This is our Crete Resorts Guide. We’re often asked ‘where are the best beach resorts in Crete?’, so we’ve compiled our A - Z of Crete beach resorts. Here we hope to help you discover the beach resorts of Crete in our easy to follow guide of Crete resorts.
The most popular beach resorts of Crete are scattered all over the wonderful Greek Island of Crete.
From the far west tip of Crete at Kissamos to the far east beautiful town of Sitia and the lovely south coast villages of Ierapetra, Makrigialos, Agia Galini, Matala, Plakias, Loutro, Sougia and Paleochora you’ll find some of the best beach resorts of Crete.
The Chania north coast Crete beach resorts of Maleme, Platanias and Agia Marina plus the gorgeous Apokronos fishing village Crete resorts of Kalyves and Almyrida are all very popular.
At central Crete on the north coast you'll find the always popular Crete beach resorts of Georgioupolis, Rethymnon, Platanes, Adelianos Kampos and Bali and. Further along to the east you'll find the Crete resorts of Anissaras, Hersonissos, Stalis, Sissi and Malia and in the far east some of the best beach resorts in Crete can be found at Elounda, Agios Nikolaos and quaint Istron Kalo Horio.
This is our West Crete Resorts Guide.
The following Crete beach resorts can be easily accessed by flying to Chania airport or by ferry to Souda Bay port.
Agia Marina is one of the most visited beach resorts in Crete. Also spelt as Aghia Marina it's one of the best Crete beach resorts. It lies on the north coast of west Crete and is just west of Chania. The long sandy beach is big enough to accommodate the crowds who adore this resort for the accommodation, facilities, and food and drink at the plentiful sea front tavernas and bars for great Crete nightlife.
Almyrida (alternative spellings Almirida, Almeirida) is one of the most sought after Crete beach resorts. Almyrida is a lovely fishing village and beach resort to the east of Souda Bay on the Greek Island of Crete. Like neighbouring Kalyves, Almrida is located in the very pretty Apokoronas area of Crete around 25 km west of the town of Chania. Almirida beach resort has a variety of friendly Kafenions, traditional Greek Tavernas, café and cocktail bars and shops, dotted throughout the fishing village.
Chania (alternative spellings Hania, Xania), with its backdrop of the wonderful White Mountains (Lefka Ori), is a stunning town where modern, Venetian and Turkish traditional architecture are blended together making it a fabulous place to visit. Although it is a town rather than a beach resort, Chania still has beaches to enjoy and has great nightlife.
Gerani is a one of the more relaxed and laid back beach resorts in Crete on the north coast. Gerani is found in the region of Chania between the busier Crete beach resorts of Platanias and Maleme (not to be confused with the Gerani in Rethymnon prefecture.) the long sandy beach at Gerani is the main attraction and even in the height of the summer it never feels overcrowded. There is a wide ranging choice in accommodation at gertani from budgets rooms and self catering apartment’s right through to all inclusive luxury five star hotels.
Kalyves (alternative spelling Kalives) is one of the best beach resorts in Crete. Big enough to have a choice of hotels and accommodation but small enough to retain the true Greek island quaintness. Kalyves is a charming fishing village with plenty of extremely good Greek Tavernas, some on the beach and waterfront, others around the pretty village square close to the imposing and impressive village church.
Kissamos (alternative spelling Kisamos) is also known as Kastelli Kissamou but is often referred to as Kastelli lies on the north coast of Crete at the far west of the region of Chania. Kissamos or Kastelli – which ever you prefer has a long sandy and pebbly beach along the Kissamos Gulf. Although there are some pebbles on the beach it is sandy under the shallow water. It remains shallow for up to 20 metres from the beach, becoming gradually deeper and is therefore safe for children. Because of its length you’re sure to find a secluded spot. Kissamos is largely unspoilt and you get a genuine feeling for Crete and its people here.
Maleme is one of the more relaxed and laid back Crete beach resorts of the north coast. Travelling west from Chania, Maleme extends from the busier and livelier resorts of Agia Marina and Platanias. Maleme has long stretches of unspoilt beaches with just the right amount of hotels, bars and restaurants to give visitors a choice of where to stay, eat and drink.
Platanias (alternative spelling Plattanias) in Chania is one of the most popular beach resorts of Crete. Platanias is crammed packed with a huge choice of luxury hotels, cheaper accommodation, shops, restaurants, bars, discos, clubs and beachfront cafes on the Greek island of Crete. (NB. Some misspell and mistake the sound alike Platanes in Rethymnon as Platanias.)
