Your travel guide on Crete

Category Archives: Beaches

Seaside settlement of Agios Pavlos is located 58 km south of Rethymno, west from Agia Galini, on the edge of Akrotiri Melissa. To get here you have to pass the villages of Akoumia or Saktouria.

Ag. Paulos it is a quite tranquil place, hidden in a windy bay, suitable for family holidays or one day relax. In the bay there is a beautiful beach with deep green waters and a wonderful sandy beach. Nearby there are several rooms for rent and taverns, where basic services (umbrellas, beach bikes, etc.) are provided.

the perfect beach attracts most of the visitors, some of them prefer to visit St. Paul village itself, to have short accommodation and food there. The Akumiani Gialia, is located behind the western edge of the bay and is probably the best beach in Rethymnon area.. You can get there from a path that starts from St. Paul village. According to newer researchers, Saint Paul visited this beach and harbour for the start of his trip to Rome.


if you are in search of the best beaches to visit in Crete, here is our first suggestion: Agiofarago beach.
Located about 80km south of Heraklion city, at the exit of the homonym Gorge of Agiofarago, clear blue waters await you!
The beauty of the place exists to its not so easy access as if you want to go, you should either hike for approximately 50′ the gorge or catch a boat from Matala, Agia Galini, or Kali Limenes.

The crystal secluded beach at the end of Agiofarago Gorge

Agiofarago Gorge, one of the special gorges In Crete, is located in Heraklion, between the Monastery of Odigitria and the seaside village Kaloi Limenes. It will take you about 20 minutes to cross. At the beginning of the route, you will see the church of Agia Kyriaki which is in a cave! In the gorge is also the church of St. Anthony which is also partly in a cave and was the center of the ascetics of the region. The several archaeological findings in Agiofarago, show that there has been activity in the Minoan and Venetian times. Characteristic is the Minoan, circular, domed tomb near the church of St. Anthony. Shortly after, you will find a cave with a low entrance and a large room. The Abbot of the Monastery of St. Anthony lived there.

According to history, Agiofarago was inhabited by hermits since at least the 11th century. When you cross the gorge you will reach a beautiful beach overlooking the Libyan Sea! We recommend good to keep water with you, as in the gorge there are no sources of water.


The idyllic scenery of Crete’s Northeast coast

Driving along the North East coast through the gorge of St George we reach the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Here we board a boat and Spinalonga Cruise starts. A Cruise along the Mirabelo gulf. Passing the Kri-Kri Island, the Cave of the pirate Barbarossa and the bird island, we reach the small sandy bay of Kolokitha, where the boat will be anchored. Here you have plenty of time for swimming at the crystal clear water, and a BBQ (optional) will be served on board. We then proceed to the small island of Spinalonga.

Spinalonga the island of Lepra

Island of Spinalonga

Spinalonga has had a very chequered history and today, although uninhabited, still echoes with ghostly reminders of the past. The Venetians constructed a very impressive fortress with 40 cannons which has been guarding the bay since the 15th century. At the beginning of 19th century human pain and sorrow was scattered around this islet. It became a leper colony, the last active leper colony in Europe, and it remained so until 1957, when it was cleared by the Health Authorities, leaving the place uninhabited.

Spinalonga island


Inside the Island of Spinalonga

Panoramic view from Spinalonga

The route along the northern coast of the island takes us to the small fishing village of Elounda, known to the older of us from the popular 1970s BBC television series “Who pays the ferryman”. The village became also well-known through Belinda Jones’ novel “Out of the Blue” and lately, through Victoria Hislop’s world best-seller “The Island”. Today Elounda is a popular holiday resort, often visited by VIPs for the luxurious beach resorts that are situated in the area.

From there, we take the boat that gets us to the small and sorely tried island of Spinalonga. The history and the culture of the island of Spinalonga became one with human tragedy in the course of time. This small isle carries within the history of Ancient Greece as it served as a natural guard for the ancient city of Olous; the history of the Saracens as a hide-out for their pirates; the history of Venetians as their fortress; the history of Turks as their settlement; and the history of contemporary Greeks as their dwelling, or better, as the place where their leper would be sent into exile until 1957.

