The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete could almost be its own little nation with its unique history and lush landscape. Ringed by magnificent beaches and turquoise water, this hub of Minoan wonders and Greek tradition is one of the best destinations for a beach hotel in the Mediterranean. The fishing village-turned-coastal getaway of Elounda is perfect if you’re looking for a quiet beach hotel with access to ancient sites, outdoor activities and of course, a rich coastline with a beautiful harbor to explore, swim or simply relax upon.
Beach hotels in Elounda: Our Pick of the Best Locations for a Beach Hotel in Crete
Elounda: A Blissful Retreat on Mirabello Bay
Located in the protected Mirabello Bay, Elounda is a tranquil escape for families or couples while on vacation in Crete. Not only do beach hotels in Elounda come with infinity pools, ocean views and exceptional service, but there is also plenty to see when you want to get out and about. When it comes to beaches, Elounda boasts several small, verdant spots to cool off in the Mediterranean sun. The main beach can be found right next to the harbor, and is equipped with a coastguard, cafes and sun loungers. For a more secluded beach, head towards the Kolokitha peninsula. The small and often secluded beach found beneath the Agios Loukas church is perfect for travelers who want to enjoy a picnic and swim without the crowds that can be found at other popular resorts on Crete. Elounda’s harbor (a.k.a. the Gulf of Korfos) is your gateway to some of Crete’s most important ancient sites. Be enchanted by the Sunken City of Olous, just off the Spinalonga peninsular. At the height of its power, Olous was an important Cretan trading hub, but today only remnants of the ancient civilization remain beneath the waves. It’s best explored with a snorkel. Take an excursion from your beach hotel in Elounda across the bay to Spinalonga Island and its UNESCO World Heritage Fortress. The 16th century fortification built by the Venetians and former leper colony today stands as one of the most important historical bastions in the Mediterranean. With a beach hotel in Elounda, you might be able to see the fortress from your hotel room.
Crete: Explore Greece’s Largest Island
There’s plenty to see and do in Crete, and daytrips from beach hotels in Elounda are essential to discover the diversity of the island. If you arrive on the island through the capital Heraklion, then it’s worth stopping by Knossos – the ancient site of the famous Theseus and the Minotaur myth. Here, the ruins of Europe’s oldest city have been restored to showcase 7000-year-old frescoes and columns. Located on Crete’s northern coast, Chania is another popular destination for a beach hotel. A stunning 14th century Venetian harbor has Chania famous throughout Europe, and its beaches are equally exceptional – especially the hypnotizing Balos Lagoon. To the south, Crete is blessed with exceptional beaches characterized by golden sand, rugged cliffs and wilder waters. Tour the many taverna’s that can be found along Crete’s coast for some of the country’s best seafood dishes alongside Greek favorites like kebab and moussaka. Wash it all down with a shot of Rakia if you’re feeling tough enough! Arguably the most popular and admired beach in Crete can be found on the island’s southwestern tip. Translucent water laps gently against the pink sand of Elafonisi beach, which should not be missed with a beach hotel in Elounda.
Greek Islands: Beyond Crete
The Greek Islands never cease to amaze travelers – whether it’s your first or your hundredth visit. With over 226 inhabited islands to choose from, you’d need a couple of lifetimes to explore each of them to their fullest. From your beach hotel in Elounda, the stunning island of Santorini is only a few hours away across the Sea of Crete. Famous for its white-washed Cycladic architecture, blue roofs and cliff side towns, beach hotels in Santorini come with infinity pools and some of the most stunning sunsets in the Greek Islands. Just north of Santorini is Naxos, a diverse island home to the Apollo Temple, the tranquil Alyko beach and 13th century hilltop castle. If you’re looking to party, hop on a ferry from Naxos to the island of Mykonos. In summer the island buzzes with life, and the bars and clubs around Paradise Beach hum all night long. However, quieter family beaches can be found at Platis Gialos and Ornos if you’re looking for a little tranquility and relaxation. Beach hotels begin in Elounda, with further beach hotels in the Greek Islands only a ferry-ride away.