Crete - Water sports

When, as with Crete,  you’ve got a destination synonymous with brilliant beaches, it’s only natural to expect some sort of water sport scene. And you certainly get that with this gorgeous Greek island. There’s lots of aquatic choice for adrenalin-seekers holidaying here. So to help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of the best Crete water sports to enjoy during your break.

One of the great attractions of Crete is that it offers such a variety of beaches. Some are perfect for children, offering great shelter and shallow water in equal measure, some are perfect for seclusion, and unsurprisingly, there are also a great many which are perfect for water sports.


Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a great underwater activity for those who are not quite seasoned divers.  Not only do you not need a licence, as with diving, but it’s never far to come up for air. And this last reason is why snorkelling is so popular with families – it’s a great activity for the little ones, because it doesn’t require too much expertise. 

Across the board, Crete has very clean and clear waters – with a majestic coastline and spectacular beaches to boot. From May until November, the sea temperature is lovely and warm, making it perfect for snorkelling. And even in the colder, winter months, you can continue wearing a wetsuit. So basically, there’s no excuse not to go snorkelling.

There’s no need to bring your own gear because many centres will hire out equipment. But if you like the sport so much that you want to buy your own, there are plenty of great options. 

Snorkelling in Crete can be done across many beach sites, but the generally accepted top-three locations are Almyrida Beach, Elounda Rocky Beach, and Voulisma Beach. 

Almyrida Beach can be found just 25 kilometres east of Chania. It has shallow water perfect for kids, as well as having all the beach amenities you could want for a relaxing day on the sands. Elounda Rocky Beach has crystal-clear waters, and the ruins of ancient Olous lie just beneath the water ready for you to discover. Voulisma Beach, also known in English as Golden Beach, has the golden sands you would expect and a large parking area, making it a super-convenient option.

Go to places: Almyrida Beach, Elounda Rocky Beach, and Voulisma Beach
Don’t miss: exploring ancient Olous.

Diving

If you really enjoy snorkelling and want to take your aquatic exploration a little further, there are numerous diving centres on the island too. And many of these are considered the best things to do in Crete. But to get underwater as quickly as possible, divers should remember to bring their PADI certificate along. However, if you don’t yet qualify and have some time on your hands, you could even start your lessons in Crete.

Diving in Crete is perfect for all, no matter what your experience level - from a newbie to a master. Night diving is a particular favourite island activity,  offering a unique perspective on what is already a truly spectacular pastime. One of the most popular diving areas in Crete is Chania. Here, you can find stone arches, volcanic rocky reefs, and more marine life than you can shake an underwater stick at. All of this can be found in the waters surrounding Chania Town, meaning you don’t even have to venture very far. You’ll even find some unique black corals, which make great underwater photos.

Go to places: Chania
Don’t miss: teeming marine life and dramatic underwater scenery

Surfing

Kouremenos is another great place on Crete for beginners – but this time for those wanting to find surfing in Crete.  And by that we mean regular surfing, kite surfing, or paddle surfing. All are welcome here because, with a number of centres, schools and clubs with good teachers and lifeguards, Crete is one of the best environments to experience wonderful water sports. 

If you don’t need a skills top-up and are simply on the hunt for what to do in Crete, then Falassarna is a popular choice for paddleboards. On a calm day, paddle-boarding is a great way to explore the coastline close to the beaches. But be a little wary if the winds start to pick up – you don’t want to venture too far out into the Mediterranean Sea.

Go to places: Kouremenos and Falassarna
Don’t miss: exploring the coastline

Sailing

If you want to try your hand at sailing, there are sailing schools on the island  you can join. However, if you want someone else to take the strain, there are any number of boat rides and tours to choose from. You can set out from any of the multiple marinas, ports and villages dotting the coastline, and will be able to explore nearby villages, small beaches or coves along the way.

Go to places: Chania
Don’t miss: Glass-bottomed boats and visiting secluded coves

Inflatables

If all of this sounds a bit too much like hard work, and you’d rather take a more leisurely approach, then inflatables are the way to go. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to experience one of these around Elafonissi.

Go to places: Elafonissi
Don’t miss: the ultimate chance to unwind

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