CATEGORY:Beaches | Chania | Crete | Travel

3 World famous & 2 unspoiled exotic beaches in Chania

March 20, 2023

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Are you a sea-sun-sand lover? Rimmed by 1,046 km of pristine coastline, Crete has a beach for all tastes. From exotic sandy strips to secluded rugged bays, and from cosmopolitan waterside resorts to sports buffs’ playgrounds, family-friendly havens and coves that beg for exploration. Choices are unending – and you can really take your pick as the mood strikes.


On the island’s northern side, Chania not only boasts a postcard-pretty old town and manifold historic, cultural and gastronomic attractions; but also Crete’s heavy-duty artillery when it comes to the seaside.


Planning a trip to the Adeste Chania Luxury Villas, any time soon? Here is all you should need to know about the world-famous beaches of Chania, plus two off-the-beaten-track gems for those willing to take the road less travelled.


3 World-famous beaches in Chania

Balos Beach

One of the most iconic beaches in Chania, Balos, at the tip of Crete’s westernmost peninsula, comes with majestic rock formations, white sands and incredibly clear, light blue waters that’ll transport you to the Caribbean in under an hour from the bustling town of Chania. Getting there in a private vehicle, however, can be tricky. You’ll need to drive on a bumpy, dirt road; park your car on top and then brave a steep descent down to sea level. That’s why it is a good idea to approach Balos with a cruise boat.


Boats depart from Kissamos port, about 40 km west of Chania. The first stop is at the tiny uninhabited island of Gramvousa, which has a long and interesting history. There is a Venetian castle with sweeping views which makes for a great hike, and a nearby shipwreck which you can explore. Next on the itinerary is Balos Lagoon where you’ll swim, snorkel and play. As it is systematically voted among the most beautiful beaches in the world, Balos gets considerably crowded in July and August – if you’d rather be without the swarm of tourists, make sure to time your visit for May or October.


Elafonisi Beach

With candy-floss sands, striking cedar trees and technicolour turquoise waters, Elafonisi, in Crete’s southwest corner, is no wonder one of the most visited spots in the whole region of Chania. The Instagramable scenery, therefore, gets somewhat tainted by the crowds during the busy season. Opt to go there in early May or better even, mid-October, as the weather still holds. Driving there from Chania through the gorge of Topolia is an experience in its own right. The route is incredibly scenic with plenty of opportunities for unique captures of the local flora and fauna – these high mountains are the habitat of Cretan eagles and vultures – and the sleepy small villages around.
Hiking enthusiasts should note that Topolia Gorge runs about 3 km long and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to hike, while there’s water until Spring.


Falassarna Beach

Another crowd-pleaser, Falassarna sits on the Western coast of Crete. Along with Balos and Elafonisi, it is systematically featured in the “best beaches of the world” lists on account of its pale-pinkish sands and blue-green waters with shades ranging from deep dark navy to the most stunning turquoise. With nothing coming between the beach and the horizon, Falassarna also offers perhaps the island’s most spectacular sunset setting. Crowds are of course drawn here, but you can find some privacy even in the busy season. Falassarna essentially consists of five consecutive beaches. The most popular is Pachia Ammos: with a choice of beach bars and water sports facilities, it is a paradise for windsurfers and party animals. You can still, though, find some spots to lay your towel and umbrella. Head towards the north if you’re yearning for a bit of seclusion, and if you like small coves, go south to discover a fantastic sea bed.


2 unspoiled exotic beaches in Chania

Kedrodasos Beach

Some 2 km away from the uber-popular Elafonisi, Kedrodasos (a Natura 2000 protected area like the aforementioned) is a stunning forest of juniper trees that stretches along the coast. With dunes, soft sands mixed with pink shells and crystalline turquoise waters, this unorganised, pristine beach is a paradise for naturists and campers. The ancient trees not only provide much sought-after shade but also create a scenery that is hauntingly beautiful. Treat the delicate habitat with care and respect – remember that all species of cedars grow exceptionally slow, so, every little piece of wood that is snipped will take many decades to regrow. As there are no facilities nearby, also make sure to bring your own water and food provisions.

Aspri Limni beach

A mere 5-minute drive from the famous, albeit often overcrowded Elafonisi, Aspri Limni (i.e. White Lake) is one of Crete’s best-kept secrets. Surrounded by sharp rocks, it looks like a small natural pool with whitish sands and turquoise waters. Though largely neglected by the tourist industry, Aspri Limni is gorgeous and a great fit for families, couples and solo travellers alike. To get there, turn right in Chrysoskalitissa village and follow the signs to the Phoenix theofrasti habitat. Aspri Limni is a Natura 2000 protected area as the westernmost home of Crete’s endangered palm species – also found in Vai, Preveli, Agios Nikitas, Souda and South Turkey. Make sure to bring some sort of shade with you, as there are no facilities except three thatched umbrellas, which perfectly complement the tropical scenery.


Did you like this post? Stay tuned to our blog for more insights, tips and advice on what to see, shop, pack and do in Chania and the island of Crete!

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