The 14 Best Beaches in Crete

If you decide to take a trip to Greece, Crete is probably the best option for you! This is because it is one of the biggest islands in Greece and has become a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches. So whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or want to party all night long, there’s a beach on Crete for you. In this post, I will highlight the 14 Best Beaches in Crete you won’t want to miss. Read on!

Best Beaches in Crete

1. Elafonisi Beach 

Elafonisi Beach is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, if not all of Greece. It’s a stunningly gorgeous beach, made up of unique pink sand, formed by tiny fragments of crushed shells that have been weathered over time. It’s a truly stunning sight, and many people come here just to see this pink sand.

The water is equally beautiful and crystal clear, making it a great place to swim, snorkel, or simply sunbathe. The beach is quite large and stretches quite far, so if you want to sit down and relax for a little while, you won’t have any trouble finding a place for yourself. There are also all sorts of nice little cafes and restaurants around if you want to grab something to eat.

In addition, this beach is also known for its gorgeous sunsets, which makes it a good place to end the day. I was lucky enough to see one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was like something out of a movie, with beautiful orange and red hues reflecting off the water.

The only downside to this beach is it sometimes gets windy, so it’s not always the perfect place to swim, as waves can get a little choppy. However, if you’re into windsurfing or kiteboarding, then you’ll probably love the wind here. The best part is that there is a kite school on the beach, so you can learn how to kiteboard right there.

Overall, Elafonisi Beach is truly a must-see if you’re traveling to Crete. It’s simply stunning, a perfect place to relax and enjoy a beautiful day with friends or family.

Read More: 14 Best Things to Do in Crete

2. Kalamaki Beach

If you’re looking for family-friendly beaches in Crete, then Kalamaki Beach is the place to go. It’s actually a very popular and well-known beach, so you’ll definitely see other people here. However, it’s not too crowded, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a place to set up your umbrella or chair. Note that this beach is popular with tourists and locals alike. 

The water is clear, calm, and shallow, making it a great place for kids to swim. The best thing is that it’s right next to the town of Kalamaki, which means there are tons of cafes and restaurants along the beach. There are also little stores where you can buy refreshments and snacks to enjoy while relaxing on the beach.

Since this is a more active beach, there are also lots of activities, such as volleyball nets set up for anyone who wants to play. There’s even a surf school that you can go to if you want to learn how to surf. In addition, there’s a boat for people who want to go for a boat ride or snorkeling.

This beach is great if you’re looking for an active day at the beach, playing sports and enjoying some food from local restaurants. It can get a little crowded at times, but it never feels too crowded, so that’s a good thing.

3. Matala Beach

Matala Beach is a beautiful, secluded beach located in Matala, a small town south of Crete. The cliffs surrounding this beach are absolutely gorgeous, made of soft white rock, with beautiful caves overlooking the sea.

The beach itself is long and sandy, with beautiful blue waters, which make it a wonderful place to swim and enjoy the sun. The water is very calm and perfect for relaxing, allowing you to sit down and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings.

My favorite part of this beach was how quiet it was, especially when compared to other popular beaches in Crete. It was nice just to sit down and relax, without any loud parties or annoying vendors trying to sell me things constantly. The water is also refreshingly cool here, which makes swimming extremely enjoyable.

I would recommend visiting Matala Beach if you’re looking for a nice quiet spot in Crete. The water here is beautiful, and it’s a great place to relax if you’re tired from exploring the island all day long.

Read More: 22 Best Beaches in Greece

4. Balos Beach

Balos Beach is one of Crete’s most beautiful and famous beaches and is probably the most photographed place. This beach is connected to an offshore island that results in shallow lagoons and calm waters. This makes it a great place to go snorkeling or swimming with friends or family. It’s also really safe for kids, as the water isn’t too deep anywhere. The beach itself is absolutely gorgeous and is surrounded by incredibly picturesque mountains that protect you from any wind or waves.

This is another one of those beaches that are not crowded. So if you’re looking for more of an isolated experience with nature, this is the beach for you. It has a great atmosphere, with lots of little cafes and restaurants around selling all sorts of food and drinks.

Overall, this is a wonderful place to visit if you want a relaxing day by the water without any distractions. It’s an amazing place to come if you’re looking for some quiet time away from the busy city.

5. Red Beach

Red Beach is another popular tourist destination on the island of Crete. The beach derives its name from the red rocks and sand that surround it. Personally, I think it’s one of the coolest looking beaches I’ve ever seen, and the contrast against clear blue water makes for a stunning sight.

