plakias in the best beaches of southern Crete <<
Where to Stay in Plakias, Crete
There’s a good choice of accommodation near the nudist beaches on Plakias, these are the ones you should check before booking a room in the area.
Lamon Hotel is close to the main sandy beach of Plakias. The structure has great reviews.
Kalypso Cretan Village Resort and Spa has its own private shore on the beach of Karavos overlooking the Libyan Sea.
Belvedere Apartments and Spa is also close to Plakias Beach and their main feature is their spa center.
Alianthos Garden is hard to find available because it has excellent reviews. It’s also within a walking distance of Plakias nudist beaches, and just a few minutes from the village.
Red Beach (Matala)
Latitude: N 34.98751
Longitude: E 24.748402
Characteristics: Sandy beach – There’s just one beach bar but the organization is basic.
Red Beach has often been placed as one of the best naturist beaches in the world. Since it’s fairly hard to access (only by means of hiking or by boat from the popular Matala Beach), it still preserves a rather isolated spirit.
>> The Red Bech is included in this 3-week in Crete itinerary <<
This secluded beach has stunning reddish fine sand and it’s completely protected by impressive tall rocks that surround the beach and create a magnificent underwater scenario ideal for snorkeling and exploring.
This secluded beach has stunning reddish fine sand and it’s completely protected by impressive tall rocks that surround the beach and create a magnificent underwater scenario with caves ideal for snorkeling and exploring with a canoe.
Where to Stay close to nudist Red Beach, close to Matala, Crete
There is plenty of accommodation available both in the village of Matala as well as in the small villages in the area. Some of the top-rated places include the following.
Close to Matala Beach, Boutique Hotel Die Zwei Brüder is a new structure where you can rent bikes and cars.
Nikkon Summer Home is a beautiful place only meters from Matala Beach.
Beach View Matala are apartments located a few steps from Matala beach.
There’re many places to stay in the villages near Matala, they’re quieter and have better prices than the hotels in Matala. I’ve often chosen to sleep in the relaxing village of Kamilari, but you can also go for a room in Pitsida, Kommos, Kalamaki, and Agia Galini. Here is a good list of accommodation in the area.
Sarandaris Coves (Hersonissos)
Latitude: N 35.333544
Longitude: E 25.38477
Characteristics: Sand mixed with small pebbles, rocky coves – Organized beach.
Sarandaris (or also Sarantaris) is a series of small coves and hidden beaches about 27 km from the capital of Crete, Heraklion. They enjoy a somewhat protected position from the winds thanks to Cape Sarandaris.
It’s in fact quite close to the cape that you will find one of the few nudist beaches on Crete located on the north coast. The sandy beach is located in an area protected by fairly tall stones that offer discretion and protection.
The clear waters and interesting rocky formations under the sea make it a great place for snorkeling. For those interested in some nightlife fun, the main seaside resort of Hersonissos is just minutes away from Sarandari Coves.
Where to Stay in Hersonissos, Crete
The range of accommodation in the area of Hersonissos y fairly wide. It goes from all-inclusive hotels to private villas, budget studio apartments, and mid-range hotels. In the area, it’s also possible to choose a city hotel in Heraklion or the close-by coast of Malia. There’s a lot to explore, as well as hotels for every pocket. If you plan to stay in the area, check the following reviews.
Close to Hersonissos, the traditional village of Koutouloufari is a great place to get a bit of relaxation. Koutouloufari Village Holiday Club was built respecting the stone architecture of Crete, located above the port of Hersonissos with stunning views of the sea.
For an adult-only option, check the reviews, pictures, and prices of Infinity Blue Boutique Hotel & Spa, with a wonderful swimming pool and a beautiful rooftop bar.
If you’re more on a budget scheme, check Sundance Apartments and Suites, with some of the best reviews in the area. It has two swimming pools and it’s very close to the beaches in Hersonissos.
For those able to splurge, probably my favorite (and best) place to stay in this part of Crete is Stella Island Luxury Resort and Spa, another adult-only option in Analipsi, less than 5 km from Hersonissos. The main features include the international cuisine restaurant and the lagoon-styled pool
Latitude: N 35.014615
Longitude: E 24.760182
Characteristics: Sandy beach.
