CHANIA - BEACHES
Numerous beautiful beaches with soft sand or colored pebbles are found in the prefecture of Chania in western Crete. In fact, many Chania beaches are among the best on the island, such as Balos, Falassarna and Elafonissi. Apart from organized beaches in Chania, there are also plenty of deserted coves and lovely bays to enjoy total privacy. All Chania beaches have crystal waters and look like paradise.
Elafonisi (or Elafonissos) is a small islet connected to the rest of Crete by a shallow reef that can be crossed when the sea is calm. Elafonisi (Island of Deer) is like paradise on earth, and has a wonderful beach with pink coral sand and crystalline waters. This magical place was deserted for a long time, but now it has become a popular sight and can get pretty crowded during high summer season. Only a couple of cantinas can be found on the beach and no accommodations are available, but camping is allowed. This islet lies 50 miles northwest of Chania town and can be reached by boat from Paleohora or by car from the village of Vathi, until a point and then cross the reef.
Balos is among the best beaches in Greece and one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete. It is 37 miles northwest of Chania Town. It is seen as a lagoon from the hills above the beach. Balos has white sand, soft seabed and crystal water. Opposite the beach, there is a rocky island called Gramvoussa and on top of this island, there is a steep Venetian castle with gorgeous view to the region and the sea. Balos is reached trough a track road from Kaliviani, a village close to Kissamos. This track road is about 6 miles and can be crossed by a 4-wheel car. Otherwise, visitors can go by excursion boat from Kissamos.
Falassarna is one of the best beaches of Crete located in a beautiful fertile plane near the village of Platanos and 36 miles west of Chania town. It consists of pure and soft golden sand and incredible clean and turquoise waters. A few umbrellas and sun beds can be found along the beach. Falassarna is truly an idyllic and quiet place and has been declared as one of the cleanest beaches in Greece. During windy days it is better to avoid swimming. From the beach the view is astonishing and the sunsets are really magical. A few accommodations and taverns can be found in the surrounding area.
The cosmopolitan beach of Platanias is one of the most developed tourist resorts in Crete. Nestled in the northern coast of Crete, with plenty of activities to choose from and well catered by beachfront bars and cafe-restaurants. It is a clean, blue-flagged beach with a magnificent view to Theodorou islet that lies near the beach. You also have the option of jet skiing, banana boats and snorkeling. Strolling along the sand, you can also find rock enclaves with the shade of trees as well as pebble stretches. Platanias village also offers loads of activity with a number of shops and party resorts. The nightlife here is lively with several bars as well as privately organized parties. The beach is very popular during July and August but you will find some quiets spots as well. To reach Platanias, take a bus or car on a 7 mile trip on the national road from Chania to Kastelli. Also check the status of the meltemia summer winds that can hit the coast.
Agia Marina is one of the most important tourist resorts in Chania. It is a long and sandy beach with plenty of facilities including nice beach bars, small taverns and water-sports. There are also organized camping sites all along the coastline to the west, until Kissamos Town. Agia Marina counts on many bars that stay open all night. There are also other bars in the area, the closest ones being in Chania Town or Platanias. It is located 2 miles to the west of Chania and there are many regular buses that connect the two areas. The beach is located 6 miles west of Chania Town.
The beach of Agioi Apostoloi is located 2 miles west of Chania Town. It is popular among both locals and tourists. Although it tends to get crowded in high seasons, especially during weekends, it is still a bit quieter than other resorts in Chania. Agioi Apostoloi beach is totally sandy and it is not affected by the summer winds. In addition, its shallow waters make it advisable for children. The beach is well-organized. There are sun beds, umbrellas and water sports available. It also offers many taverns with traditional Cretan delicacies and some beach bars. The beach of Agioi Apostoloi can be reached by the regular bus service as well as by taxis and cars.