A TRIBUTE TO THE FINEST BEACHES OF CRETE
Elafonissi is a spectacular beach, located a couple of hours’ drive from the city of Chania. This famous white and pink sand beach is noted for the pink crushed seashells that line the shore. Divided by a narrow strip of sand are two shallow lagoons, ideal for wading and floating about.
If you have been looking at postcards as you wander the shopping districts, you’ll likely have seen a photo of Balos. The array of greens and blues as you look down on the beach is unforgettable. Best reached by boat from Kissamos port.
It is reached either by a 15-minute boat ride from Hora Sfakion or a stunning 30-minute walk down a coastal trail from the clifftops. The setting for the beach is stunning, with massive, towering cliffs rising straight up from the back of the beach. Despite the isolated nature of the beach, one small over-water taverna operates, providing food and cold drinks.
Voulisma Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches on Mirabello Bay, if not the entire north coast. No tavernas or shops line the shore, and the highway is up and out of sight. There is only a restaurant above the beach providing service to visitors on the beach.
Vai Beach aka Palm Beach
You may think you are driving to the end of the world as you make the trek to Vai, but it will be worth the effort. Set at the very easternmost area of Crete, this beach has one of Europe’s largest palm groves, reputed to have over 5,000 trees.
Set in an islet facing the Libyan Sea, the beach at Matala is famous for the caves at one end of the shore, which were inhabited by hippies in the 1960s. The hippies are long gone, but the allure of what drew them here remains. The long and wide beach here is made up of small pebbles and soft sand. Umbrellas and beach chairs run the full length of the beach.
If you are staying in Heraklion, make sure you don’t miss out on visiting Ammoudara Beach. This seven-kilometer-long stretch of golden sand is only a five-minute drive from the Old City and the best beach in the area. Owing to its incredible length, this is an ideal beach for those who enjoy beach walking.