Kommos Beach is on the southern coast of Heraklion, about 70 km from the capital, and not far from Matala Beach. Kommos has often been placed on different lists of top nudist beaches on Crete since it’s really isolated, quiet, and not many are aware that naturism is rather spread on this coast of the island.
Kommos is a golden sand beach, though there are some slippery rocks in the sea bottom and close to the shore in some areas. There’s very little organization (there is a taverna on one of its extremes).
Naturism and nature enthusiasts adore this beach because of the green landscape. Besides, since it’s really wide, there’s never the feeling of being a crowded place.
Be aware that the bay is quite open, so not always protected from the winds. The sea is a bit rough at times. The sunsets in Kommos are incredibly beautiful too.
>> Being about 5 km from Matala, a stay in the area is a great idea. Book your stay near Kommos here <<
Other nudist beaches in Crete
Latitude: N 34.929874
Longitude: E 24.922728
Characteristics: Sand mixed with small pebbles – Organized beach.
The beach of Lentas, also on the southern coast of Crete, is located not far from the beautiful Agiofarago Beach, about 75 km from the capital city of Heraklion. Those interested in exploring should be aware that in the area, there other nudist beaches, such as Kali Limenes and the western bay of Diskos, one of Crete’s most traditional places for naturists.
All the beaches in the area are not really well-organized, but you can find all the supplies you need in the rather small village of Lentas. Besides, if you’re interested also in history, there are a few excavations that are possible to visit close-by.
Where to Stay near Lentas Beach, Crete
Although the village and the area are quite isolated due to its difficult access it’s still possible to rent a room in Lentas. Here are some of the most popular and best-rated ones.
A comfortable option is Lendas Paradise Studios, two steps from the sand! It’s ideal for couples and has high ratings.
If you prefer to stay close to the village of Kali Limenes, Villa Koutsakis is a comfortable hotel, with sea views and a terrace overlooking the sea.
Back in Lentas, Gaitani Studios offers apartments with a garden and a terrace. My favorite feature is that every room has a coffee machine! if you don’t manage to find availability with them, try their sister property, Gaitani Village. The same comfort level and bigger apartments to accommodate more guests.
Latitude: N 35.254188
Longitude: E 26.265147
Characteristics: Sandy beach – Organized.
Probably one of Crete’s most famous beaches, Vai Beach is best-known for the natural palm forest tree that surrounds the shore, the biggest natural palm forest in Europe (though not the only one in Crete), as well as a Natura 2000 protected area. To reach Vai you need to drive for about 95 km from Agios Nikolaos. Crete’s easternmost city of Sitia is only 25 km away.
However, not every visitor is aware that it’s possible both to swim and sunbathe in the buff on the extreme sides of Vai. Here, there are a few hidden coves, which you can reach by walk from the main beach of Vai.
They have an isolated character, and despite being quite alone on this tiny shores, you can still take advantage of the organization that’s found in the main beach of Vai, such as tavernas, showers, and toilets.
Very close to Vai Beach — less than a 10-minute walk away — the small cove of Psili Ammos is another naturist spot that you can check in the area.
This beach has crystal clear waters, and it’s quite unknown to the general public visiting Vai, which makes it quite isolated and a paradisiac refuge for naturists.
Where to Stay near Vai Beach, Crete
Just visiting for the day? Check accommodation in the bigger cities of Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra, or Sitia. These three centers will allow you to visit several landmarks in the area, such as the island of Spinalonga or the Lasithi Plateau.
If you just want a relaxing holiday by the beach, check these places to stay in Palekastro, close to Vai Beach.
Hiona Holiday Hotel is great if you’re visiting the nudist beach of Chiona, Vai, and Palekastro. If you book a stay here, remember to try their delicious breakfast.
Another great place to stay in Palekastro is Sirines Apartments, an enchanting house for a family holiday since it accommodates up to 4 people.
Gialiskari and Krios (Paleochora)
Latitude: N 35.236724
Longitude: E 23.719254
Characteristics: Both sandy and pebbled beaches – Partially organized.
Back in the west, Paleochora is one of the seaside villages in Crete that both tourists and locals adore. In fact, it’s very hard to find someone who doesn’t love the relaxed scene of Paleochora, the little village, and its lively nights as well as the magnificent beaches of the area.
