BEACHES OF WESTERN CRETE

 

Wonderfully underdeveloped areas, dotted only with a few well kempt accommodations are for 'a few of us' a holiday dream come true and sheer paradise. Albeit, they can become busy in the height of the season - but doesn't everywhere! - Greeks, Italians and foreigners alike fill to overflowing the hotels, towns and beaches along with all the tourist sites and hot spots on the island. But come September and they have almost all gone. Work resumes on the mainland of Greece and all major European countries. Lawyers and barristers are back to their bars (oops! Freudian slip) bankers to their vaults, Doctors and nurses to their clinics and hospitals, Dentists to their chairs, with white collar workers to their desks and computers. Children and students back to school, farmers to their fields and governments officials back to keeping the countries all running smoothly, until next year.
 

BLUE FLAG BEACHES


The Blue Flag system of beach standards began in France in 1985 after coastal areas were recognised for their wonderful sewage treatment and quality of bathing water. Two years later it was adopted by the European Union in 1987. The “Blue Flag” programme is now an international symbol of quality and perhaps the best-known environmental symbol in the world. It awards the coveted Blue Flags to beaches and marinas complying with its strict regulations. It is not enough for the sea just to be clean, there are 29 other criteria related to cleanness, organisation, information, bather and visitor safety and the protection of the beach and surrounding environment.

 

Quick Links To Beaches of Western Crete

Yeorgioupolis: Ombrosgialos: Kokkino Horio: Almyrida: Kalyves: Kera: Loutraki: Marathi Beach: Stavros: Tersanas: Kalathas: Ayios Onoufrios: Nea Hora: Daratso and Ayii Apostoli: Ayia Marina and Stalos: Platanias: Yerani: Maleme: Tavronitis: Kolymbari: Afrata Beach: Menies: Ravdoucha: Nopigia: Kissamos Gulf: Kissamos or Kastelli: Kissamos - Teloneio: Kissamos - Mavros Molos/Plaka: Viglia: Balos and Gramvousa: Falasarna: Sfinari: Afratolaki: Elafonisos: Paleochora: Plakaki : Pachia Ammos: Anydri: Sandy Beach: Lissos: Sougia: Ayia Roumeli: Ayios Pavlos: Marmara (Dialiskari): Loutro: Glyka Nera: Ilingas: Hora Sfakion:: Ombrosgialos: Kokkino Horio: Almyrida: Kalyves: Kera: Loutraki: Marathi Beach: Stavros: Tersanas: Kalathas: Ayios Onoufrios: Nea Hora: Daratso and Ayii Apostoli: Ayia Marina and Stalos: Platanias: Yerani: Maleme: Tavronitis: Kolymbari: Afrata Beach: Menies: Ravdoucha: Nopigia: Kissamos Gulf: Kissamos or Kastelli: Kissamos - Teloneio: Kissamos - Mavros Molos/Plaka: Viglia: Balos and Gramvousa: Falasarna: Sfinari: Afratolaki: Elafonisos: Paleochora: Plakaki : Pachia Ammos: Anydri: Sandy Beach: Lissos: Sougia: Ayia Roumeli: Ayios Pavlos: Marmara (Dialiskari): Loutro: Glyka Nera: Ilingas: Hora Sfakion:

 

Yeorgioupolis: Is a small pleasant unpretentious local town 39km east of Hania, this resort has charm and atmosphere and is popular for a good reason, its two beaches are some of the cleanest on the island. They are separated by the river Almyros, which flows into the sea and helps form Yeorgioupoli's fishing harbour, however it is possible to walk from the town beach to the smaller Kalivaki beach over the bridge that crosses the river. Both beaches are sandy and have lifeguard services, as the sea on windy days can become very rough indeed caution is required as you can experience an unexpected dangerous undercurrent.


From the town beach you can walk for endless kilometres along the shoreline - so there is a spot for everyone.
From Yeorgioupolis to Kavros and Dramia you have one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on Crete, relatively popular with both Greeks and foreign tourists as it has a number of fresh fish tavernas. There are spectacular mountain views surrounding the whole area. Kavros is a busy resort whilst Dramia is a small village, approx. 500 metres from the sea with an amazing view of the bay of Almyrida and the Apokoronas peninsular.  

