Crete beaches 

TOP 10: The most beautiful beaches in Crete

A beach holiday on Crete, the largest Greek island, provides guests with enchanting bays and miles of coastline with the finest sand. A number of hotels have settled, especially on the beaches of the north coast. The coast is characterised by an excellent infrastructure of restaurants, bars, water sports opportunities and changing rooms. Families like to swim here because of the shallow, crystal-clear water. Some of the most beautiful beaches on the island are also in the south. They are usually more original, more idyllic and a bit more hidden. Nudists can sunbathe undisturbed here. Interested in history, those who want to combine culture and recreation feel particularly comfortable on the Minoan Crete. 

1. Balos Beach

Balos Beach is the name of a beach on a wonderful lagoon in the west of the north coast of Crete. A well-maintained road takes you to the soft, sandy beach with turquoise-blue seawater. At the large car park, the local farmers sell their products such as honey and the aniseed Raki. If you get hungry after swimming in the glistening water, you will get delicious snacks at the small tavern. Balos Beach has maintained its originality, right down to the restaurant.

Our tip: The approximately 1800m long path from the car park to the beach can be covered on a donkey for a fee.

2. Preveli Beach

A few exceptional beaches of Crete await you on the south coast of the island - Preveli Beach is one of them. From Rethymnon you will reach your destination after 43km. The palm beach is located at the end of the gorge of Preveli, where the creek Megalopotamos dams to a small lake. Explore this comfortably with the pedalo. Then relax in the light grey sand or splash in the emerald green sea. The only tavern on Preveli Beach serves hearty meat and fish dishes. You can also order refreshments there.

Our tip: The easiest way to get here is via the neighbouring beach Drimiskiano Ammoudi.

3. Plakias Beach

Another of the top beaches in the south of the Greek island is Plakias Beach. The approximately 1.5km long and gently sloping, sandy beach is surrounded by a picturesque, hilly landscape. The easiest way to reach the palm-fringed coast is by boat from Plakias. The water here is very clean, which is why the golden beach has been awarded the Blue Flag. Behind the wide strip of sand, you will find typical Greek cafés and pubs. You can also rent sunbeds and umbrellas.

Our tip: The region is perfect for hiking, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

4. Falassarna Beach

With its bright blue waters and fine sand, Falassarna Beach on the west coast of Crete is one of the best beaches on the island. The sprawling bay is framed by mountains. Water sports enthusiasts can rent equipment for snorkelling, windsurfing, kitesurfing and paddleboarding at the two centres. Sun loungers and parasols are also available for a fee. The two beach bars offer pleasant music, as well as small snacks and chilled drinks. The Falassarna hilltop town also has restaurants.

Our tip: Every year in August a big beach party takes place on the beach.

5. Malia Beach

If you are looking for an ideal location for a beach holiday with the whole family, Malia is the place for you. The popular holiday centre in the north-east of Crete is impressive with its kilometre-long sandy beach and modern infrastructure. Children can splash carefree in the shallow, clear water, and teens and young people can dance at the music bars right on the beach. Active holidaymakers can go jet skiing, water skiing and banana boating. A sun lounger and umbrella rental, bars and restaurants complete the offer.  

Our tip: Plan a visit to the Palace of Malia from Minoan times. 

6. Georgioupolis

One of the beaches on the north-west coast of Crete that you should not miss is the beach of Georgioupolis. The 2km long stretch of coast is characterised by dunes and a gentle slope into the sea. Many tourists are thrilled by the first-class service. Lifeguards pay attention to the safety of the bathers. The comfortable loungers provide you with a shady spot to read whilst your children dig away in the golden sand. Various water sports provide some change in the day. The traditional taverns serve traditional dishes.

Our tip: Enjoy the bath in the open sea, but watch out for the currents in the wind and do not swim too far.

7. Elafonissi

One of the most impressive beaches lies on a tiny island off the south-west coast of Crete. The gleaming white sand and the azure blue sea give rise to a Caribbean atmosphere. The beach of Elafonissi is located in a nature reserve, which is why it is not built by hotels. Rent a sun lounger and marvel at the play of colours in the Aegean Sea. After sunbathing, a dip in the clean water is refreshing. The corals attract snorkellers, because they are able observe among other lively fish.

Our tip: The beach of Elafonissi is beautiful on windless days, because the fine sand is not stirred up.

8. Ammoudi Beach

The best way to get to Ammoudi beach is to take the paved road from the village of Lefkogia. The picturesque stretch of coast in north-eastern Crete is surrounded by barren mountains. In front of this, the beach stretches into the dazzling sea. In addition to a sun lounger and umbrella rental, there are also some restaurants. The resident diving school takes tourists into the fascinating underwater world of Greece.

Our tip: Via a small path to the neighbouring beach Klisidi, nudists will come across a beach where it is also possible to enjoy the sun free of clothing.

9. Rethymnon Beach

Combine cultural and beach holidays on one of the island's most popular beaches. Here you will always find a beautiful place on the bright sand, even in the summer months. Lifeguards provide security and the water sports providers and beach bars provide entertainment. Behind the beach there is a coastal road to stroll along with restaurants and shops. The crystal-clear waters are home to the loggerhead turtle, which comes to lay eggs on the beach of Rethymnon.

Our tip: Stroll into the centre and see the Venetian harbour and the many old churches and mosques.

10. Vai Palm beach

In the list of the best beaches of Crete, palm beach of Vai should not be left off. The rare Cretan date palm provides a South Sea atmosphere and pleasant shade. The icing-sugar beach and the turquoise waters enchant beach holidaymakers. If you come with the rental car, then park the vehicle in the large car park. For a fee you can get sun loungers and umbrellas. Several taverns offer a tasty refreshment after swimming.

Our tip: Grab the camera, walk to the right of the beach to a platform with fantastic views and snap the postcard motif of Palm Beach Vai. 

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