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6 Top Beaches to Enjoy on Crete Island

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Crete is not only the biggest island in Greece, but it is also the southernmost. This means that the weather here is idyllic and the beach-going season is fairly long. It is common to see people flocking to the beaches from May to October and even in the colder times of the year, the climate is still mild. Because of this, people flock here each year to enjoy all that the island has to offer. Some of the beaches stand out more than others, and the top beaches here are considered to be some of the best in Greece.

Here’s a look at some of the best beaches Crete, Greece has to offer:

Vai Beach

Vai Beach is one of the most stunning places in all of Crete. It is located near the village of Sitia and is also fairly close to Agios Nikolaos, a common resort community. It is in a stunning location and is surrounded by Europe’s largest palm tree forest. Besides visiting the beach, you should spend some time in the Palm Forest, which is the only native wild date palm grove in all of Greece. The beach itself boasts soft, golden sand and turquoise blue, sparkling waters.

Preveli Beach

The striking Preveli Beach is located near the main city of Heraklion. This perfect beach is like a tropical lagoon and boasts crystal clear,  greenish waters and soft, powdery sand. The scenery here is gorgeous and visitors are treated to lush vegetation and palm trees, thanks to the nearby Kourtaliotis River, which empties into this beach. Because of the soft sand and stunning scenery, this beach gets a fair amount of visitors.

Elafonissi Beach

Elafonissi is a beautiful beach with pink coral sand and glistening, clear waters. It is located near Chania and is easily accessible by taxi or by taking your own rental car. Because of its serene conditions (it is located at a small inlet), this is one of the more popular beaches on Crete.  There is also a small reef off the coast of this beach and it is possible to dive near it to take a closer look. It gets pretty crowded during the peak summer months so if you really want to visit and dislike crowds, consider going in one of the warmer months that don’t see a lot of tourists, like May or October.

Balos Beach

On the northwestern side of Crete lies the popular beach of Balos, which is especially popular because of its gorgeous conditions. This beach features soft, white sand that stays cool even in the hottest sun, and the waters are especially clear and blue. The beach is essentially a lagoon that can be glimpsed from the nearby hills, so while here, you may also want to spend some time walking the area.  Across from the beach is Gramvoussa, a rocky island with a steep Venetian castle on top of it with views of the remarkable region and sea.

Matala Beach

Matala is one of the prettiest beaches on the island of Crete. Located near Heraklion, this beach has three hundred meters of golden sand. On the right side of the beach, the majestic cliffs and sweeping caves surround the gorgeous beach that was once inhabited by hippies in the 1960s.

Situated to the north of the coast are the famous artificial caves that are carved into rocks that Matala beach is known for. Initially, these caves were housed and used as places of worship. Later on, during the 1st and 2nd centuries, they were used as tombs. Nowadays, the caves are protected by the Archaeological Service.

Sougia Beach

Sougia Beach is situated about seventy kilometers south of Chania and located between the villages of Agia Roumeli and Paleochora.  This beach features a long stretch of coastline and boasts clear blue, sparkling waters and is considered to be one of the purest, most protected beaches in all of Greece. The beach itself is made of fine pebbles, so you’ll want to make sure you have a nice pair of beach sandals to wear as you walk around. This beach is a great place for locals and tourists alike.

Crete has a lot of great beaches and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Consider visiting one of these top beaches during your visit!

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