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Ombrosgialos: Turtle bay, named simply after the turtles that come into the deep waters of the bay. The road that leads down is steep and winding from the small village of Paleloni The cove at the end of the road has a taverna, there is also a concrete platform in front of the taverna used for diving off into the turquoise sea of the cove. Close by and only accessible by boat are caves, the cove is also absolutely fantastic for snorkelling.
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Kokkino Horio, Apokoronas: This small gravel, pebbly and rocky inlet is situated in Vraskos bay and it can be difficult to find, once again this small inlet is excellent for snorkelling. However, beware of any boat traffic. The water is clear but deep and only suitable for competent swimmers. There are no facilities other than a man made shelter and a shower. 

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Almyrida, Apokoronas: This is a small horse shoe shaped beach, with one long, curved sandy shoreline protected from the prevailing wind by a small island. The beach slopes gently into clear shallow water, ideal for small children. There are sunbeds available and the beach is also backed by tavernas, a few mini- markets, cafe's and bars. The rocky outcrops around the small peninsular are ideal for snorkelling.

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Kalyves Apokoronas: There are four beaches, altogether in Kalyves, two of which have the Blue Flag status. At the eastern end of the village are the Maistrali and Ksida beaches which are now joined forming one long stretch of beach from the harbour. They become very busy in the summer months, as all have fine golden sand shelving gently into shallow clear water. Water sports and all facilities are available. The whole area is Ideal for families with young children.


Backing onto the beach road you will find several tavernas, café bars and a beach kantina. The main village beach is found off small alleyways from the main street, and at the western end you have Blue Beach, divided by the Kiliaris river, this strand is usually much quieter than the others and is not visible from the main road. 

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Kera, Apokoronas: Found on the way from Almyrida to Kalyves is a small sandy beach not known to many visitors. A small dirt road leads you to it, with a mixture of sand and pebbles and a lot smaller than Almyrida and with fewer people. At the end of the beach you can negotiate around a large rocky outcrop by wading through the water where there is another little sandy cove here nobody will disturb you at all. Take a swim out to the small rock for perfect sunbathing. There are no facilities as yet.
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Loutraki on the Akrotiri Peninsula: Is a perfect small cove just around the corner from Marathi, well protected and not affected by the northern summer winds 'meltemi'. Fine sand and shallow water, ideal for children. It is a favourite of the locals especially at weekends so can become very busy. There is a small bar and kantina sunbeds are also available.

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Marathi Beach, Akrotiri: Situated across Souda Bay opposite Kalyves on the Akrotiri peninsula lies the splendid but narrow, sandy beaches of Marathi. It has a small harbour for the local fishermen to moor their boat after a mornings catch, hence you will find some of the best fish tavernas on the island. This also makes the beaches popular at weekends with locals. Two small thin stretches of sand separated by a protective jetty make these beaches ideal for families, with some spectacular view across the bay.
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Stavros, Akrotiri: Famous as the main location for the film 'Zorba The Greek', there are actually two beaches in Stavros. The first, and most popular, is north-east of Stavros and predictably known as Stavros beach. It is a circular sandy bay almost cut off from the sea, and therefore very sheltered. This beach is backed by several tavernas and is overlooked by the mountain and small cave which in the film was supposed to be a coal mine, this lovely setting gets very busy at weekends. 


The other beach, on the north side of Stavros, is known as Pachia Ammos 'Fat Sand' and is a wide sandy beach fronted by rocks in places, leading to smooth limestone under the clear water - good for swimming and snorkelling. There is a kantina at one end of the beach, and is much quieter than the other main one. The limestone rocks to the east form symmetrical and rectangular shapes because the Venetians quarried much of the coastlines stone from here for buildings in Hania, to where it was taken directly by barge.
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Tersana, Akrotiri: A small, pretty and very sheltered sandy cove. Popular with locals because it is very safe for children, it is small therefore can feel crowded with just a few people. Once a small harbour when sea levels were higher, there are remains of an ancient quay and piping system that brought grape-juice direct from presses 2kms inland, to the barrels on the moored boats. The juice would then be sailed immediately to Hania for wine-making. The beach faces north west, but is sheltered.

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Kalathas, Akrotiri: A beautiful wide sandy beach, with a sheltered shallow bay. You can swim out to the small rocky island offshore. It's usually fairly busy, and is popular with local people at weekends. There is a taverna, 2-3 kantinas and a diving centre here. The beach faces west. 

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Ayios Onoufrios, Akrotiri: The nearest place to Hania where you can swim on the Akrotiri peninsula. The coast line around Akrotiri is rocky, with only a few sandy beaches protected in small bays. Not a fantastic beach but it is nice and quiet with only a few fishing boats anchored, there is one taverna and a small beach bar.

