The best beaches in Crete

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Elafonisi

This is located far away in a remote pocket in the southwest corner of Crete, so you might be forgiven for thinking you might have it all to yourself. But the lake shore is known to many island regulars, and it gets busy on summer weekends. Its raw beauty is undeniable, with aquamarine glass water and swirls of pink pastel sand kissing the beach – a natural phenomenon caused by thousands of shells that have washed away over the years and pricked the white sand. Sunbeds and umbrellas are spread across the main beach and lake; The shallow waters are ideal for families. If you need a little more privacy, do what naturalists do and head out to the island’s coves and dunes for a quieter patch of sand

FALASSARNA

The short winding trip to Valasarna can be a little uninspiring with sea views obscured by the greenhouses dotted across olive groves. But when you reach this wide sweep of the beach, everything becomes justified. This is one of the finest beaches in Crete with plenty of space to spread out your towel, gorgeously crystal-clear waters and stunning views. A handful of bars and villas for rent dot the steep hill that supports the beach. While the waves rolling in from the Mediterranean may not be ideal for families, skiers are in their element here, and everyone appreciates the famous sunset in Valasarna, when the burning orange slowly melts in this gorgeous sea.

PREVELI

At the meeting point of the Megalopotamos River and the Libyan Sea, Preveli is beautiful as it is. Backed by the rugged cliffs of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge and with jungle riverbanks lined with tall, lush palm trees, it might be mistaken for the setting for the TV series Lost. But there is a benefit to all of this. Getting to the beach requires climbing your knees down a steep path (and a real thigh burner on the way back up), but the wait below is bony white sand and clear water for snorkeling. Breville must be visited not only for the beach but also to visit the nearby Priveli Monastery, which is an impressive building located on a hill overlooking the Libyan Sea. Aside from a few snack bars in summer and a pub near the parking lot, there isn’t much here – its remoteness is one of its charm.

BALOS

You may recognize Balos by appearing in various travel brochures on the island of Crete, enticing visitors with its promise of white lily sands, vibrant turquoise waters, and the gorgeous and remote wilderness of Gramphosa Peninsula. It is a promise that is fulfilled by reality. Getting to the beach and its lake backed by narrow hills isn’t easy, but that doesn’t discourage the regular folks who cheer on the unstable and rocky dirt path to get here, or day hikers jumping on a boat in search of a valuable excursion. few hours. Pack yourself for a picnic where there is no place to buy food or dry up

KOMMOS

Hugging at Misara Bay in southern Crete, Comos is a beautiful broad arc of sand backed by sand dunes and surrounded by irregular green mountains. A ramp and winding road leads down to the whirling Smurf-Blue waters, pearly white sand, and views of the ancient Minoan settlement ruins (beyond the limits of the audience). The winds produce some decent-sized waves here, so it’s not suitable for young families, although nudists at the northern end of the beach don’t seem to mind. At the south end of the beach are sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, and a couple of bars are the perfect place to have a drink at sunset.

MATALA

The legendary Matala Village, not far from Comos Beach, is no longer the best kept secret of the once laid-back fishing village hippies discovered in the 1960s. So it is best to visit it a little out of season. Mythology says that this is where Zeus swam ashore in the guise of a bull with the kidnapped Europa on his back. The gently rolling waters of Misara Bay are surrounded by honeycomb sandstone cliffs and mysterious caves. Explore this wonderful landscape before eating a meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the water.

VAi

In Lasithi, the easternmost province of Crete, lies a small slice of the Caribbean Sea. The calm, shimmering waters of Va’s beach are backed by a large grove of swaying Cretan palm trees. The small beach can be crowded, but to escape the worst of the crowds, take a 30-minute stroll along the road that leads to the ancient site of Minoan in Itanos, where you’ll find three small, secluded beaches on the bay.

SEITAN LIMANIA

In a hidden corner on the northeast side of the Akrotiri Peninsula in Crete, a short drive from Hania, this secret cave is worth the steep, winding downhill trek to get here. It’s tiny, there’s nothing else in there, and your nerves might get shot at after you turn the tight hairpin – but there’s a reason locals make the trip here: One look at that narrow strip of light blue, semi-fluorescent water crammed between the soaring cliffs makes this beach You won’t forget it in a hurry. You can simply enjoy the views from the top of the hill or scramble down the rocky path to get your sandy patch and swim.

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