The sand is also soft and fine, making it perfect for sunbathing or burying your feet in the sand. The entire beach also looks like something out of a fairy tale. Imagine red sand and crystal clear water, along with all sorts of colorful fish swimming around. It really is like something out of a dream! The best part? You can rent snorkeling equipment right on the beach.

Additionally, this beach is very secluded and private. There are not many people here, especially on weekdays. This means you’ll have more than enough space to relax and enjoy the sun. However, don’t be surprised to see nudist bathers at this beach. It’s a very popular place to skinny dip.

The only downside to Red Beach is that it can be quite crowded during the peak summer season. However, if you’re looking for a gorgeous beach with crystal-clear water that is also perfect for snorkeling, then this is the place to go.

Read More: 14 Best Beaches on Mykonos Island

6. Vai Beach 

Vai Beach is one of the best beaches in Crete and is popular for its palm trees. It’s said that this beach has the highest number of palm groves all over Europe, totaling 5000.

The color of the water is absolutely gorgeous here, with a crystal clear blue that just beckons you to swim in it. You can easily spend hours just lying on the beach, admiring the beautiful scenery and relaxing in the water. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby if you want to grab something to eat or drink.

The best part of this beach is that there are no annoying waves, so you can relax worry-free. However, note that there are dangerous currents in this area, so people swimming outside the designated areas should be careful. This is also a popular snorkeling spot, so you can see many fish in the water.

Vai Beach is a truly magical place that everyone should visit. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, and is perfect for a day out with family or friends.

7. Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach is another one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, located on the southern coast, near Plakias. This beach is truly an amazing sight, and you will really appreciate this as you take a steep descent down a stone walkway.

The first thing that stands out about this beach is the gorgeous turquoise water, which is a great place to go snorkeling or swimming. It’s simply stunning, and it’s especially beautiful when you get up close to the shoreline. The sand here is also very nice, with little pebbles of various colors lining the beach.

Additionally, the beach is situated in between two verdant hills. This creates a very rustic atmosphere, which also makes it a great place to relax and have a picnic. In fact, there are some little restaurants set up on the beach with tables and chairs shaded by large colorful umbrellas.

There’s also a small river that runs through the beach and empties into the ocean. If you follow the river, you’ll find a natural pool of water. This beach is also absolutely stunning during sunset, which makes it another great place to end your evening after a long day exploring Crete.

From what I experienced, this beach was very clean with many alternatives for food and drinks. It’s not as crowded as other more popular beaches in Crete, which is a big plus if you’re looking for something quiet and peaceful.

8. Voulisma Beach

Voulisma Beach is an absolutely gorgeous and secluded beach, perfect for that quiet day of relaxation. It’s located right on the north coast of Mirabello Bay, which is actually known for its secluded beaches.

This beach has a long curving stretch of sand, beautiful crystal clear waters, and lots of shallow areas for swimming. It’s also surrounded by towering cliffs, which give it an exotic and sort of secret feel. The best part is that it does not get crowded at all, which is another bonus if you’d like to get away from the touristy areas.

There is a restaurant above the beach that serves amazing dishes and seafood. It’s a casual little place, but the food is absolutely delicious and not too expensive at all. The view is also breathtaking and makes for a wonderful place to sit back and enjoy a meal.

Ultimately, Voulisma Beach is the perfect place for a quiet day of relaxation. It’s clean, beautiful, and not crowded. So if you’re looking for a unique and secluded beach to explore, then this is the one. I was lucky enough to visit this beach during the summer, and it was one of the best days of my entire summer. And if I could give this beach six stars out of five, I would do so in a heartbeat, as it’s an absolutely wonderful little beach with lots to offer.

9. Frangokastello Beach

Frangokastello is a beautiful beach tucked away in southern Crete. It’s a very secluded beach with gorgeous surroundings and a castle behind it, which gives it a surreal look.

The water is crystal clear, making it perfect for swimming or snorkeling. In addition, there are no waves, so it’s a great place to just jump right in the water and enjoy the serenity of being among the clear blue waters. There is also a little cafe on the beach, where you can get some drinks or something to eat while enjoying this beautiful spot. 

If you have time, you can visit the famous and ancient Venetian Castle of Frangokastello, located right behind the beach. It’s a little hike to get there, however, but it’s definitely worth it. The views of the beach and surrounding area from up there are simply breathtaking.

All in all, Frangokastello Beach is a gorgeous place to visit on your vacation. It’s a perfect beach for sunbathing or swimming, and it’s not a bad place to grab a bite to eat either. Plus, visiting the castle is simply amazing as well. It was one of my best beaches in Crete, which is why I think it should be one of yours as well.

