Nudist beaches in Crete: Complete insider's guide

Crete is a perfect island for those who love to enjoy the beach without any clothes on; this is a well-known secret! Even though the practice is not officially allowed, the most beautiful hidden coves on Crete are the ones fans of nudism 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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Nudism on Crete

Although there are officially no nudist beaches in Greece, 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 no local would ever dream of sunbathing naked on a popular or familiar beach. 

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 has still a long way to go before turning into a place where topless on the beach is an everyday thing. And it might not even happen.

However, there are several places where discrete naturism is common. Places where you will be able to enjoy your beach time safely because nobody will bother you or even stare. You just need to find that perfect hidden cove… that every nudist visiting Crete knows about!

INSIDER’S TIP: Here is a small list with some nudist beaches on the coasts of Crete. However, if you’re too lazy to go through this list, get a map, rent a car, and drive to the South. Whenever you find a small, hidden cove, just take off your clothes. Rest assured that nobody will ever say anything to you!

Remember that the best way to explore Crete’s beaches (both naturist and not!) is to do it in your own car. This company offers great deals to drive around Crete and using my code you get an extra 5% discount:

Top 5 Nudist Beaches on Crete

Kedrodasos Beach

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.26903 | Longitude: E 23.557351

  • Sand
  • Unorganized
kedrodasos beach Crete
Kedrodasos Beach, Southwestern Crete, Chania region.

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’re planning to include this beach as well as other West areas in your Crete itinerary, check this West Crete guide to the best beaches.

The beach completely lacks organization and it has turned into a very popular place lately. 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.

Those who, instead, prefer to visit Kedrodasos during the day, but spend their nights on the comforts of a regular bed, can check the following nearby places to stay.

  • Xasteria is located near Chrisoskalitissa Monastery, it’s a wonderful villa with gander views, and the reviews are excellent.
  • Very close to the beach of Elafonisi, you can check Musagores Rooms with stunning mountain views.
  • Glykeria Hotel is a favorite hotel with unique views of the Libyan sea (I usually have dinner in their restaurant after a day at the beach). There’s also a nice swimming pool with great sea views.
  • Elafonisi Villa Above the Beach is just 2 km from Kedrodasos Beach.

Beaches of Plakias, Damnoni, and Ammoudaki

Region: Rethymnon
Latitude: N 35.190429 | Longitude: E 24.39392

  • Sand and some coves small pebbles
  • Some nudist beaches are organized
Beaches of Plakias, Rethymnon.

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 my article featuring 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 located close to the main sandy beach of Plakias and the village too. The structure has great reviews that you can check in the link.
  • Kalypso Cretan Village Resort and Spa has its own private, secluded 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)

Region: Heraklion
Latitude: N 34.98751 | Longitude: E 24.748402

  • Sandy
  • There’s just one taverna/beach bar but the beach is pretty much unorganized
Matala - beach
Red Beach near Matala (Heraklion).

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.

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 the beach of Matala Boutique Hotel Die Zwei Brüder is a pretty new structure offering the possibility to rent biked and cars.
  • Nikkon Summer Home is a beautiful place to stay just a few meters from the beach of Matala, therefore rather close to Red Beach.
  • Beach View Matala are apartments located a few steps from Matala beach.
  • There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in the villages near Matala, they are often quieter and have better prices than the hotels in Matala. We’ve almost always chosen 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)

Region: Heraklion
Latitude: N 35.333544 | Longitude: E 25.38477

  • Sand mixed with small pebbles, rocky coves
  • Organized
Sarandari Beach, Hersonissos.

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.

  • Very close to Hersonissos, the traditional village of Koutouloufari is a great place to get a bit of relax. Koutouloufari Village Holiday Club is a nice structure, 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, a pool bar, and a beautiful rooftop bar too.
  • If you’re more on a budget scheme, check Sundance Apartments and Suites, it has some of the best reviews in the area. There are two swimming pools available, and it’s very close to the main beaches in Hersonissos.
  • Finally, 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 located in the district of Analipsi, less than 5 km from Hersonissos and close to the beach. Their main features include the international cuisine restaurant and the lagoon-styled pool

Kommos

Region: Heraklion
Latitude: N 35.014615 | Longitude: E 24.760182

  • Sand
  • Partially organized
Kommos 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.

Where to Stay near Kommos Beach, Crete

Being about 5 km from Matala, a stay in the area is probably the best idea. In the following link, you can find an exhaustive list of places to stay in the area of Matala for those who intend to visit Kommos, but also Pitsida, Red Beach, and more.

Other Nudist Beaches in Crete

Lentas Beach

Region: Heraklion
Latitude: N 34.929874 | Longitude: E 24.922728

  • Sand mixed with small pebbles
  • Organized

Lentas 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, located two steps from the sand! It’s ideal for couples and it has some of the higher ratings from authentic guests.
  • 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 balconies, a garden, and a terrace. My favorite feature is that there’s a coffee machine in every kitchen! if you don’t manage to find availability with them, try their sister property, Gaitani Village. The same comfort level and bigger apartments that can accommodate more people.