Although there are several other nudist beaches in Paleochora, Gialiskari has rightfully won a place on this list. Although the main area of the beach is not the place to sunbathe naked if you make it towards the end of the beach, there is a secluded place, a favorite of naturists.
Therefore, Gialiskari combines both the organization (sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bar) of the main central portion of the beach, with the stunning mountain landscape, the cold waters of the south, and its own discrete place to take off your clothes!
Gialiskari features coarse sand mixed with pebbles and can be accessed by the dirt road, along the coast towards the east of Paleochora.
Krios Beach, also in Paleochora, is less than 10 km from Paleochora’s main beach, Pachia Ammos and it can be reached by car, driving on an asphalt road. The beach has small pebbles and, as in most south beaches, the sea is perfectly clean.
The beach is divided into two different parts by means of rocks, with the smaller being the naturist one, located towards the west. More organization can be found on the eastern side of the beach, including a taverna and a parking place
>> Read more about the southern village of Paleochora and its great beaches <<
Where to Stay in Paleochora, Crete
In this box, I’ve included my three favorite places to stay in the area.
Manto Studios is a top-rated place to stay in the center of the village. Every studio has a small kitchen, but my suggestion is to try their breakfast as well.
Another great place is Art Apartment. It’s hard to find availability because of its privileged location and the high-quality services provided.
In Paleochora Apartments you can enjoy the romantic views of the sea. Their excellent services have gained great reviews.
Should you find these three locations fully booked (which is rather common, especially in the high season), check the reviews, photos, and rates of these other places to stay in Paleochora.
>> Would you rather stay in a house? Check the best Airbnbs in Paleochora!
Glyka Nera Beach
Latitude: N 35.201796
Longitude: E 24.107225
Characteristics: Sand mixed with pebbles – Very little organization.
One thing that should be said before I start writing about Glyka Nera is that if this beach should top of the list of the best nudist beaches in Crete. If I didn’t place it among the top 5 is simply because I ordered the list according to the ease of access and popularity. However, and that being said, Glyka Nera is for me, the best nudist beach you will find on Crete.
Glyka Nera or Sweetwater Beach is on the southern coast of Crete, a few kilometers away from the famous village of Loutro. In fact, the best way to access the beach is by boat from Loutro, or also hiking (either from Loutro or Chora Sfakion). As a matter of fact, whenever visiting Glyka Nera, our base would be Loutro.
From here we normally take the morning boat and go back to the village at about 4 pm, after a whole day at the beach. Many people staying in Loutro hike the coastal path to Glyka Nera as well. however, I prefer to sit back and enjoy the boat ride and the coastal landscape on the way to the beach.
I personally prefer to visit Glyka Nera early in May or late in October, when the massive hordes of tourists have left. In this period, the only canteen has also closed, and there is no way to find the dozens of sunbeds or umbrellas that cover the beach in summer.
During the less busy months, this pebbled beach tends to be deserted and you can find shade under the tamarisks.
The water, as in most south beaches, tends to be cold but clearer than on the north coast and it’s ideal for snorkeling.
INSIDER’S TIPS: Especially when visiting off the season, remember to carry plenty of water and pack your lunch. On my first visit to Glyka Nera, I left my water supplies back in the hotel in Loutro (yes, I know…!) and it was impossible to find freshwater in any of the famous sweet water springs since the previous winter had been terribly dry.
Where to Stay near Glyka Nera, Crete
When planning a visit to Glyka Nera, a stay in the south is the best way to do it. You can check accommodation in Loutro or you can find a place to stay in Chora Sfakion.
If you prefer to stay in Chora Sfakion
No Problem Luxury Suite is a one-bedroom apartment a few meters from the sea.
Lefka Ori 2 Luxury Suites is a beachfront place to stay, with a restaurant, a bar, and a seaside terrace.
Livikon Hotel is just a few minutes from the beaches of Iligas and Ammoudi.
If you want to experience the tranquil fishing village of Loutro
>> Are you still uncertain about what is the right region for you? Check this guide <<
Selino Beach (Sougia)
Latitude: N 35.246394
Longitude: E 23.805473
Characteristics: Sand and small pebbles – Partially organized.
Sougia is a tranquil seaside village and beach on the south coast of Crete, located at the exit of Agia Irini Gorge.
It’s about 75 km from Chania and, just like Matala, it used to be another hippie-friendly beach during the ’70s.