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Nea Hora: This is Hania's town beach. West of the Venetian walls and used by tourists, but also by local workers during siesta time and weekends. The promenade is lined with very good fish restaurants and the small fishing harbour - a sunset must. Even though this lovely but busy sandy beach is just 10 minutes walk from central Hania, it is clean and well looked after, it faces west. 

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Daratso and Ayii Apostoli: Situated only 4.5km away from Hania on the way to Platanias. This beach is actually three very picturesque sandy beaches connected by one of Hania's largest remaining natural park. These beaches have everything you need close to hand, small kantinas on the beach provide snacks, drinks and shade. The recreation areas are a must for local swimmers, picnickers, and beach volleyball  played both summer and winter. 


There are fine ‘mini’ sandy bays overlooked by tamarisk trees which are dotted around the sand dunes.  The various beaches face north, west and east, so it's easy to find one that is slightly more tranquil than the others.
The village Daratso and that of Galatas are located on the hills overlooking the beach of Kalamaki. These small villages have seen quite a development in tourism in the past few years and with buildings now going all the way down to the coast. The lower parts are called 'Kato' in Greek Kato Daratso and Kato Galatas. How this once tranquil and very beautiful area close to the centre of Hania must have looked many years ago, unfortunately has now been taken over by a surge of new buildings and family entertainment venues. Life has to progress but sometimes it ruins the beauty of such places. Towns now being built around idyllic harbours and rocky inlets and sandy coves - what price do we pay for all this progress?

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Ayia Marina and Stalos: This is just one 20km long stretch of sand and pebbles from Galatas to the small town of Kolymbari, passing Kalamaki, Ayia Marina, Platanias and Gerani. These beaches lie directly opposite the interesting island of Theodorou known in antiquity as the city state of ‘Pergamos’ with a Venetian fort that was built to fend off Turkish invaders and later, pirates. 


It is now a nature reserve for the protected wild Cretan goat, the kri-kri. Water activities and excursions are made from the diving and water sports centre situated by the beach which faces north. 
Ayia Marina great if you want sun sea food and to just chill out. Full of shops, restaurants and tavernas, grills, clothes and jewellery shops.

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Platanias: This is one of the island's first classic and busy, old resorts. (Still not as hectic as Hersonnisos in the east.) Today there are lots of stylish hotels, apartments, tavernas, bars and even a Chinese and Indian restaurant, along with mini golf, diving schools and entertainment for all ages. But having said that, it is a pleasant fun resort with a wonderful sandy beach that’s ideal for families in the day and strolling couples at night.  Behind the beach is the charming village of old Platanias, whose lanes and restaurants straggle up a high rocky cliff.

 
The acropolis of Platanias is situated at the top of the hill. This is where the inhabitants of the area found refuge from pirates and other invaders over the centuries. King Agamemnon after the Trojan war came to Crete and built the ancient town of 'Pergamos' and its port. The river of 'Keritis still flows into the bay known then as the river 'Lardanos'. Excavations were carried out in 1974 bringing to light the prehistoric city of ancient 'Kydonia'. Homer also mentions that the 'Kydonians' used to bathe in the river 'Lardanos'. A good place to visit when in the area. 

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Yerani: Is so far a lot less hectic than the latter resorts and a huge contrast with its beach of a good mix of pebbles and sand, backed by Tamarisk trees for shade. This is more a beachcomber's dream than than a sunbathing mayhem. Not far from shore there is a wreck of a German airplane from World War II. Behind the beach are some large, very elegant holiday complexes. But there are still local 'spitakies' small houses further along the road. The beach continues into the large resort of Platanias. 

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Maleme: Famously known for the ‘Battle of Crete’, Maleme is a small laid back, quiet village that offers all the expected holiday facilities but is surrounded by agricultural land of olive groves, orange and lemon orchard and there is bamboo everywhere. It has a decent enough beach of pebbles and some sand with a spectacular view of the Rodopdou peninsula. Backed by an avenue of grass. Once again new modern clean holiday accomodation. A walk along the coastline would take you all day. Hotels are being built on the road next to the sea, and the area is becoming quite a cosmopolitan centre.

