Crete's Beautiful Beaches

Crete has been blessed with many off-the-chart splendours, including bewitching beaches lapped by clear waters shimmering in myriad shades of turquoise. From bar-backed busy strips to romantic palm-fringed strands and footprint-free crescents where solitude reigns, there’s a beach with your name on it.

A Touch of the Tropics

Powdery pink-white sand lapped by dazzling azure waters is the ammo of Elafonisi, while Vaï has you spreading your towel against a huge grove of swaying palm trees. Just as exotic are the beaches in the shallow turquoise waters of the Balos lagoon. More palm trees await at famous Preveli Beach.

Family Fun

Even away from the big resorts, Crete has plenty of family-friendly beaches. Places to steer towards include Varkotopo Beach and the other coves at Bali, Voulisma Beach near Agios Nikolaos, palm-fringed Vaï and Preveli, the expansive beaches in Plakias, and ethereal Elafonisi.

Water Action

Jump headlong into the high, long waves rolling in from the open sea on Falasarna Beach, a tiara of coves separated by rocky spits in the northeast, or head across the island to Crete's windsurf capital at pebbly Kouremenos Beach near Palekastro. Fans of jet skiing, banana boat rides and the like get their fill at the busy north coast beaches flanking Iraklio.

Escapist Splendour

For the ultimate trifecta of tranquility, scenic splendour and rustic authenticity, point the compass to Agios Pavlos and Triopetra or to remote mountain-backed Xerokambos, all on the south coast.