Vai Beach

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 35.254188 | Longitude: E 26.265147

  • Sand
  • Organized

Vai Beach Crete
Vai palm beach, Crete.

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

If you’re just visiting for a day or two, it might be a good idea to check accommodation in the bigger cities of Agios Nikolaos or even in 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.

However, if instead of exploring Crete, you’re more interested in a relaxing holiday by the beach, you should check these places to stay in Palekastro, rather close to Vai Beach.

  • Hiona Holiday Hotel is great for those visiting the nudist beach of Chiona as well as 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, featuring every facility you need for a comfortable stay. The furniture and traditional decorations make this an enchanting house for a family holiday since it accommodates up to 4 people.

Gialiskari and Krios (Paleochora)

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.236724 | Longitude: E 23.719254

  • Both sandy and pebbled beaches
  • Partially organized
Gialiskari, Paleochora (Photo courtesy: Callumn Anderson).

Back in the west, Paleochora is one of the seaside villages in Crete that both tourists and locals seem to prefer. 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.

Krios is divided by means of huge rocks, in the picture, the western, naturist beach (Photo courtesy: Callumn Anderson)

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

You can also check this post if you want to learn more about the southern village of Paleochora and its great beaches.

Where to Stay in Paleochora, Crete

In this box for accommodation in Paleochora, I include my three favorite places to stay in the area. However, and since they are usually fully booked, I’ve also added a generic link to a list of accommodation in Paleochora.

  • Manto Studios is a top-rated place to stay in the center of the village. Every studio features a small kitchen, but my suggestion is to try their breakfast as well.
  • Another great place in Paleochora is Art Apartment. It’s hard to find availability because of its privileged location and the high-quality services provided.
  • Paleochora Apartments is the place for you if you 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.

Glyka Nera Beach

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.201796 | Longitude: E 24.107225

  • Sand mixed with pebbles
  • Very little organization
Glyka Nera Beach.

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 in April.

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.

The beach and the taverna in the background.

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 you planning a visit to Glyka Nera, a stay in the south is the best way to do it. You can either check the small accommodation options available in Loutro, or you can find a place to stay in the bigger town of Chora Sfakion.

If you prefer to stay in Chora Sfakion

If you want to experience the tranquil fishing village of Loutro

Selino Beach (Sougia)

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.246394 | Longitude: E 23.805473

  • Sand and fine 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.

Where to Stay in Sougia, Crete

This link includes photos, reviews, and rates that you can check when planning a stay in the village of Sougia.

Ilingas Beach

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.202231 | Longitude: E 24.12432

  • Mostly sandy, some small pebbles in a few areas
  • Partially organized

Illingas Beach, South Crete.

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.

Where to Stay in Ilingas Beach, Crete

If you’re looking for nearby accommodation, check this listing for Chora Sfakion or this one for the village of Anopolis.

Menies Beach (Diktina Beach, Rodopou)

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.665041 | Longitude: E 23.768239

  • Sandy beach
  • Unorganized, difficult access
The best way to reach Menies Beach is by boat.

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).

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.

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.

Where to Stay to visit Menies Beach, Crete

There’s absolutely no accommodation in the area, and if you’re looking for the best place to stay when visiting the Rodopou peninsula, I suggest you check accommodation in the nearby village of Kolymbari.
Here, you will find reviews, pictures, and rates for hotels, villas, and studios in Kolymbari.

Ligres Beach

Region: Rethymnon
Latitude: N 35.137884 | Longitude: E 24.530168

  • Sand and small pebbles
  • Unorganized, there’s a taverna nearby
Ligres Beach Crete
Ligres in the afternoon hours.

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.

Where to Stay near Ligres, Crete

There’s not a great range of accommodation in the area. Many people choose to visit these beaches on a daytrip from the nearby city of Rethymno. Others, instead, opt for the nearest villages to stay in order to visit the beaches of Ligres and Katsouni are Kerames and Rodakinokampos. Here you can check reviews, pictures, and rates for a stay in Kerames.

Agios Pavlos Beach

Region: Rethymnon
Latitude: N 35.103492 | Longitude: E 24.560274

  • 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.

There is not much option of accommodation in the area, my suggestion is to check the nearby village of Kerames and Agia Galini for accommodation.

Platanakia Beach

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.175322 | Longitude: E 24.414093

  • Pebbled beach and areas with little sand
  • Unorganized
Platanakia.

The hidden beach of Platanakia is located on the western coast of Crete, very close to the more popular Falassarna. To reach Platanakia you first need to reach the small beach of Sfinari and then hike through cape Korakas to make it to this small beach. 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.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, the most convenient nearby village seems to be Falassarna, here you can check rates and reviews.

Tholos Beach

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 35.151869 | Longitude: E 25.862972

  • Sand and Pebbles
  • Unorganized, but there are tavernas nearby. Shade from trees.

Tholos beach, East Crete
Tholos beach.