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Tavronitis, Rapaniana and Minothiana: At the junction prior to making your way down to the beach at Tavronitis is the old pontoon bridge with a World War ll turret mountain with two USA sea mines and 2 German torpedoes all easily missed. The long and quiet beach is lined by tamarisk trees. The beach is a mix of sand and pebbles, and there are two well situated tavernas behind the beach. Faces north. This whole area is still in the early stages in regards to tourism or even development. Once more an outstanding view towards the Rodopdou peninsula. 

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Kolymbari: A very long beach at the western end of the Gulf of Hania. From here you can walk and visit the monastery of Gonia, Mainly a shingle beach but every now and again patches of sand appear. This beach gets busy a weekends with locals. There are some good tavernas in Kolymbari. All around the Gulf of Hania is one the breeding grounds for the rare and protected caretta-caretta turtle. 

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Afrata beach: Is a tiny sandy cove with a kantina. You drive here from Kolymbari on a narrow, winding road, take care of the sea urchins and sharp rocks.

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Menies: A spectacular, remote and sheltered cove opening to the sea on the east. There is a cliff wall on the north side, and the beach is on the south side. The beach is pebble and the cove is 3-5m deep, perfect for snorkelling. There are the remains of a Roman temple here, and 100m behind the beach, are benches under shady pines for picnics. A tiny church looking nothing like a church (it's made from white aluminium!) is behind the beach, and you can sign the visitor's book. 


The beach faces north-east, but very sheltered. There are boat trips to Menies from Kolymbari Marina every summer morning, departing around 11am and returning around 6pm. 

Note.
It's about 20kms of bad back-breaking rough road, almost to the tip of the Rodopdou peninsula. Allow an hour each way if you don't want to break any records (or your vehicle!), also be aware that because of the altitude you can sometimes be driving in cloud, even in summer. It is very isolated, and the landscape is quite spooky, outcrops of limestone crags give the impression you're on the moon.      
Do Not
attempt this road with mopeds, motorbikes or trial bikes - if you come off the bike and injure yourself, there are very few people around. 

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Ravdoucha: Is a quiet beach with pebbles and surrounded by tamarisk trees. The bays rocky seabed makes it ideal for snorkelling. Tavernas make this an ideal place to stop for lunch.         
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Nopigia: On the eastern side of the Gulf of Kissamos, are a couple of quiet beaches at Nopigia. They are a mix of pebble and rock and become deep quite quickly the area is perfect for scuba-diving. In Nopigia, there is an attractive camping site on the waters edge peaceful and surrounded by raw beauty, they also have a swimming pool open to non campers, good to cool off for the price of a coffee or snack. Although it can get very busy in the high season.
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Kissamos - Gulf: The Bay of Kissamos is about  13km wide and 18km long ending at the cape of Vouza. This long sandy beach,  starts where Teloneio stops and continues the width of Kissamos Gulf, to Nopigia. A mixture of sand and pebbles on the beach, however it is always sand under the water which remains shallow for up to 20 metres from the beach, becoming gradually deeper. Safe for children.


Most of the plots behind the beach are agricultural or contain small private houses, thankfully keeping large hotels at bay for the time being at least. However, it is still normal to find long stretches completely deserted. 

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Kissamos or Kastelli: The town of Kastelli is recognised as being the cultural centre of Western Crete. Here you can find organised camping sites and beautiful long sand beach backed with  tamarisk trees which are found all along most of the beaches on the west coast. Tavernas are plentiful and sunbeds are available. 

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Kissamos - Teloneio: Means 'Customs House', which was located 200 metres away and is now a café/bar among several others on the relatively-new promenade. The beach is a mix of sand and pebbles, but always sand under the water, and remains shallow until a long way out. Teloneio beach starts at the east end of the promenade and (in name anyway) stops by the football stadium.              
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Kissamos - Mavros Molos/Plaka: Mavros Molos means 'Black Rock', alluding to the remains of one arm of the Hellenic harbour at the west end of this 1km crescent of sand. Plaka means 'flat', which describes the sand underwater level and shallow for a long way out. A gem of a beach that is never busy and makes you feel that it is your own personal discovery. There are three or four cafés and a couple of small hotels on the beach which faces north-east. 

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Viglia: The pebble beach itself is not up to much and is situated  in the south west corner of the Gulf, it is also  rocky under the water, but there are two sandy beaches just to the west of the Port. One is crescent shaped and good for swimming. The other, nearest the Port, is fine for sunbathing but also has a rocky seabed, not ideal for swimming.