10. Falasarna Beaches

Falasarna Beaches are a series of five beaches on the southwest coast of Crete. These beaches are made up of fine white sand and turquoise blue water, and they’re situated in a beautiful little bay, giving them an extra spark of natural beauty.

Each of the five beaches is quite wide and large. So you won’t have any trouble finding a place to relax. The water also has the perfect temperature for swimming, even in the middle of summer. They are so clear that you can see several feet down into them. If you bring goggles, you’ll be able to see even further down, all the way to the white sand at the bottom. You’ll also likely see several other fish swimming around.

You can rent lounge chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, and snorkeling gear for a small fee. There are also cafes and restaurants surrounding the beach if you want to grab some lunch or drink.

Falasarna beaches are considered among the most beautiful beaches in Europe and regularly make lists of the best beaches all over Greece. There’s a reason for that: It’s absolutely stunning here with clear waters and white sand, making it a great place to visit year-round.

11. The Beaches of Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is the largest town on Crete, making it a good place for tourists looking to explore more of the island. The beaches in this town are perfect for people who want to go swimming, snorkeling, or just relax on the sand.

One of the best beaches in Agios Nikolaos is the Almyros beach. It’s a very beautiful beach, with white sand and crystal clear water. I was able to swim in the water here, which was perfect for cooling off in this hot summer weather. There are also nice little cafes and restaurants around, so you can get some food or drinks to enjoy while staying here.

Another great beach here is Havana beach, which is known for its relaxing atmosphere and beautiful water. It’s a great place to go swimming or just sunbathe on the sand. Also, check Kitroplateia Beach, which is a sandy beach with clear water. There are also numerous cafes and restaurants around, as well as bars for those who want to go out at night.

So if you’re planning a trip to Crete, I would definitely recommend visiting the beaches in Agios Nikolaos. They’re some of the best beaches in Crete I’ve been to, and they’re perfect for people who want to relax and get away from it all.

Read More: 15 Best Things to Do in Agios Nikolaos

12. Souda Beach

The next beach on this list is Souda Beach, which is different from the other beaches on this list because it’s a quiet and low-key beach. The best thing about this beach is that it’s not in many tourist guides or travel books, which means it hardly gets any visitors. The result is that you have lots of space to yourself and you don’t have to fight for a place with all the other tourists. 

The beach itself is quite large and a great place to swim or just relax. It’s also a wonderful place for children, as the water is very calm and shallow, meaning it’s perfect if you have a child who can’t swim yet. And since it’s long, there are plenty of places to take shelter from the sun if you need to cool off.

Is perfect to visit Souda Beach if you want a little break from all of the party-like atmosphere at other beaches in Crete.

13. Plakias Beach

Plakias Beach is located in the south of Crete, and it’s one of the more popular beaches in the area. It’s another very beautiful beach made of soft white sand and crystal clear water. This beach is quite long and very wide, so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to relax and enjoy the day.

The beach itself is also quite stunning. It’s not made up of white sand, but it’s still a nice golden color that’s very soft and comfortable. Also, the water here is quite shallow and gentle, so it would be a good place for children to swim. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around as well if you want something to eat or drink.

The best part of this beach is that it’s a great place to watch the sunset, as you can see the sun going down right above the water. All in all, this beach is great to spend a relaxing day at or even a fun-filled day of watersports. It’s one of my personal favorites on the list.

14. Livadi Beach

Livadi Beach is another one of the best beaches in Crete, offering gorgeous views and nice places to relax for a day. Located between the city of Rethymno and Heraklion, this beach is a great place to go if you’re looking for a more secluded beach.

The sand of the beach is incredibly white and soft, making it an amazing place to relax and play in the water. The best part is that there are few people around, so you can really have a nice quiet time by yourself. The only downside to this beach is that there are no cafes or restaurants nearby, so you’ll have to bring your own food and drinks if you want to sit down and enjoy the beach for a while.

Livadi Beach is one of the best places in Crete you have to visit. Mostly because it’s so quiet, secluded, has beautiful white sand and calm water. It’s truly an amazing place to go if you’re looking for something more authentic and quiet. When I visited here with my friends, there were a few people on the beach, which made it even more memorable.

Conclusion

There are many beautiful beaches in Crete, each with its unique qualities. However, the 14 described above are the ones you should check out if you’re visiting the island. They’re all great for different reasons, whether it’s their beautiful landscapes, seclusion, great food, and drink, or just because they’re gorgeous. I’m sure that you will fall in love with the beauty of Crete and its wonderful beaches.