As the largest island in Greece, it’s not surprising Crete is home to some of the country’s best beaches. From vast, unspoiled swathes of sand, to pearly-pink tinted lagoons, there’s a beach on Crete to suit every style of traveler.
Here are five stunning spots you shouldn’t miss when you visit!
Located a short 10-minute drive from Villa Nepenthe, Kommos Beach is a secluded stretch of sand where you can soak up the sun to nothing but the soothing sound of the sea. With picture-perfect views, stunning sunsets, and sapphire waters for swimming, Kommos is ideal for blissful, beachside relaxation.
Also located on Crete’s spectacular south coast is Triopetra Beach, comprising a trio of bays punctuated by unique rock formations. Surrounded by the island’s soft mountainous landscape, Triopetra is long and wide, meaning it never feels too crowded. Crystal blue waters beckon at the sand’s edge, while two authentic tavernas offer simple seaside fare for lunch. A little off the beaten path, the drive to and from Triopetra is equally stunning!
A matter of moments from Kommos beach, Matala is backed by a charming coastal town and flanked by honey-colored cliffs. Take some sensible shoes so you can explore the nearby caves and limestone formations, before cooling off in the cobalt waters with your snorkeling gear. Quirky restaurants along the promenade provide the perfect place to refuel after your adventures.
Connected to a sand bar and nature reserve, Elafonisi is one of the most popular beaches on Crete, thanks to its sunset-hued sand. While the pink pigment varies according to a range of environmental factors, Elafonisi still brings powdery soft sand, tropical warm waters, and a steady wind ideal for windsurfing. Visit in the off-season to beat the crowds, or try wading through the lagoon to the lesser-trodden island on the other side, where you’ll find less populated pockets of sand to enjoy.
Also a lagoon, Balos Beach is a postcard scene synonymous with the stunning scenery of Crete. Beautiful views beckon travelers from across the island, despite the beach's rugged and remote location. Be sure to pack everything you need for the day, as there is nothing else here but balmy blue waters and silky white sand.