Crete is a beautiful island in Greece, with some of the best beaches in all of Europe. The best beaches in Crete are very well maintained and clean, with many offering facilities such as showers and toilets.
The water is usually clear and warm, making it suitable for swimming for most of the year. Some of the beaches are also very long, with a few stretching for miles and miles.
The sand is soft and fine in several areas, making it very enjoyable, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Other beaches have more of a coarse feeling sand.
There are many beaches to choose from in Crete, so you are sure to find one that suits what you are looking for on your visit.
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Glyka Nera Beach
Based on the south of the island, this scenic bay is a very popular beach in Crete. The beach is surrounded by tall cliffs, which makes it feel very private and secluded.
A talking point of this beach is that it is a nudist beach and there are some people who come here just for this reason. This beach may not be as suitable for children and young families but it is still a good option if you are looking for some peace and quiet yourself.
The water is warm and clear and there are many places along the beach where you can get into it. There is also a unique tavern nearby if you want to grab a bite to eat or drink while relaxing on the beach.
The name of the venue is called Marmaide Tavern Coffee and it is located on a small off-shore pier. It is a small family-run tavern and it serves light bites and drinks to the beach goers. The staff at the tavern are friendly and welcoming, especially for tourists who come here for the first time.
Glyka Nera Beach is very remote and can be tricky to get to. It can only be accessed via a very rocky and steep coastal path.
The walk is not for the faint-hearted! You can park your car or get dropped off via a taxi on a nearby road. If you carry on up the coastal path after Glyka Nera you will also find the Church of the Holy Cross and then Loutro Beach.
Accommodation nearby Glyka Nera Beach:
Seitan Limania Beach
This tiny sandy beach is located to the north of Crete Greece. Close to Chania town and the airport, the small cove is surrounded by rocky headlands and cliffs creating a luxurious feel.
In order to get to this beach you have to walk down a short path. It is quite steep but more accessible than some of the other remote coves on the island. There is a bus stop at the top of the road and an area to park your car.
This beach also has a fun quirk that makes Seitan Limania popular. The goats! Many rocky mountain goats live on the cliffs here and can often be seen walking around and grazing on the grass.
They are friendly and often you can get up close to them. The beach is a wonderful place to spend a day. It is secluded, quiet and has clear water. The sand is soft and white making it ideal for sunbathing comfortably.
Accommodation nearby Seitan Limania Beach:
Balos Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on all of the Greek islands. It is located in the region of Gramvousa in the northwestern region of Crete. It is a very popular tourist destination due to its geography and beauty which has created a lagoon style area.
This stunning beach has the clearest, bluest water and a white-sand shoreline that stretches for miles. The sea is warm enough to swim in and there are plenty of activities available so everyone can have fun.
In the summer months, this beach can become very crowded due to its popularity with tourists. It is therefore advised to try and arrive early if you can. The beach has plenty of facilities such as sunbeds and parasols to rent, toilets and a bar.
Beach Bar Balos is a lovely eatery where you can stop for lunch or dinner before heading back home after an unforgettable day at Balos Beach.
The beach is very remote and therefore it is not possible to drive directly up to the beach. You will need to park your car at the car park, this is a short walk away down a path that leads directly to the beach.
There are many hiking paths, walking trails and viewpoints in the area. So if you feel active after a few hours lounging on the beach, they are great to walk around.
Accommodation nearby Balos Beach:
Elafonissi Beach is a beautiful beach situated in western Crete. It is one of the best sandy beaches in Crete and one of the best places to visit if you want to relax in an idyllic sandy paradise. One of the unique selling points of this beach is the colour of the sand.
The pink hues make it picturesque and photogenic, and you will not find many beaches like this. The sand is also very soft, making it pleasant to feel and sit on.
Elafonisi Beach is also a protected area and has been awarded Blue Flag status. This means the beach is extremely clean and must be preserved and kept that way. The beach is very scenic and is surrounded by large pine trees and reeds.
Elafonissi Beach is one of the best beaches in Crete for families. The shallow water along this stretch of coast makes swimming safe for families with small children. Swimming, snorkelling and other water sports can be enjoyed at the beach meaning there is something for everyone in the family.
The beach has a car park right next door so it is easily accessible for all ages. There are many facilities at the beach including sun lounger rentals, toilets and places to grab refreshments. Kandanos Cantina and Canteen Kukurakis supply the beach with light bites and beverages.