We stroll through the village roads, listening –along with our guide’s narration- to the cries and sighs of the diseased exiles, which seem like having been curved on the rocks and the walls of the houses and admiring the exquisite beauty of the area. Finishing our touring on this much afflicted place, we head for the small bay of Kolokitha, one of the most beautiful beaches on Crete. It is a remote beach with white sand and deep blue serene water, side by side with old olive groves, where we can swim and taste the delicious BBQ served on the boat.

After our short respite, we go back to Elounda, and then we move to the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos, where we have our last stop. Here we have the chance to enjoy our coffee getting a perfect view of the magnificent lake, do our shopping in the traditional local shops and relax for a while before we hit the road for our going back.

We then go to Agios Nikolaos where you have time to look at the shop windows and visit the bottomless lake, where the “Lotus Eaters” the well-known film was shot.

Ag. Nicolaos

Yaliskari, also known as Yaniskari or Dialiskari, features some of the most beautiful beaches of Crete and is located 4 km east of Palaiohora or 80 km south of Chania.

In Yaliskari, a piece of land is projecting into the sea, shaping a small peninsula with idyllic beaches on either side—one with fine pebbles, facing the West, and another with thick sand, facing the East. The seawater is crystal-clear and deep, while nudists usually prefer the eastern part of the beach. The dirt road leading to Yaliskari is in good condition, the journey doesn’t take long and the landscape is magnificent, combining steep rocks with the pure waters of the Libyan sea.

Makris Yalos is a very famous beach resort in southeast Crete. It belongs to Lasithi prefecture and it is located 28 kilometers east of Ierapetra and 33 kilometers south of Sitia.

Makris Yalos translates as “long shore” and refers to the long sandy beach stretching out approximately 2 kilometers in length, whose shallow and crystal-clear waters are ideal for both children and adults. Even though Makris Yalos used to be a small fishing village, the area has witnessed a great tourist development during the past years, as the few big hotels are outnumbered by lots of rental apartments and studios for visitors. Nonetheless, it remains a peaceful destination, ideal for those who are looking for peace and quiet in their vacation. Moreover, in the region there are taverns, cafés, delis, a bank and a pharmacy among other amenities. In the evenings, the main coastal road of Makris Yalos gathers the local youth, who have fun at the bars until dawn, while the traditional taverns, especially on the eastern side of the beach, offer a more familial and peaceful setting. Also, those who have a boat should know that Makris Yalos has a picturesque sheltered and safe harbor. In any case, Makris Yalos is a place that suits the tastes of visitors of all ages.

One of the most beautiful beaches in the south Rethymno is Triopetra beach. It is located 52 km south of Rethymno and 13 km south of Akoumia village

Let’s go to Triopetra beach!

The place took its name from the three, huge, geologically impressive rocky formations emerging from the sea, dividing the beach into the eastern and the western parts, the Small and Big Triopetra.

The former, on the southeast of the three rocks, is in small, sandy bay, it offers lounge chairs and umbrellas along with few rooms and tavernas for the tourists. The main beach, the Big Triopetra, lies on the west, exhibiting its crystal water, thick sand and marvelous sunsets. Both beaches at Triopetra are accessible by car and are really suitable for those seeking relaxation, tranquility and isolation, the eastern part of the beach offering beach facilities to the tourists.

When you arrive in Chania (or planning to) you will certainly hear the word “Elafonissi”. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece that you should definitely visit. Let’s see why is that.

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Elafonisi is located 76 km west of Chania and 5 km south of Chrysoskalitisa Monastery, in the south-westernmost point of Crete. It is protected by Natura 2000 so, we advise you not to remove any plants, animals or even sand because it is highly forbidden. Unfortunately for all of us who like camping, you are not allowed to camp as well. All these due to the fact that many endangered animals like Caretta caretta find shelter there.

This beach seems like exotic (only if you go there will you understand) with turquoise waters and white, pinkish sand. The colorful sand appears so owing to numerous broken shells. The eastern side of the beach, in front of the lagoon, is well organized and has the most people. There are umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, snack bars and changing rooms. Also, near the beach there is a huge area for parking and, even further, a few rooms to let. The last few years more and more people come to Elafonissi for kite surfing so, if you are an adventurous person, there are many sports you can try.

You can visit Elafonissi by car or bus. It will take up to 2 hours to get there (from Chania) and about 4 hours from Heraklion. But it worth – the scenery will surely amaze you!

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