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Balos and Gramvousa:  Near the tip of the barren and isolated Gramvousa peninsula, is the beautiful beach of Balos. The beach on Gramvousa island is equally wonderful.  Exposed, so best to visit on days with a gentle or easterly wind. You can get to this idyllic lagoon by boat from Kissamos. which departs at 9.30am and returns again at 4pm. You will visit the Venetian fortress on the highest point of the uninhabited island of Imeri Gramvousa situated at the edge of a ravine. 


Then 10 minutes sailing from Gramvousa brings you to the milky  turquoise and idyllic blue waters of the lagoon of Balos. It has a lovely white and pink sandy beach mostly made up of broken sea shells, and warm, shallow waters for swimming. The sea bed can be quite muddy and has a slight odour, and take care of the tar. For the more adventurous of you, there is a footpath from Kalyviani village and will take you approx 3 hours to walk. Or you can follow the dirt road from the same village to a parking area and then walk only for 15mins. However, only really advisable in a 4 x 4. On the left of the bay you’ll see the remains of the ancient city of Kissamos, the old monastery of Ayia Irini, the ancient shipyard, Tarsanas and in the harbour of Ayia Sozou the ancient city of Agneon with the temple of the god Apollo. Towards the end of the bay you’ll notice that Crete is rising on the western side and the traces left by the water on the cliffs from when the sea level was higher confirm this fact. This phenomenon is thought to have occurred after two volcanic eruptions in 66 B.C. and 365 B.C. on the island of 'Thea' Santorini this resulted in heavy earthquakes that would have forced the up lifting of Western Crete. This  most probably resulted in the devastation of the Minoan civilisation. 

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Falasarna: A marvellous bay that sweeps away towards the ridges of the Gramvousa peninsula. The main beach has wonderful white and pink shell sand sloping gently into an azure clear sea, which has underwater cold springs in places. A safe beach with a few laid-back facilities, surprisingly undeveloped and remarkably unbusy. Stunning sunsets can be watched from here. At the north end, is an unofficial naturist stretch with sandy beach and rocks offshore for good snorkelling. 


Further north for those who are sure footed and don't mind a bit of a climb in the heat, there are a few deserted pebbly coves, some containing spots of oil from an old wreck but otherwise good for privacy and snorkelling. The beach itself faces west. The long beach of 'Pachia Ammos' is very popular with locals at the weekends an in the high season. The people of Hania come here for the clean sea and golden sand. Exposed to the wind, it is one of the few beaches where you will have a chance to have fun in the waves.

A little further north are the ancient ruins of Falasarna an ancient coastal naval town and harbour of Polyrrinia. Falasarna's name is pre-hellenic and was taken from the nymph Falasarna. It was more important than Polyrrinia and it had its own coin currency which on the one side depicted the head of a woman with earrings and the letters FA between a trident. Still remaining are parts of the walls of an acropolis, many foundations of houses and graves and a stone throne which probably was sacred to the God of the sea Poseidon, because Falasarna was a naval town it has been discovered lately and its ancient harbour excavated. There is a small pebble beach in a sheltered bay opposite the ruins, and just to the right of this in shallow water is a shipwreck, fascinating for snorkellers. 

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Sfinari: One of the few accessible beaches on the west coast, it is a gently sloping pebble beach with patches of sand under the water. There are three or four tavernas and a camping site behind the beach with are a couple of mini-markets and tavernas in Sfinari village, about 1km above the beach. You can watch fabulous sunsets from here. North West of the harbour is the mouth of the river Kakos, where you can see the gorge of Lyssos. 

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Afratolaki: Is a scenic bay with a beach with big pebbles on the west coast of Hania. It is a place unaffected by tourism but the beach is not great for swimming. 

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Elafonisos: Elafonisos beach and island is situated 76 km east from Hania. It is seen as one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, hence it attracts many tourists especially those with campervans it gets really crowded till 4pm when the tourist buses depart. A marvellous emerald, turquoise, green sea, with pink sand and very shallow water along with the small island of Elafonissa make it just the perfect beach for everyone. Out of high season this area is also a paradise for migrating birds.


This lovely islet was the site of a massacre of 850 women and children by the Turks in 1824. The women and children were hidden there unbeknown to the Turks camped on the beaches. It was a horse that found the shallow, 1 metre deep water path to the island. Retrieving the animal the Turks discovered the women and children and slaughtered them. There is a memorial plaque on the highest point of the islet. 