Accommodation nearby Elafonissi Beach:
Vai Beach is a sandy beach located to the east of the island. It is another nudist beach that has scenic surroundings and is frequented by tourists. There are many facilities at the beach including sun loungers and parasol rentals, parking and places to grab refreshments.
Options for food include Palm Beach Vai Restaurant and SeaSide Cafe. Both serve delicious snacks and cool drinks.
The beach is backed by Palm Forest Vai which is a palm tree lined forest with walking paths that make for a great stroll. The beach is also surrounded by beautiful hills that provide a picturesque view of the area.
Just a short walk down the path from Vai Beach you will also find Psili Ammos Beach. This is another small sandy beach that is a lot more private. So this is a great option if you wish to get away from crowds but still have a few amenities close by from the other beach.
Accommodation nearby Vai Beach:
You will find Voulisma Beach located on the north coastline of Crete. It is an easy to reach location due to its proximity to the small town of Istro.
This means the beach is easily accessible and it is also near many amenities and shops if you need anything during your beach day.
Voulisma Golden Beach is a bar that serves Voulisma Beach. Here you can sit on the shaded sun deck and drink cocktails whilst looking out to sea.
The beach itself is a sandy bay, with clear waters. It is an ideal place to spend a day lazing under the sun to get a tan or swimming in the sea.
Accommodation nearby Voulisma Beach:
Preveli Beach is one of the less popular beaches in Crete but therefore is a lot quieter. If you are looking for peace and quiet, this beach may be the one for you. The sand is slightly darker in colour than many other beaches on the island with a greyer hue.
However, that does not make it any less beautiful. It also has a river running through it that originates from up and beyond Preveli Gorge. This creates a safe place where children can play in the water without the dangers of the sea.
Other fun activities around this beach include Preveli Palm Forest, the Balcony scenic viewpoint and Agios Savvas Chapel.
The palm forest is a great place to take some photos and enjoy the view. The Balcony is another great place to walk up to as it offers panoramic views of Preveli Beach and the surrounding countryside.
Accommodation nearby Preveli Beach:
Falassarna Beach is a large beach to the west of Crete. Although Falassarna is a very popular spot to visit for tourists, there is still ample space here to lay out your towel and not feel too cramped. Plus many sun loungers to rent if they are required.
The beach has many facilities and amenities nearby such as huge parking areas and onsite bars. Falassarna Big Beach, Playa Paraiso and South Beach Falassarna are all great establishments where you can grab essentials and refreshments throughout the day.
Water sports are very popular at Falassarna Beach, with windsurfing, paragliding and surfing all available here.
With the beach being over 1km long there is plenty of safe open water to try them out. Falassarna Beach is a great place to spend the day relaxing on the beach or having fun in the water. It is clean, safe and well maintained making it ideal for families with children.
Accommodation nearby Falassarna Beach:
Matala is a small village on the northern coastline of Crete, famous for its caves and grottoes. This has made it a very popular beach with lots of interesting things to do. Matala Beach is a nice clean beach with plenty of space and facilities such as parasol hire.
There are a couple of cafes along the beachfront such as Restaurant Michalis and Boho Beach Bar where you can stop for lunch or just enjoy a beer. There are plenty of accommodation choices in Matala however there is a campsite right on the beachfront where you can sleep under the stars and next to the sea all at once.
As well as the town to explore and the beach to sunbathe on, there are many caves situated here. Caves Matala has become a huge tourist attraction and now is a protected area. You will be able to see Neolithic caves that have been tunnelled into the surrounding cliff faces.
The caves were used by ancient Greeks as they provided shelter from the sun and a cool place to rest. In the 1960s, Matala became a hippy hangout with lots of free-spirited people holidaying here and partying in the caves. The caves are a must see if you are in the area.
Accommodation nearby Matala Beach:
To the south of the island, you will find the small town of Plakias. The beach here is 1.3km long and has plenty of space for relaxing and activities. There is a small area to the south of the beach that is dedicated to being a nudist section but it is not a very large area if that is the main reason you wanted to visit.
The rest of the beach here is great for families as there are plenty of shallow areas for kids to play in. You will find many beach bars and beach clubs along this stretch. Paligremnos Beach Bar, Beach House Plakias and Alegria Beach Club are all great options with lots of drink options.
Accommodation nearby Plakias Beach:
The beautiful beaches of Crete Greece are a great place to relax and enjoy the sun if you are visiting the island. You can find many beaches in different parts of Crete, each one with its own unique qualities.
You can choose the beach that suits you best depending on your preferences. The majority of Crete’s beaches are family friendly, clean and safe so you can rest assured you will have a fun time.