Tucked into the far southeastern corner of Crete, Xerokambos is an indie traveller's dream. There's little to do here but relax on the beach, feast in the tavernas, explore local caves and gorges, and scan the skies for the falcons that breed on the offshore Kavalli Islands.
The village itself has no real centre, as homes, apartments and a clutch of mini-markets and restaurants lie scattered over a sprawling area. The big attraction is the beaches, 14 in all, strung like pearls across 4.5km. Take your pick from sandy ribbons to snug coves, some backed by cliffs, sand dunes or wetlands. Outside July and August, many of them are often footprint free.
Next to the 'central beach', such as it is, are a couple of tavernas with sunloungers (free if you consume something), but that's pretty much it for seaside infrastructure.
Getting to Xerokambos is half the fun. Coming from Zakros, the road corkscrews for about 9km through a muscular mountainscape occasionally scarred by rugged gorges until it opens up to the showstopping panorama of the big, blue Libyan Sea. Another road serpentines down from Ziros in about 18km, delivering brake-worthy views after every hairpin turn.