There is a long beach, about 1.5 km, made of coarse sand mixed with pebbles and pristine blue waters, rather deep and cold all year-round.
There is a portion of the beach lacking organization, quite hidden by stones, a favorite among naturists. However, there are umbrellas, a beach bar, showers, and other services on the part of the beach right in front of the village. These two features combined make it an ideal spot to sunbathe without clothes on the south of Crete.
>> This link includes photos, reviews, and rates to book a stay in Sougia <<
Latitude: N 35.202231
Longitude: E 24.12432
Characteristics: Mostly sandy, some small pebbles in a few areas – Partially organized.
Known both by the name of Iligas and Ilingas, this beach is at the exit of the Ilingas Gorge, about 2 km west of Chora Sfakion, in southwestern Crete.
Unlike Loutro, Marmara or Glyka Nera, Ilingas is the only beach in the region that you can access by car, through the road that takes you all the way to the village of Anopoli from Chora Sfakion.
However, and despite the possibility to access the area by car, this beach is largely preferred by naturists. It has a beautiful blue sea with very deep waters and fine pebbles. There are also some characteristic caves that you can explore swimming. There is a small tavern as well as a hotel close to the beach where it’s possible to find cold drinks and simple dishes.
Menies Beach (Diktina Beach, Rodopou)
Latitude: N 35.665041
Longitude: E 23.768239
Characteristics: Sandy beach. Lacks organization – Difficult to access.
The stunning beach of Menies is another of my favorite naturist beaches in Crete and one more of the naturist beaches located on the northern coast of the island.
The isolated beach is quite difficult to access as it is located in one of the most unexplored areas of the island, the Rodopou peninsula. The only two ways to access Menies is via a dirt road or by boat (which is my favorite way to visit Menies).
INSIDER’S TIP: If you reach Menies by sea, instead of having your boat get as much close to the coast as possible, enjoy a dive in the crystal clear sea and swim from your boat to the beach and back. If, instead, you visit Menies by car, do fill up your gasoline tank since the road to get to the beach is completely uninhabited.
The beach totally lacks organization, so it’s always better to ring all the things you know you will need for your day, including fruit, plenty of cold drinks and some other basics for the beach. It’s crystal turquoise waters make it an ideal place for snorkeling and swimming. There are a few trees providing shade and nudism is a common practice.
>> There’s no accommodation in the area. The best place to stay is Kolymbari, check it here <<
Latitude: N 35.137884
Longitude: E 24.530168
Characteristics: Sand and small pebbles – The beach is not organized, but there’s a good taverna in the area.
Ligres Beach, on the southern coast of Rethymnon, is another stunning beach of Crete where nudism is widely accepted.
This is a wide sand beach, with some rocky coves on its western side.
The sea is deep and rather cold (as most beaches on the south), and the fine sand mixes with pebbles. If you’re interested in finding out more about Ligres, check this article.
Naturist enthusiasts will find a great place to take off their clothes in the nearby Katsouni Beach, between Agia Fotini and Ligres.
The area is surrounded by high stone walls that offer privacy and discretion. As often mentioned, the best time to visit these beaches and enjoy a more isolated atmosphere is off-season, mostly May, late September, and October.
Agios Pavlos Beach
Latitude: N 35.103492
Longitude: E 24.560274
Characteristics: Sandy beach with rocky coves – Partially organized.
First of all, you should be aware that there are several Agios Pavlos in the south of Crete, some of them are beaches. This particular Agios Pavlos Beach is on the southern coast of Rethymnon.
Agios Pavlos is a rather tiny seaside village not far from Triopetra Beach and the bigger village of Agia Galini. The village is home to a very nice beach, but we will focus on the two beaches located a bit off the village.
It is in fact a very long strip of sand divided by a huge rock protruding into the sea. The only way to get there is climbing down the stunningly beautiful and quite steep sand dunes, a trademark of Agios Pavlos.
Although the descend might look dangerous, it isn’t really that hard, going back up the dunes again might imply a bit more of an effort, but the beaches below are worth the experience.
Besides, it’s precisely the sand dunes that prevent the beaches to be overcrowded, this makes them virtually empty. The sea is crystal clear and there’s no organization whatsoever.
Latitude: N 35.175322
Longitude: E 24.414093
Characteristics: Pebbled beach and areas with little sand – Not organized.
