The largest and most populous of Greek islands, Crete is the top holiday destination to enjoy! With marvelous sights, excellent food, and an energetic lifestyle, it welcomes millions of tourists every year and, somehow, never misses. 

With a stunning Mediterranean backdrop and distinctive Greek culture, Crete also ranks high as having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So, let’s see which of the most scenic ones you can visit! 

1. Elafonissi Beach 

Located just a couple of hours away from the famous touristy town of Chania, Elafonissi Beach is the first gem you should see on your Greece trip

With the most gorgeous, clear turquoise water and soft sand, the beach is certainly one of the most enjoyable places to relax and take in that Mediterranean sun. It is also highly famous for being the most beautiful pink-sand beach, and that is because the shore is lined with pink crushed seashells that give even more of an aesthetic look to it! 

The well-developed infrastructure and shallow waters make Elafonissi the perfect destination for friends and family. Plenty of activities and entertainment work very well for adults, and the lack of depth near the shore allows children to swim safely, as well! 

2. Balos Beach

Approximately 17 km from Kissamos, Balos Beach is described as one of the best beaches in the world! 

While Elafonissi has a clear-cut magical look and a cute aesthetic, Balos is more rural and can be called a wild beach. The water is still baby-blue and transparent, and the shore is also covered in pink seashells, but the whole background landscape gives the beach a lot more of an exotic look! 

Also, if you look a bit further into the rocky island of Gramvoussa, you will see even more of the wild nature and even a steep Venetian castle that allows you the best views of the surroundings. If you want to skip on making the trip to Gramvoussa, however, make sure to at least enjoy the postcard vibes it gives! 

3. Falasarna

Just as good, if not a bit better, the beach of Falasarna is Greece’s pride and joy, with picture-perfect surroundings, warm waters, and complete serenity! 

Falasarna is mainly preferred by tourists who seek a bit more quiet on their trips, and while Elafonissi and Balos are both excellent choices in general, they are extremely loved and favorited by people – therefore, they are usually quite full.

Falasarna, on the other hand, is a lot more remote and is never overcrowded, so you can enjoy the calmness if you seek it! Also, the roads leading right to the beach make for the perfect accessibility, so you will easily reach it at any time. 

The aquamarine waters and the well-preserved shore is what attract people in the first place, so we suggest you get that onto your itinerary – no chance you will be disappointed! 

sea waves crashing on shore during sunset

4. Voulisma Beach

If the northern part of Crete has a winner, the prize goes straight to Voulisma Beach!

The spectacular land is one of the most beautiful places in Crete and certainly the most beautiful part of Mirabello Bay. The blond sand and calm water will make you feel at ease and, most importantly, will give you an insight into the marine part of Greece. 

Voulisma is the perfect choice for you if you want your swimming and sunbathing time to be well-planned out and you do not wish to take home half the beach in your items. The surroundings are very well organized and fully equipped, so you will have no trouble finding a comfortable chair or an umbrella. Also, you can take showers and freshen up at the bars! 

5. Palm Beach

Well, the name gives it away, right? So let’s see what fun you can have at the famous Palm Beach in Eastern Crete! 

Do you know those perfect-looking holiday pictures on the internet, with palm trees, splendid white beaches, and tropical waters in the background? Well, we welcome you to the holiday heaven that is Palm Beach! Otherwise known as Vai Beach, it attracts tourists with its steamy landscapes of what can only be described as the perfect summer holiday. 

While it has that freshly-cut vibe around it, Vai Beach is actually relatively unspoiled and undeveloped. Apart from sunbeds and umbrellas, there is not much that is altered by humans – all the beauty is natural and one hundred percent real! 

6. Seitan Limania

While small and not overly popular, Seitan Limania still takes the winning spots among the most amazing beaches in Crete! 

Set in a canyon that leads straight to the ocean, Seitan Limania is perfectly clean, just the right amount of wild, and so cozy and small that it will make you relax instantly! The water here is perfectly safe for children and inexperienced swimmers, as there are no strong waves or depth, but make sure you check it before diving right in. While it is unlikely to be a liability in the scorching Mediterranean sun, some people complain about it being a bit too cold to swim. 

Some say it is because of the canyon blocking direct sunlight, and some say it is because of the close proximity to the ocean, but the fact remains – Seitan Limania is no hot bath! On the other hand, if you are on the hunt for the most scenic beaches and have no problem staying on shore, make a trip immediately! 

7. Souda Beach

After visiting enough of cozy, soft-sanded beaches, your trip to Souda will prove to be a whole other experience, yet the ending result of delight is the same! 

Located just 2,5 km west of Plakias, Souda Beach is the perfect raw, beautiful, and extremely charming land to enjoy some remote free time! Sure, you might find it a bit discouraging at first, knowing that the shore is a mixture of gravel and sand, lacking the softness under your feet, but the sights around it make it just as enjoyable! 

The water is calm, and the whole area is protected from strong winds, so you can sunbathe and swim all day! For your convenience, the beach also has a line of sunbeds and umbrellas, so you will not have to lie on uneven ground. However, that can be quite the massage if you are up for it! 

Generally, Souda Beach is very low-key and quiet, so if you wish to rest from the tourists that are usually circling Crete, this beach is definitely for you! 

seashore during golden hour

8. Matala

Set on the South Coast of Crete, Matala is the perfect place for you to take photos, enjoy scenic surroundings, and relax after a long day of touring! 

The whole coast is covered in soft sand and small pebbles, with plenty of choices of beach beds and umbrellas, if needed! However, the thing that makes Matala so unique scenery-wise and even a bit historical is the caves on one side of the shore. Right on the edge of the Libyan Sea, the caves complete the look of a picturesque beach, and you can even visit them for a small fee! 

Why would you want to visit some caves, you ask? Well, they were once inhabited by the hippies in the 1960s, as crazy as it sounds! Yes, many of the peace-makers found refuge here in Crete and living right by the sea, and the beach gave them the serenity and joy they were looking for. Even the songwriter Joni Mitchell was once a resident! 

9. Plakias Beach

If long hours of scorching sun and splashes of water to cool off is your thing, pack your bags and head straight to Plakias Beach – one of the loveliest and warmest beaches in Crete! 

The land faces south, towards Africa, so it gives you an endless time of unrelenting sun, which is hard to find if you choose the northern part of Crete. Just make sure to put on enough sun lotion! 

One side of Plakias Beach is surrounded by cliff walls, giving the whole area a unique, exotic look, perfect for taking pictures and bringing home some beautiful images. With clear, calm waters, offshore wind, white sand, and a well-organized seating area, Plakias is highly favored by tourists and locals. Also, it is a perfect choice if you want to see that famous Greek lifestyle – there are plenty of fun bars and restaurants nearby! 

10. Preveli

Last but not least, Preveli is only a boat trip away from Plakias and is perfect for you if you like exotic surroundings, wildness, and stonework composed in nature! 

Stone walkway leading you right to the beach allows you insight into landscapes that are nothing short of spectacular. Preveli is set between two steep hills and is adorned by a freshwater stream right in the middle, making it the perfect picturesque destination. Plenty of palm trees give it a very tropical look, and the general greenery around is very calming.

Keep in mind that the beach is made of pebbles, so you might want to get the proper footwear to avoid any discomfort! 

Pack a camera, a swimsuit, and a good book! Your perfect Greek adventure starts right now, and there are no better places to ensure relaxation than Crete’s wondrous beaches. Good times and good luck! 

Published by HOLR Magazine