The names of Balos and Gramvousa resonate with everyone when hearing the words “beaches of Chania”. However, these are only two of the many wonderful sites on the west side of Crete one shouldn’t miss.
The Chania coast boasts a special charm and some of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterreanean: from the rich northern coast to the western wild beaches and the southern cliffs ovelooking the sea, the array of vibrant locations, each with their own distinct flavour, delights and entices all ages, leaving all visitors awstruck.
Along the lenghthy coastline, it is possible to find equipped coves, intimate bays, pristine refuges, historic realms; a little “VIP”, a little wild or relatively unknown and untouched by tourism, the seashore of Chania blends glamour with wilderness in a unique way.
Here below you will find a selection of some of the most beautiful beaches located in Chania.
Elafonisi – the pink beauty of Chania
This is a beach second to none.
Located on the southwestern side of Crete, about 75km from Chania, it is a veritable magnet for thrill seekers.
A landscape of rare beauty with fine, clear, pink coral sand that plunges in the turquoise sea, Elafonisi is known for its shallow water which makes it possible to wade in the lagoon between the shore and the small islet after which the beach was named.
The area is a Natura 2000 reserve, home to various rare species of plants and flowers like sea daffodils and white lillies, as well as “caretta caretta” loggerehead sea turtles.
Windsurfers and kitesurfers consider Elafonisi a sanctuary because of the strong winds often prevailing in the area and their pairing with the calm lagoon.
Ideal for kids and families, Elafonisi enchants its guests with its scenic charm and beauty, a true pearl you should not miss.
Falassarna – the Cretan Caribbean
Also listed as a Natura 2000 beach, in a picturesque crescent-shaped bay in the west of Chania, Falassarna is embraced between the granite rocks and the verdant mediterrenean bush.
Either you choose to stay in the small beach of Petalida or the bigger one, Pachia Ammos, the crystalline sea in myriad blues, the finest soft sand and the rocky crags framing the sea are recommended for those who prefer nature and vast spaces combined with the buzz factor and the overall steamy appeal.
The sea here is adored by water sport fans. Snorkeling among fish and underwater plants, a sign of the pristine water and swimming water, you will feast your eyes with stimuli one treasures for life. Surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers seeking adrenaline fuelled adventures can enjoy the sea breeze while tackling the waves off-shore and gliding along the bay.
The beach is equipped with umbrellas, sunbeds, and resraurants that serve delicious Cretan snacks, coffee and water which makes it idyllic for kids and families.
In a short walking distance you could also pay visits to witness the beautiful ruins of the Hellenistic harbour located to the north.
Kedrodasos – a paradise of tranquility
When it comes to choosing an opulent escape, there is no other place to leave it all behind than the beach of Kedrodasos. Though relatively unknown to tourists, it is incredibly popular to locals who claim it’s one of the best beaches Chania has to offer.
The beach is right under the scattered cedars and the Mediterranean shrub grove boasting soft sandy dunes. The trees will bless you with shade during the hot hours of the day, while their intense aroma mixed with the sea creates fragrances that you will remember for life.
The beach has clear coarse sand, microscopic seashells and stones and the water is transparent and clear with some interesting aquatic plants.
The E4 hiking path crosses along the beach, so it is not unusual to see boot traces on the sand. Many hikers choose to have a brief stop here to rest and refresh or even camp, but normally the place is not as crowded as Elafonisi or Falassarna.
If you are looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the stillness of sunbathing in a secluded tropical-like beach, then the junipers of Kedrodasos is the right place for you.
Glyka Nera – a place to detox
We often make our most treasured moments and memories when we venture beyond a destination’s “greatest hits”. Facing the Libyan Sea, Glyka Nera (meaning ‘sweet waters’ in Greek) is certainly one of the most fascinating beaches in Chania.
Fine sand framing a green blue sea, towering cliffs, and shimmering clear waters consitute an unparalleled scenery. What makes it unique, though, is the cold fresh water that seeps between the pebbles and flows into the sea lowering thus the temperature of the sea water.
The few tamarisk trees on the beach generously offer their shade to the visitors and a small over-the-water canteen can provide them with food and refreshing cold drinks.
Tucked away from crowds, in this remote corner of Chania you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and detox yourself from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
Aspri Limni – a hidden treasure
Another stunning beach relatively unknown to tourists, Aspri Limni (meaning ‘white lake’ in Greek) is the perfect place to enjoy a secluded sunbathe.
Overshadowed by the close beach of Elafonisi, Aspri Limni is a small beach surrounded by rocks and fine white sand, resembling to a beach haven. Therefore, even when it is windy, the water in this nestled lagoon remains calm and peaceful.
Scattered Cretan palm trees grow close to the beach, reason why the area is yet another spot included in the Natura 2000 program.
Untouched by the tourist industry, therefore no amenities are available. The closest sign of civilization is the nearby Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa which is definitely worth a visit.
Where two seas, the Cretan and the Libyan, lap, this sublime shore offers a taste of undiscovered gem.
Seitan Limania – “diabolically” beautiful
“Limania” in Greek, means “harbours”; “seitan”, “diabolic, devilish”. The name of this astonishing beach “Seitan Limania”, “diabolic harbours” is no accident, since this narrow slip of beach is nestled between the stip towering cliffs of a canyon that reaches out down to the turquoise waters of the sea. Also, back in the day, the strong currents and streams of the open sea made the spot particularly dangerous for boats.
For many years the beach remained hidden from both locals and tourists. Recently, however, it has become a ,major attraction site for its wild, untamed beauty. For this reason, at weekends and during the high season it can get really crowded and busy despite the lack of (even basic) amenities like toilets or trash cans.
Unlike other beaches of the Chania area, the water here is cold and invigorating. It also deepens abruptly which perfect for diving, cliff jumping, and swimming.
Notably, the tinkling sound coming from bells around the necks of goats will echo in your ears during your stay. They usually wander around the canyon cliffs but often enough you will see them also on the beach leaving their footprints on the sand.
Seitan Limania is an unforgettable scenery for beach lovers, so take time to discover this breathtaking seaside and become inspired by its wild beauty.
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