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.

If you want to read more about this beach and the things you can see and do in the area, head to the guide of things to do in Agios Nikolaos, which includes the best beaches to visit in the area.

Where to Stay near Tholos, Crete

If you still haven’t, go ahead and check my hotel review for Agios Nikolaos, a fantastic area to stay when visiting the beaches on the Gulf of Mirabello. Otherwise, you can check this link including other places to stay in the area, with photos, rates, and reviews.

Itanos Beach

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 35.262155 | Longitude: E 26.263907

  • Sandy beach, rocky coves
  • Unorganized
Itanos Beach when the sun was going down and the moon was fully visible by the sea.

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 ancient archaeological site of Itanos.

The area is rather isolated and there’re virtually no places to stay in the surrounding area. To visit Itanos, it’s a good idea to find accommodation either in Agios Nikolaos or in Sitia. Those staying in Ierapetra can also visit Itanos on a daytrip.

Chiona Beach (Kouremenos)

Region: Lasithi
Latitude:
 N 35.196783 | Longitude: E 26.277946

  • Sandy beach, rocky coves
  • Partially organized, trees for shade
Chiona, in Lasithi.

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.

The best places to stay in the area include, again, Sitia as well as the small nearby village of Palekastro.

Maxairida Beach (Akrotiri Peninsula)

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 35.56189 | Longitude: E 24.0862281

  • Sand and rocky coves
  • Unorganized
Maxairida Beach, Tersanas area, Crete
Beach of Maxairida

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. If you are interested in reading a bit more, you can also check the description of this beach on the list of the best beaches in the Akrotiri Peninsula, Chania.

Crete’s Nudist Resort

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.

Vitromartis Naturist Resort, in South Crete.

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.

Nudist Beaches on the Islands near Crete

Beaches on Gavdos Island

Region: Chania
Latitude: N 34.83666 | Longitude: E 24.083215

  • Beaches on Gavdos can be sandy or pebbled
  • Some beaches are organized, but most remote locations lack organization
Fetifes Beach, Gavdos Crete
Fetifes Beach, Gavdos.

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.

Agios Ioannis beach , Gavdos Crete
Beach of Agios Ioannis and Gavdopoula island in the distance – Gavdos, Crete (Source: Artemis Katsadoura [CC BY-SA 4.0).

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 to visiting the southernmost island of Europe.

Where to Stay on Gavdos Island, Crete

Check this link to find accommodation on Gavdos, remember to book early since it’s a rather popular area with very limited accommodation.

Are you still uncertain about what is the right region for you? Have no clue where to book? Check this guide to booking accommodation in Crete.

Beaches on Chrissi Island

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 34.875711 | Longitude: E 25.707708

  • Sand, small pebbles, and rocky coves
  • Partially organized
  • Natura 200 protected
Cedar forest, Chrissi island.
Cedar forest, Chrissi island.

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.

Beaches on Koufonisi Island

Region: Lasithi
Latitude: N 34.93726 | Longitude: E 26.140125

  • Sand, small pebbles, and rocky coves
  • Partially organized
  • Natura 2000 protected

Koufonisi, this picture is courtesy of Cretan Daily Cruises.

The tiny islet of Koufonisi is bout 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

Region: Heraklion
Latitude: N 35.445205 | Longitude: E 25.212278

  • Sandy beaches
  • Unorganized

Check this video courtesy of Green Cruises. You can book a Dia island tour with them here.

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. As with the deserted island of Chrissi and Koufonisi, and also similar to Gavdos, 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.

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!

This post contains the most updated information regarding naturist beaches on Crete.
Do you know of any other nudist beach that should be on this list? Let me know down in the comment section.

Have you been to any of these beaches on Crete?

Useful resources to visit the best Cretan beaches

Disclaimer: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Keep in mind that I link to products & companies that I personally use and recommend for their quality.

CAR RENTAL
When in Greece, I always recommend choosing a local rental company over an international one. With Rental Center Crete fees are more convenient, there’s a zero-excess insurance policy (as well as no hidden costs, free mileage, and extra driver). Check this car rental website and use my promo code to get a 5% discount.

ACCOMMODATION
Whenever I need to book accommodation in Crete 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.

TOURS & DAY TRIPS
For organized activities, I usually book my tours through Viator and GetYourGuide. From transfer to cooking lessons, including archaeological site visits, skip the line attractions, and boat trips, both platforms help you save time and money.

FERRY TICKETS
Getting to Crete can be really comfortable with an airplane, but nothing beats the romantic experience of traveling by sea. Choose Let’s Ferry to visit several Greek islands or to travel directly to Crete.

TRAVEL INSURANCE
Greece, and especially Crete, is a fairly safe destination, however, you should never travel abroad without an insurance policy for complete peace of mind. My favorite? World Nomads, click here for a quote.

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PIN FOR LATER: BEST NATURIST BEACHES ON CRETE ISLAND

About the Author

Hola! I’m Gabi. 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!

Gabi Ancarola
The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog

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