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Best Beaches to Visit in Heraklion, Crete

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Crete is one of those islands that seems as if it can stand on its own. Seemingly isolated from the rest of Greece, there’s certainly plenty to do. In fact, there are so many beaches on the island, it can be hard to pick which ones to visit. If you’re staying near Heraklion, you won’t want to miss these top beaches. Here’s more information about where you should go:

Matala Beach

Located just 67 kilometers southwest of Heraklion, Matala Beach is one of Crete’s more widely popular areas and for good reason. Visitors can rent bamboo umbrellas and sun beds for use right on the golden sand beach, which is accented by a towering cliff face. Caves leading into the face of that cliff were once used by hippies and other drifters. Although they’re long gone, it can be interesting to observe them. This beach is excellent for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and even scuba diving.

Tymbaki Beach

Just a few kilometers further down the coast is Tymbaki, which is close to both Heraklion and the village that bears its name. This beach is made up of small pebbles and is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. However, this beach isn’t the best choice for families with small children or those who like to swim. The high winds generate waves that could be dangerous. Because of this, though, the beach is a haven for those who love water sports, such as surfing.

Agia Pelagia Beach

Located northwest of Heraklion, Agia Pelagia is another welcoming village with a long, golden brown sandy beach. A calmer beach, due to natural protection from high winds, this beach also offers rental accommodations for those wishing to stay longer than one afternoon. The village of Agia Pelagia features a tourist area with a host of taverns to liven up the evenings spent away from the sand and shore.

Lygaria Beach

Lygaria Beach offers a soft sand beach just 23 kilometers northwest of Heraklion. The beach is narrow, but relaxing with calm, warm waters for swimmers and snorkelers. Surrounded by grassy hills, the beach is supplied with parasols and chairs for visitors to use at their leisure. Between the shore and the hills, a line of shops, cares, taverns, and rental accommodations make Lygaria Beach a one-stop destination for sun-worshipping tourists.

Amoudara Beach

Located in the Gulf of Heraklion, Amoudara Beach can be found five miles west of the capital, along the north coast. While this area doesn’t boast as many amenities as some of the other beaches on this list, the smooth, golden sand and calm, blue waters more than make up for the lack of amenities. In fact, this beach was awarded the EU Blue Flag award for its pristine, clean waters. There are a few offerings, as far as accommodations and taverns in the village near the beach.

From popular sands to more secluded shores, these beaches offer a little something for everyone. In fact, these beaches are popular amongst locals and tourists alike!

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