However, it’s safer and even more pleasant to access crossing the green and lush Kambos Gorge, which might take about 2-3 hours. High cliffs surround the pebbled cove, there are also some rocks and several trees providing shade.
The beach is virtually unknown, and in recent years it has become known mostly to naturists in search of the perfect, deserted beach on Crete.
Latitude: N 35.151869
Longitude: E 25.862972
Characteristics: Sand and pebbles – Not organized, but there are tavernas nearby.
The magnificent beach of Tholos is located in the Lasithi region, close to the village of Kavousi, and about 40 minutes from the main city of Agios Nikolaos.
Tholos is a sandy and pebbled beach, with a protected position within a deep bay. This offers shelter from winds which makes the sea really calm and waveless.
There’s not much organization, and several tamarisk trees provide shade. Due to its isolated nature, its turquoise spectacular waters, and unique secluded nature, this is one more beach on the northern coast of Crete that’s a favorite among naturists. The beach is on the road to Sitia, on the Mirabello Gulf.
Latitude: N 35.262155
Longitude: E 26.263907
Characteristics: Sandy beach and rocky coves – Not organized.
The beautiful beach of Itanos is about 2.5 km from the more popular palm beach of Vai and usually not as crowded.
Nudism is common on one of the extremes of the beach, near the rocky coves area.
Lately, though, more and more families with children have taken over and it is not as popular among naturists as it used to be.
However, if you visit this beach off-season, especially in October, swimming and sunbathing without any clothes is still rather popular. For those interested in exploring the past of the island, very close to the beach, it’s possible to visit the archaeological site of Itanos.
Chiona Beach (Kouremenos)
Latitude: N 35.196783
Longitude: E 26.277946
Characteristics: Sandy beach, rocky coves – Partially organized, trees for shade.
Chiona Beach (often also spelled Hiona and even Xiona) is about 90 km east of Agios Nikolaos, also close to the city of Sitia (about 23 km away).
Chiona is another isolated beach in the eastern coast of Crete, with very shallow waters and fine sand mixed with pebbles.
The beach is rather small and there’s some organization, there are two good taverns serving fresh fish, as well as some umbrellas. Those who prefer a more natural environment can seek refuge from the Cretan sun under the tamarisks trees as well.
The portion located towards the east of the beach is home to a few isolated coves, popular among nudists. In general, the area is quite isolated and secluded, which makes if another favorite to take off your clothes.
The stunning landscape includes a few small islands just off the coast.
Maxairida Beach (Akrotiri Peninsula)
Latitude: N 35.56189
Longitude: E 24.0862281
Characteristics: Sand and rocky coves – Not organized.
Maxairida is another of my favorite nudist beaches, and again one of the few on the northern area of Crete. It’s a quiet, hidden little bay, virtually unknown until recent years, where you need to arrive really early to find a place on the limited strip of sand.
It’s a golden, sand cove, with beautiful rocks that proved the perfect amount of privacy. Ther is a complete lack of organization, so you will need to bring your own lunch and cold drinks to spend the day at the beach.
>> Read more about Maxairida in the best beaches in the Akrotiri Peninsula, Chania <<
A naturist holiday resort in Crete
On the southern coast of Chania, close to the village of Frangokastello and the coastal town of Chora Sfakion, there’s Crete’s only nudist resort Vitromartis. The complex makes use of both the nudist beach of Filaki as well as the beautiful Agios Charalambos Beach.
Filaki is a beautiful small beach used almost exclusively by the hotel, which organizes the canteen services as well as the umbrellas and sunbeds.
Agios Charalambos is a bit closer to Chora Sfakion, and it got its name after the small chapel in the area on the edge of the rocks and facing the sea. It’s a small pebbled beach surrounded by high stone walls which make it quite discrete and protected. It’s organized, so you can rent an umbrella and sunbeds as well as buy cold drinks from the beach bar.
I’ve often stated in this article that naturism is not officially allowed in Greece, however, these two beaches, thanks to the naturist resort, can be considered the most official you can get as far as nudist beaches are concerned on the island. You can all the information you need about the resort and the area visiting this link.
