Crete's most beautiful beaches: Guide to the best beaches of West Crete, in the region of Chania and Rethymno. From the idyllic beaches of Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna to the lesser known but no less beautiful for that! Let's find out together..
Crete's most beautiful beaches: West Crete – Province of Chania and Rethymno
Beaches in the province of Chania:
- Balos lagoon – Gramvoussa
The Balos beach is located at the northwest of the peninsula Canoo (is a 45 kilometers from Chania 15 km Kissamos), and it is certainly one of the unmissable sights of Crete. Fine sand, the sea warm, shallow and clear water of the lagoon of Balos make a tropical beach postcard. In some places the water can not exceed the level of the ankle for a few hundred meters away from the shore!
A recommendation for all the tourists who want to go to Balos: do not throw any waste on the ground, bring your garbage with you when you go away. The site is several kilometers from the towns and it is not easy for the experts to clean all the dirt that is taken every year by thousands of tourists who pass on the beach.
How to get to Balos:
Immediately after Kissamos, towards Falassarna, is the junction for Balos. The paved road ends as soon as you enter the nature reserve in Massai Mara: From this point you need to travel by car 7 mile of dirt road to the parking lot (travel time 20 minutes). From here a path along two kilometers down to the beach, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the lagoon. If you do not want to walk you can follow the route the final riding a mule. In alternative, the Balos lagoon is connected by ferries that leave from the port of Kissamos.
For info ferries:
Surely the ideal time to go to Balos is early morning or late afternoon, as are the times when you do not feel the heat (along the footpath under the midday sun can cause sunstroke or heat strokes) and the beach is less crowded (The ferry arrives in Balos around 11.30 and makes Kissamos verse le 18.00).
Phalasarna is a long beach (1-2 km circa) located on the west coast of Crete, just to the south of the peninsula Canoo. The beach is reached from Kissamos, following the road to Platanos. The water is crystal clear and its quality has been recognized as the second cleanest in Greece! The beach has points equipped with loungers and parasols to hire, but also large areas of beach: The beach is one of the most famous in Crete, but even so it's never crowded because of its dimensioni.La beach on some days it can be very windy (winds that blow mostly from West), with strong gusts that make it impossible to stay on the sand. In this case the only option is to change the beach or try to see if the nearby beach Falassarna old shoots less wind.
On the beach you can rent jet skis or surfboards. There are also some kiosks and bars where the evening organize parties.
According to many, the most beautiful beach of clay, Elafonisi (in greco Ελαφόνησος) lagoon is a paradise located in the south-west of clay. The sand is a wonderful pink, the waters are crystal clear and its waters are low so that we can walk to the island in front of the lagoon (sometimes it is even connected by a strip of ground when there is low tide). It has long remained a secret beach and little known until, about a decade ago, was not discovered by mass tourism. Now is a beach where hundreds of tourists flock each day: get there early is crucial to find a place! Do not miss the spectacular sunset over the lagoon.
How to get to the beach Elafonissi:
Elafonissi can be reached by car in Chania and Kissamos a journey of about an hour, one and a half hours through the mountains of Crete. available connections by bus from Chania and a daily ferry from Paleochora. Near the lagoon you can visit the monastery of Chrissoskalitissa, which is about the beach 5 km.
For ferry information: http://www.west-crete.com/ferry-boat-south-crete.htm
- Glyka Nera
The beach of the Black Glyka (also known as Sweet Water Beach) is located just west of Sfakia, on the south coast of Crete overlooking the Libyan Sea. It is a quiet shingle beach sheltered by steep cliffs plunging into the turquoise waters of the Libyan Sea. Free camping is tolerated, and you can camp quietly under the shade of the trees along the riverbank. Under the pebbles of the beach are the sources of fresh water: just dig a little’ because the hole was filled with fresh water.
The beach Glyka Black can be reached by small boats along paths that start at Lutrò or Sfakia.
The beach Stefanou is situated in a narrow cove between the rocks, like a small fjord, on the east coast of the Akrotiri Peninsula, which extends north of Chania.
To get there take the path through the gorge Diplohahalo, near the village of Chordaki, or take the path that starts from the side of the church of Agios Spyridon.
The two beaches of Stavros develop a small bay of great beauty (here were filmed scenes in the movie Alexis Zorbas) and the other on a beach longest, sandy and almost deserted. The place is quiet and mostly sheltered from the wind. Behind the beaches are a few tavernas and bars. The beaches of Stavros located at the homonymous tourist resort, only 15 kilometers from the city of Chania.
Kalyves is a town where there are many sandy beaches. the beach to the west, just outside the village, is the most quiet, while the eastern beach is more crowded, although the atmosphere of the place is quiet and relaxing. Kalyves is located about twenty kilometers east of Chania and can be reached easily by car or bus.
- Agia Marina, Stalòs, Platanias and Maleme
A long sandy beach hugs the coast from Maleme to Agia Marina. Platanias and Agia Marina are the main tourist attractions in the province of Chania: Here are the resorts and hotels of impressive all-inclusive tourism. It follows that the three miles of shoreline in front are well equipped with sun loungers, umbrellas and offers water sports (windsurf, jet ski..) and are very crowded during the high season.
- Acted Apostles
Two very beautiful sandy beaches, in the middle there is a hill where there is a small monastery. Calm waters and low. It is just outside Chania, to the west and can be crowded on weekends.
Long pebble beach that stretches to the east of the peninsula Rodopù. The village is quiet and is twenty kilometers from Chania.
Quiet beach of white sand mixed with pebbles. Kissamos is a typical Cretan village situated in the bay about 40 kilometers west of Chania. The village, which maintains a provincial atmosphere and little tourist, is an ideal starting point for exploring the beaches of western Crete. There are several rental rooms, small hotels and a couple of campsites nearby.
Links from the port of Kissamos
From the port of Kissamos ferries leave for the island of Kythira, the Peloponnese and Piraeus. Every day cruises also depart for the islands of Gramvoussa and lagoon of Balos.
Traghetti Kissamos to Kythira:
Krios Beach is located a few kilometers from Paleochora, on the south coast of the island of Crete. The beach is made up of three small bays with fine gravel mixed with sand.
Beaches in the province of Rethymno:
The quiet resort of Plakias is located along the southern coast of Crete, in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains covered with olive trees. That Plakias is a long beach of sand and small pebbles.
The beach of Georgioupolis is a beautiful sandy beach along about 9 km, located on the north coast of Crete, between the cities of Chania and Rethymnon. The beach is located in a very touristy area, equipped with hotels and resorts. The area is often beaten by constant northerly winds, i meltemi, and the current quite strong forcing lifeguards to interdict the bathroom: pay attention to their directions. Nonetheless, The beach is well organized and equipped, There are many bars, taverns and places where water sports.
- Agia Galini
- Pirates of the fjord