There are more beautiful beaches on Crete than on any of the other Greek islands. Chances are that most people agree with that statement, but creating a Top 10 list that everyone agrees with is a different matter. Which criteria are most important? We’ve chosen to compile a Top 10 list where both the beach itself and the nature surrounding it are heavily weighted factors. At the same time, it’s a bonus if there is something special about the beach in question.
Have a look at our Top 10 list of Crete’s best beaches.
Balos is a fantastic beach for various reasons. The water ensures a Caribbean vibe, and there are experiences to be had in the mountainous surroundings and on the trip to Balos itself, especially if travelling by ferry from Kissamos. The water is like a large lagoon and incredibly child-friendly. Balos often tops the list of the best islands in Greece, and the title is warranted.
Elafonissi is a small island that turns into a peninsula with a beautiful lagoon-like beach during low tide. The beach is known for its fine sand that emits a pink glow thanks to millions of crushed seashells. Paired with the surrounding mountains, Elafonissi offers a wonderful experience in nature.
Vai is much more than just a beach. The roughly 5,000 palm trees behind the beach make up the largest palm forest on the European continent, making Vai feel like the Caribbean. This is where the legendary TV advert for Bounty Bar was filmed in the 1980s—a lovely sand beach far away from the holiday towns.
Preveli is the second palm beach on Crete, although it offers significantly fewer palms than Vai. That doesn’t change the fact that this is a gorgeous beach and that walking along the long gorge between palm trees and mountainsides is an experience in itself. You can even swim in the gorge water, but it’s freezing cold!
Falasarna consists of interlinked beaches, the longest of which stretches 1 km. There are many areas with sun loungers, but it is also possible to find a place of peace and quiet. Falasarna offers beautiful, child-friendly beaches surrounded by mountainous nature. Note that there are likely to be waves when the wind comes in from the west.
Matala is a real tourist attraction. On the right side of the lovely beach, there are cliffs complete with caves that were supposedly used for shelter in the Stone Age. In the 1960s and 1970s, the caves grew in popularity in the hippie community. Matala is also a gorgeous, exciting town to walk through.
Istro Beach (Voulisma)
The small holiday town of Istro is located in a picturesque bay with turquoise waters. The bay is so beautiful, it’s often used on postcards. The best beach in the bay is called Voulisma. It’s not big, but it is a real gem. Don’t miss out on a swim in the bay!
Almiros is located south of the holiday town of Agios Nikolaos. A gorgeous beach with fine sand, shallow water, and only occasional waves. The beach offers a good selection of water sports and beautiful surroundings. The delta of the Almiros river lies at the southern end of the beach.
Plakias is found on the southern coast of Crete, next to a holiday town of the same name. A large, beautiful beach with magnificent surroundings. At the south end of the beach, there is a steep incline towards the summit of the mountain Kako Mouri.
The last spot on the list goes to a unique place by the name of Star Beach. Star Beach offers a range of excellent sandy beaches and a small waterpark with slides and much more. One of the extraordinary things about Star Beach is the opportunity to Bungy jump over the water, and you can participate in all the motorised water sports your heart desires. This is a beautiful place for a different beach and bathing experience.