Crete offers a paradise for beach lovers with its extensive coastline and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The island has everything, whether you seek secluded coves or vibrant and bustling shores.
Sink your toes into the soft golden sand, bask in the warm Mediterranean sun, and take refreshing dips in the inviting sea. Here are five beaches you should not miss when you are there:
1. Elafonisi Beach
Located on the southwestern coast of Crete, Elafonisi Beach is famous for its pink sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The shallow lagoon and unique natural beauty make it a top beach destination. For nature enthusiasts, Elafonisi is a haven. The beach is part of the Natura 2000 network, safeguarding its diverse ecosystems and endangered species. Keep an eye out for the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that nest in the area and the numerous bird species that inhabit the surrounding wetlands.
Facilities on the beach include sun loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars where you can enjoy refreshments and snacks. While the beach attracts visitors, its natural setting ensures that it always feels well-spent.
2. Balos Beach
Situated on the northwest coast of Crete, Balos Beach is a stunning lagoon with powdery white sand and shades of blue that create a mesmerizing seascape. Accessible by boat or a scenic hike, Balos Beach is a true paradise.
One of the most distinctive features of Balos Beach is the small island of Gramvousa, which stands proudly in the centre of the lagoon. This uninhabited islet is home to a Venetian castle that adds a touch of history and intrigue to the already captivating landscape.
Facilities at Balos Beach are limited, so it's advisable to bring your own provisions, including food, water, and sunscreen.
3. Preveli Beach
Nestled at the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Preveli Beach offers a serene retreat. With its palm-lined river, lush vegetation, and pristine waters, it feels like a tropical oasis on the island.
It was a refuge for Allied soldiers and locals escaping German occupation during World War II. Today, remnants of that era can still be found, adding an intriguing layer of history to the beach.
Facilities at Preveli Beach include a beach canteen offering refreshments and snacks, as well as umbrellas and sun loungers for rent.
4. Falassarna Beach
Located on the western coast of Crete, Falassarna Beach boasts a vast expanse of golden sand and clear waters. The beach is known for its stunning sunsets and offers a tranquil atmosphere.
The beach offers several facilities, including sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent, making it easy to settle in and enjoy a day of comfort by the sea. There are also beachside tavernas where you can indulge in delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes.
5. Vai Beach
Situated on the eastern part of Crete, Vai Beach is surrounded by Europe's most extensive palm forest, making it a unique and picturesque destination. The soft golden sand and azure waters attract beach lovers seeking relaxation and natural beauty.
Vai Beach offers excellent amenities to ensure a comfortable visit. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for rent, and there are also beachside tavernas.
Crete official tourst office: https://www.incrediblecrete.gr/en/