Some of the beaches on Crete are so white and the turquoise water so clear that you would be forgiven for thinking you have mistakenly flown to the Caribbean. A beach hotel in Crete allows you to enjoy luxuriously hot temperatures on picturesque beaches. Whether you are after a scenic stroll, an active day on the beach or lazing in the sun, Crete’s beaches offer it all.
Beach Hotels Crete: Something for everyone
Tourist hotspots: Hip and happening in the thick of things
Located on the far north-west side of Chania, Falassarna is one of Crete’s biggest and most popular beaches boasting impressive waves to make for a fun afternoon in the sun. It’s so big that you can either choose to be right where the action is happening in the bustling areas packed with beach bars and sun loungers, or find a quieter spot for a break away from the maddening crowds. It’s also great for families thanks to shallow pools where children can happily splash about. On the complete opposite side of the island, in the north-east in Lasithi, Vai beach ticks all the right boxes for a tourist hotspot. Just a two-hour drive from Elounda, Via beach boasts Europe’s largest natural palm grove which lines the beach, as well as loads of sun loungers and bars. The beach gets busy fast so it’s imperative to head there early to get a good spot under a straw umbrella on the golden sandy beach close to the sprawling Greek tavern and snack bar. Matala beach in Heraklion will bring out the adventurer or explorer in you – with crystal clear waters ideal for snorkelling and golden sands surrounded by caves, there are plenty of sun loungers, bars and restaurants here, too. The Red Beach in Matala is a tourist attraction thanks to its surrounding red cliffs that make for extraordinarily breath-taking scenery. It is also a nudist beach.
Fun for the whole family & Active vacationers
Elafonissi beach, bursting with wildlife, colourful flowers, child-friendly lagoons and sand dunes waiting to be explored, is perfect for families. From turtles, dolphins and whales to exotic birds, there is plenty of wildlife to look out for on this gorgeous white-sand beach surrounded by turquoise water reminiscent of the Caribbean. Another draw card that will make for a memorable visit is Elafonissi’s pink sands, which have gained their color thanks to the thousands of beautiful shells that can be found here. The best beach, or rather beaches, on the southwest coast in Palaiochóra are undoubtedly Pahiá Ámmos and Halikiá. The two beaches on opposite sides of a small peninsula couldn’t be more different from one another, with Pahiá Ámmos being long and sandy stretching west, and Halikiá being all pebbles stretching to the east. Windsurfers can enjoy the seasonal board-rental facility on hand at Pahiá Ámmos and active vacationers might want to try the four hour hike east along the coastal path to ancient Lissos or Soúgia if they are feeling ambitious. What makes this location so attractive is that the sea is shallow and gently shelving which makes it great for toddlers, the main street is pedestrianized and there is plenty of choice in the way of sightseeing opportunities as well as restaurants, snack and juice bars when you need to grab a bite to eat and replenish your energy.
Hidden Gems: Remote retreats & Peaceful havens away from it all
Frangokastello doubles up as a good beach to visit for families thanks to its shallow crystal waters and fine sand, as well as remote beach that is relatively quiet. Located nearby a small village, with the historical Castle of Frangokastello just behind the beach, it’s also the perfect choice for those wanting to combine a bit of culture with a stay at a beach hotel in Crete. If you are in need of a peaceful haven away from the crowds, Balos is the beach for you. It can only be reached by foot so it doesn’t get more remote than this. Surrounded by the turquoise waters of a breath-taking lagoon and home to spectacular wildlife such as monk seals and falcons, Balos beach in Chania is a must-see for active vacationers and nature-lovers alike. There are limited services on the beach, so pack your own lunch and water, don’t forget sturdy shoes and be prepared to do some trekking. It is well worth it for the spectacular views. Not too far from Sissi, Potamos beach is popular with holidaymakers yet remains quiet in comparison to the other beaches on the island. Some parts of the coastline are rocky, but this sandy beach is great for swimming, and it has everything you need for a fun day out including a beach bar, showers and toilets.
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