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Paleochora: Has many churches and ruins of ancient cities from the Hellenic and Roman Period. There are beautiful beaches on both sides of the peninsula that, in combination with the mild climate, the sunny weather and high temperature are ideal even for winter swimming. Krios and Koundoura are just two pebbly beaches in the area, 6 kilometres from Palaeochora. To the west of the bay is Grammeno a long beach with two small coves. Sandy, it has lot of cedar trees giving to it a special character and it is affected only by the southern winds.

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Plakaki beach: 2 kilometres from Palaeochora at the West, Plakaki is a small cove with pebbles. 

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Pachia Ammos: Is the main beach in Paleochora, a fine sandy beach packed with people in August. If you walk along the beach to its west end, there is a small part of it used by naturists. 

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Anydri: 2 kilometres from Palaeochora to the East, you can find Anydri, a nice pebbly beach affected by the southern winds. Less organised, it offers food and drink and facilities for swimming and sunbathing. 

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Sandy Beach: Is a long beautiful beach with whitish sand, open to the southern winds. Not organised, it offers only facilities for swimming and sunbathing sun beds, umbrellas, so is not too popular. 

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Lissos: There are two ways of getting to this small but interesting beach. By boat from Sougia, a pleasant 20-minute sea trip. Or on foot, approximately 2 hours. The path starts at the little harbour of Sougia. From here you enter a small gorge, and half an hour later you start climbing the slope, which will bring you to a hill above Sougia. It's not a difficult walk, but tiring when you have to walk back!


Lissos is an ancient city whose ruins are preserved between Paleochora  and Sougia, it was a harbour of the Dorian city of Elyros. Lissos was known for its famous Temple of Asklepios (Aesculapium), where people came from all over Crete to take the local waters in a hope of being cured. The temple was destroyed by earthquake, but its mosaic floor portray animals and geometrical designs is still  preserved. It is open in the mornings, albeit you can still walk in the valley and discover column capitals hidden under bushes and remains of a Roman cemetery with their chamber tombs. 

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Sougia: Has a pleasant long pebbly beach with plenty of shade from tamarisk trees, but can be open to the southern winds. The little seaside village of Sougia is the site of ancient Syia, which was one of the harbours of Elyros. The city flourished predominantly in the Roman period. A considerable number of ruins have survived but there have been few excavations.


Sougia is famous for its 6th century early Byzantine basilica, which was excavated after a dream had by a lady from the nearby village of Livadas. In her dream she saw the church clearly in its glory. It was found to have had three aisles and annexes to  the north. The floor was decorated with mosaics depicting geometric motifs and animals, birds, fish and trees. 

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Ayia Roumeli: Situated just at the exit of the Samaria gorge. The beach is pretty popular to the hikers who cross the Samaria gorge because of the refreshing swimming they can enjoy, before taking the last boat to Sfakion and the return bus to Hania. However when the hikers have departed the beach and village are deserted. 

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Ayios Pavlos: Is a long pebbly beach quite difficult to get to and remote with a handful of people due to its difficult access. Approximately 3 kilometres from Ayia Roumeli at the East and 6 kilometres from Loutro at the West. Its waters a deep clear and blue. 

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Marmara (Dialiskari): The beaches at Phoenix, Likos (be aware of sea urchins) and Marmara are small beaches with pebbles and rocky seabed, good for snorkelling. The beach is found at the exit of the Aradena gorge and you may walk up the final part, an easy enough and very pleasant walk. It is called Marble Beach because of the smooth white rocks next to the beach. 

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Loutro: Small bay, with some rooms to rent and restaurants, an idyllic summer resort, one the most picturesque places in Crete. On foot, or by boat, or canoe, everyone should visit the beaches of Finix, Lycos and Marmara at the end of Aradena gorge, at the west, or the surprising beach of Glyka Nera, at the east. Loutro is accessed only by sea, or on foot, via Hora Sfakion. 

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Glyka Nera (fresh water): This is an excellent beach with pebbles, named so because if you dig a hole on the beach, sweet fresh water will seep into it from the ground fresh There is no shade and a small kantina where you can have cold drinks, something to eat and rent an umbrella for the sun. This is one of the best beaches for naturists. Only accessible by boat or foot. 

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Ilingas: About 15 minutes walk from Hora Sfakion, a small quiet beach, clear water, pebbly beach with a large cave. 

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Hora Sfakion: The beach is in the village, and can be a little crowded. A little further east are two small beaches. The furthest one, Fylaki, is the only official nudist beach in Crete. 

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