The 5 most beautiful beaches on Crete

The Greek island of Crete offers beautiful sandy beaches and small, idyllic bays, some of which give a real Caribbean feeling. Families, couples as well as nature lovers can spend an unforgettable vacation on the beaches of Crete. We will show you where you can sunbathe and dive into the turquoise sea undisturbed.

The beach of Elafonissi

Elafonissi beach in Crete

One of the most famous and also most popular beaches of Crete is located on the southwestern tip of the island. The special sand is the highlight here, because it consists mainly of shell sand, which gives the whole beach a reddish glow. With this fine sand and a large lagoon, you almost feel like you’re in the Caribbean here – and you’re standing in the middle of a popular photo motif. The water is shallow and warm everywhere, so the beach of Elafonissi is ideal for families.

The island of Elafonissi itself lies a bit in the sea. It is covered with numerous colorful flowers and with a little luck you can spot turtles or exotic birds on it. If there is no strong wind, you can easily reach the island by walking over the sandbank. Above the beach there are good parking facilities. Here you have a large area at your disposal completely free of charge. A little tip: It is best to drive to the very front first, often you can get a free place here – from the very top the way over the dusty place in the blazing sun is very exhausting.

The beach is also well equipped: there are showers and toilets, small stalls with swimming equipment, snack bars and some taverns. The only disadvantage of the dream beach of Elafonissi is the long and rather difficult approach and departure. There is only one road that leads here – no wonder if it is regularly overloaded. Another tip: If you are flexible in time, visit the beach in the late afternoon – this is when most of the tour busses go back to the hotels and you not only have less traffic on the road, but also a lot of space on the beach.

Georgioupolis Beach

The beach of Georgiouspolis is shallowly sloping and convinces with light, fine sand. It is one of the longest sandy beaches on Crete and stretches almost to Rethymno. This means that even in the high season, when the locals come to swim on weekends, there is enough space.

Due to the excellent water quality the beach was awarded with the blue flag. Swimming is not always possible, as it is located on the unprotected north side and there is often a strong wind. Otherwise you will find small taverns and restaurants on the narrow supply road. Here you can park everywhere. A tip to stop for a bite to eat: The Taverna Babis has delicious Greek food and a large selection of dishes! If you are still looking for a great photo motif, then a visit to the chapel Agios Nikolaos is recommended. This is opposite the western part of the beach and seems to float above the water – a unique sight.

Discover Balos Beach

The beautiful Balos Beach is located on the Gramvoússa peninsula and can be reached via an 8 km long gravel road with lots of potholes, stones and a steep, unsecured slope. So just getting there is a little adventure. You can reach the beach in about 20 minutes from KalivanI. At the end of the street there is a free parking lot. From there you walk over a rocky plateau to a rocky staircase and then down to the perhaps most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean: The water shimmers sky blue already from above and the sand is fine and white. Since there is only a small kiosk with little choice, you should take enough food with you. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented (9,00 € per day). The wildlife here is also impressive: with a little luck you can see hawks or even sea turtles.

Attention: The approach via the gravel road is not suitable for motorhomes!

On the way back to KalvanI we recommend a stop at the Gramvoússa Restaurant – here you can enjoy great traditional cuisine! A few tips for a visit to Balos Beach: If you like it quiet, go there in the early morning. You should also bring sturdy shoes for the way from the parking lot to the beach, the steep descent is not for flip flops.

The beach of Falassarna

The beach of Falassarna is easily accessible by car and is located about an hour west of Chania. Already from the drive out of the mountains you can see the bright sand and the turquoise sea, in which there are always big boulders. Not for nothing this beach was declared one of the cleanest in Greece. The main beach is about one kilometer long and 150 meters wide. Also here you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas (8,00 € per day), also there are some beach restaurants with Greek cuisine. What is especially beautiful in Falassarna: the beach slopes very shallowly into the sea and is absolutely recommendable for families with children.

Falassarna on Crete

Falassarna is a popular day destination for numerous bus companies – if you want it quiet, just continue north along the main beach, there you will find beautiful secluded spots! Otherwise the wind is almost always blowing here. But between the boulders you can lie protected. Besides relaxing, Falassarna is also a good place for snorkeling or surfing, if the weather conditions are right. Another tip for eating: Stop at a taverna above the beach towards the mountains. From here you have a fantastic panorama and can watch beautiful sunsets!

The palm beach of Preveli

A dreamlike palm beach in the middle of Crete. Heard correctly! Besides the palm trees, the small river coming from the mountains also characterizes the beach picture. Before flowing into the sea, it forms a lake of about 500 meters. A hike through the palm grove along the river towards the mountains is also fantastic – if you walk far enough, you will even reach a small waterfall.

The beach itself scores with soft sand and crystal clear water – if you sit a bit away from the hustle and bustle, you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. Thanks to its location, the bay is also protected from the wind. You can get to the beach either by car or by boat. If you go by car, you can park at the top of a large parking lot (2,00 € per day). From there it’s a 20 minute walk downhill – it’s best to wear good shoes, then the walk isn’t quite so difficult. But the effort is directly rewarded with a spectacular view of the bay. Here it is recommended to take a small break, enjoy the breathtaking panorama and take great souvenir photos.

Since the region is protected, there are few bars or restaurants here. But a cozy taverna by the river offers snacks and refreshments. On the beach itself there are no sunbeds or umbrellas, but you can find shady places under the tamarisk trees.

Note: The palm beach of Preveli is usually clean. But especially in high season and on weekends, when many tourists are on site, one often finds small pieces of garbage or natural residues like pieces of wood. Since the beach is not cleaned, you should take your garbage back with you.

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