Want to feel the heat in Crete? The ultimate way to enjoy days in the rays is by hitting the sand. And when you can base yourself in the areas of either Chania or Heraklion, you’ll have the best of both worlds and be utterly spoilt for choice.
We know uncovering the dreamiest suntraps is usually top of the list when it comes to summer holidays, which is why this island’s duo of sides makes it such a winner. From ice-white stretches to glistening golden grains, turquoise waters to cliff-backed patches, Crete’s beaches all deserve medals for their beauty. We’ve plucked six of the most splendid options for you to get acquainted with…
While Elounda is one of Crete’s beaches that doubles up as a haven of hotel finery, this coastal pick in the north-east is known also for its vast seafront splendour. There are designated areas – typically with parasols – if you want to retreat to the shade, but there’s plenty of space for sun-seekers. What’s that in the distance? Only Spinalonga Island!
Hersonissos is one of the most popular resorts in Crete, which means it comes up trumps for beaches. The town’s waterfront is sprinkled with distinct stretches, so it’s really just a case of choosing where there’s bags of space and then laying your towel down. Some areas are stony and pebbly, while others are much sandier.
Aghia Marina Beach
The laid-back vibe of the resort that this beach calls home trickles all the way down to the waves. Can’t think of anything more idyllic than putting your feet up? This go-slow plot has been designed with R&R in mind, so flop down and get into that holiday read. From the crispy mix of sand and small stones, you might even spy Theodorou Island ahead.
Pastel-pink sands? Yep, that’s right – the shells that have washed up onto the shores of Elafonisi over the years have almost dyed the once-white granules this candy floss colour! If that’s not amazing enough, this Cretan beach sits in an area of the south-west that’s less touristy, so it stays fairly low-key during the week. Swill your toes in the shallows and clap eyes on the lagoon and dinky coves.
As though it was lifted straight out of a glossy travel mag, Balos Beach is nothing short of inviting. Feel yourself being pulled towards the wispy sands that lie along the Gramvousa Peninsula. It’s a remote expanse of ivory grains and eye-catching aquamarine sea that people tend to travel to by car or boat. Want to stay away from the crowds? This is your ticket to beachfront bliss!
You can’t beat the super-central setting of Sissi Beach. It offers room for you to lounge leisurely and doesn’t tend to be packed with people. Drink in the rocky surroundings and quaint town that envelops it, all while you relax by the water. Amble along the headland and you’ll also see some teeny coves that eventually lead over to Boufos.
If you’re itching to be beside the seaside now, we don’t blame you! Crete’s beaches really do deliver.
Posted: 13th Aug 2020. Updated: 1st Jun 2023.