DIVE INTO CRETE’S MOST SPECTACULAR BEACHES
A tucked away beach on Crete’s south-western corner. Undeniable beauty, glassy aquamarine waters and pastel-pink sands created by thousands of shells that have been washing up over the years. It might be on the edge and hard to reach but it gets busy in summer, especially on the weekends, so if you are looking for a bit more privacy, there are coves and dunes beyond that make your experience even more precious.
This is one of the finest beaches in Crete, infinite with clear refreshing waters and see-forever views. A handful of tavernas to taste the Mediterranean cuisine, high waves make it ideal for windsurfers and the famous Falassarna sunsets where the burning orange slowly melts into that incredible sea.
At the meeting point of Megalopotamos river and the Libyan Sea, Preveli is as pretty as they come. Craggy cliffs, jungly riverbanks lined with tall, lush palms, it could be mistaken for being the setting for a new castaway’s series. There is a catch to all of this, though. Access to the beach requires a knee-pounding climb down a steep path (and a real thigh-burner on the way back up) but waiting at the bottom are bone-white sands and clear waters for snorkeling. A must see if you ever visit Preveli is the nearby Monastery which is set on a hill overlooking the Libyan Sea.
Lily-white sands, vivid turquoise waters in a wonderful wild and remote setting of the Gramvousa Peninsula. It’s a promise the reality lives up to. Backed by scrubby hills, the beach and its lagoon are not easy to reach, you must either go through the precarious and rocky dirt-road drive or hop aboard a boat for a precious couple of hours. Pack yourself a picnic as there is nowhere to buy food or drink here.
Hugging Messara Bay in southern Crete, Kommos is a beautiful wide arc of sand backed by dunes and ringed by patchy green mountains. A steep, winding road leads down to the swirling Smurf-blue waters, pearl-white sands and views of ancient Minoan settlement ruins. Decent-sized waves, the nudists and the nice spots for drinks and food are the highlights of this gem.
A secret, remote fishing village that was discovered by the hippies during the Vietnam war back in the 60’s, has now become legendary and well known to all. Mythology has it that this was the spot where Zeus swam ashore under the guise of a bull with the kidnapped Europa on his back. The gently rippling waters of the Messara Bay are flanked by honeycomb-like sandstone cliffs and mysterious caves.
In the Lasithi province, Crete’s easternmost region, lies a little slice of the Caribbean, with its calm shimmering waters, palm trees. When it gets busy, take the 30-minute stroll along the trail that heads to the ancient Minoan site of Itanos, where you will find a trio of small, secluded bay beaches.
In a hidden corner on the north-eastern side of Crete’s Akrotiri Peninsula, just a short drive from Hania, this secret cove is well worth the hair-raisingly steep and winding downhill drive to get here. You can simply take in the views from the top of the hill or scramble down the rocky path to claim your patch of sand and to take a dip. It might be tiny but there is a reason why the locals make the trip out there.