INSIDER’S TIP: Remember that the state of the beaches changes from year to year, and what might be the perfect paradise for nudists on one season can be completely different the following year. If you don’t feel comfortable on the above main nudist beaches, you can always walk five minutes to the East or the West, and there will always be a smaller, hidden shore, which you can pretty much enjoy all by yourself… with or without clothes!
Nudist beaches on the islands near Crete
Beaches on Gavdos Island
Latitude: N 34.83666
Longitude: E 24.083215
Characteristics: Beaches can be sandy or pebbled – Some beaches are organized, but remote locations aren’t.
The small island of Gavdos is off the southern coast of Crete, opposite the city of Chora Sfakion. Virtually every beach on this tiny island is naturist-friendly, with a preference for the isolated Lavrakas Beach and the stunningly gorgeous Agios Ioannis Beach.
The small island of Gavdos is off the southern coast of Crete, opposite the city of Chora Sfakion.
Virtually every beach on this tiny island is naturist-friendly, especially the isolated Lavrakas Beach and the stunningly gorgeous Agios Ioannis Beach.
However, there’s virtually no barrier for naturism in this paradise corner of Crete, the beaches of Potamos, as well as the central Sarakiniko also have their own area reserved both for naked swimmers and people wearing more clothes. Topless is another common practice on every Gavdos beach.
To visit the island of Gavdos you need to board a ferry either in Chora Sfakion, Paleochora, Sougia, Plakias or Loutro.
Ferry to Gavdos island:
ANENDYK bigger fleet, on some boats it’s possible to board with your car.
GAVDOS CRUISES smaller boats but faster.
Be aware that due to winds and high seas, both ferries can be easily affected even by mild winds, and thus suspended by adverse weather conditions. If you plan to visit in July or August, it’s better to book in advance since it’s a very popular destination.
>> If you want to read more about Gavdos, here’s my complete guide here. To book a place to stay, check this link. Remember to book early since it’s a rather popular area with very limited accommodation <<
Beaches on Chrissi Island
Latitude: N 34.875711
Longitude: E 25.707708
Characteristics: Sand, small pebbles, and rocky coves – Partially organized – Natura 2000 protected.
It’s fairly easy to find an isolated spot on the magnificent Chrissi Island if you want to swim or sunbathe without any clothes on.
Although the main beach is usually crowded with day visitors arriving from Ierapetra, and naturism is not common.
You just need to reach any of the several beaches around this tiny island to find one of the many hidden naturist spots.
>> The best place to stay when visiting Chrissi is Ierapetra. You can find a list of Ierapetra hotels and resorts in this link. Instead, head here to get ready for a day trip to Chrissi Island <<
Beaches on Koufonisi Island
Latitude: N 34.93726
Longitude: E 26.140125
Characteristics: Sand, small pebbles, and rocky coves – Partially organized – Natura 2000 protected.
The tiny islet of Koufonisi is about 3 nautical miles south of the coast of Lasithi, it is a small uninhabited island about 5 square kilometers big.
To visit Koufonisi you need to take a boat from the nearby seaside village of Makrigialos. Here you can find prices and the boat schedules.
There are several heavenly sandy beaches as well as rocky caves surrounded by the spectacular blue of the Libyan sea. Since there’s no organization and very low vegetation, shade is hard to find so it’s a good idea to pack a hat as well as plenty of cold drinks and lunch if you want to spend a day on the island.
Due to its extremely isolated nature, Koufonisi is another popular place for naturism in Crete.
Beaches on Dia Island
Latitude: N 35.445205
Longitude: E 25.212278
Characteristics: Sandy beaches – No organization.
Dia is a small island located about 7 nautical miles off the northern coast of Heraklion. It covers an area of about 12 square kilometers and it’s completely uninhabited. You can reach the island departing from the Venetian port of Heraklion or from the port of Hersonissos.
The little island of Dia is a protected environment belonging to the Natura 2000 program due to its biodiversity.
Nudism is fairly spread on the islands off the coast of Crete since it’s rather easy to find isolated beaches, hidden coves, and areas protected by rocks offering the right level of privacy and discretion.
Check this video courtesy of Green Cruises. You can book a Dia island tour with them here.
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. Direct Ferries has great ticket deals to reach Crete from Athens or to visit other Greek islands.
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!
- These posts have been thought just for you!
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! All guides are super helpful and include GPS coordinates to find your way!
Have you been to any of these beaches on Crete?
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!
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