Must-See Beaches on the Island of Crete

Crete is a popular island that sees a lot of visitors each year. Those who come are attracted to anything from the varied landscapes to the gorgeous resorts. There are also popular landmarks to visit, such as the Knossos Palace, which is considered to be one of the top archaeological and historical sites in all of Greece.

The beaches are also a main draw and since there is so much coastline here, it can be difficult to pick just one. We’ve narrowed things down for you! Here’s a look at some of the top beaches the Greek island of Crete has to offer:

Balos Beach

Balos is known for its beautiful sand and perfect conditions. If your travels only allow you to visit one beach on this island, Balos is likely your best choice. Located just 60 km northwest of Chania, it has white sand, crystal clear water, and a soft seabed. After a morning on the sand, you can enjoy the rocky island Gramvoussa across from the beach. On top of the island, visitors will find a Venetian castle with amazing views of the surrounding area.

Elafonisi Beach

The pink-tinted sand makes this beach memorable and draws large crowds throughout the year. Located on the southwestern tip of the island, the contrast of pink sand with turquoise water makes for an amazing day. Wade through warm water to access the white sandbars or the natural islet that shelters the beach from rough waters.

Vai Beach

Also known as Palm Forest, this area has a rich history. It has the only indigenous wild date palm grove in Greece. The beach is located in front of this unique forest and 25 km east of Sitia. The forest’s existence may be due to Phoenician merchants who discarded date seeds here. With its unique history and kilometers of soft sand, this is a great beach to visit.

Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach is one of those places that resembles an exotic lagoon. You’ll find an oasis of palm trees with soft sand and pale green water. The Kourtaliotis River ends here, creating a delta and visitors can enjoy both sand and lush vegetation. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the area in addition to wandering the beach.

Matala Beach

This beach is one of the most famous in Greece and is located about seventy kilometers from Heraklion. This beach is a popular spot for both locals and travelers. This beach is particularly memorable because of thecurved caves on the right side of the beach, which were known as hippie hangouts in the 60s and 70s. Today, the caves are fenced but still a sight to see. This location is also popular for romantics who come late at night to enjoy a drink while enjoying the illuminated caves nearby.

While on Crete, you should make it a point to spend time at one of these beaches.
Most of these beaches can fill up quickly and it’s best to arrive early if you want a good spot. Many of them also have umbrellas and sun beds to rent, so you can easily spend the day here in comfort.