This is our Central Crete Resorts Guide.
The following Crete beach resorts can be easily accessed by either flying to Heraklion airport or by ferry to Heraklion port or flying to Chania airport or by ferry to Souda Bay port.
Adelianos Kampos is one of the most popular beach resorts in Crete in the Rethymnon area. Adelianos Kampos is found east of Rethymno town and is adjacent to the equally popular beach resort of Platanes. Adelianos Kampos is sometimes referred to as Adele. Adele is in fact an inland village just above the beach area known as Adelianos Kampos. Adelianos Kampos has plenty of choice in terms of bars, restaurants and budget hotels. It also has a few luxury hotels with all inclusive options.
Agia Pelagia is one of the Crete resorts that lies on the north coast in the Heraklion region of Crete. Also spelt as Aghia Pelagia it's one of the nicest Crete beach resorts and a lovely place to visit. Agia Pelagia is just 20km west from Heraklion airport. It is quieter than some of its neighbouring north coast resorts but Agia Pelagia still offers visitors a wide choice in accommodation, places to eat and drink and brilliant beach experiences.
There are two Crete resorts named Amoudara which to add to the confusion are sometimes spelt as Ammoudara. No matter how you spell either of these Crete beach resorts - Amoudara or Ammoudara they are both smaller and more relaxed beach resorts in Crete. The Amoudara in Heraklion just 5km from Heraklion airport. The Ammoudara found in the Lassithi region of Crete is close to Aghios Nikolaos.
Analipsi is just 5 minutes from Hersonissos in the Heraklion region. It is one of the smaller Crete beach resorts and is close to Kato Gouves and Anissaras. If you are looking for a quit and relaxed holiday then Analipsi could be the one for you. It is very close to the fabulous Aquaplus Water Park and also Cretaquarium. Two of the best Crete attractions.
Anissaras is one of the most popular Crete beach resorts that have many all inclusive luxury hotels. It has a long sandy beach with a number of 5 star luxury dotted along the coast. The beach itself, which joins Lyttos beach has soft golden sand but some pebbles. There are some water sports available to enjoy on the beach and a number of bars and some beach front restaurants.
Bali is one of the smaller Crete beach resorts. You’ll find it on the north coast about half way between Heraklion and Rethymnon. It is a laid back low key beach resort with just enough hotels, apartments, tavernas and bars to have a good choice. There are four small cove beaches at Bali, again giving the visitor to Bali a good choice.
Fodele is one of the quieter Crete beach resorts and is found on the north coast not far from Heraklion airport. Fodele has a traditional charm and offers visitors a quiet, relaxed holiday with just a few hotels, apartments, bars and tavernas. Fodele has a small waterpark within the big all inclusive Fodele beach hotel and resort. There are two beaches at Fodele. The main beach has everything you could want in terms of facilities, whereas the other beach is more secluded and natural.
Georgioupolis is a firm favourite with families, older people and romantic couples looking for one of the best beach resorts in Crete. You cannot fail to fall in love with gorgeous Georgiopolis with its golden sands, varied accommodation from budget apartments to luxury hotels and beach front restaurants. The popular Corrisia Park with its giant pool, very good food and friendly staff is one of most favourite places in the whole of Crete. Close to Kournos Lake and just a Happy Tourist Train ride away Georgioupolis is an excellent choice for a great beach holiday in Crete.
Gournes is one of the smaller beach resorts on Crete and is found on the north coast between Kokkini Hani and Gouves close to Hersonissos. There are some small sandy beaches at Gournes, which never feel overcrowded. Gournes is also home to one of the best Crete tourist attractions – Crete Aquarium – which is absolutely fantastic for young and old alike.
Gouves or more correctly Kato Gouves is one of the most popular beach resorts of Crete. You’ll find this popular beach resort on the north coast of Crete about 20km east of Heraklion airport. Kato Gouves is the lower beach area of Gouves and has many luxury hotels and smaller budget hotels and apartments to rent. The beach front is very long and many beachside tavernas line the golden sandy beach. Many consider Kato Gouves to be the perfect location for a beach holiday on Crete because of the superb beach and excellent facilities. If you are looking for a lively beach resort in Crete with plenty of vibrant nightlife and great choices in where to eat then Kato Gouves is the place for you.
Kokkini Hani is one of the most popular Crete resorts on the north coast. And, it’s no wonder. Kokkini Hani has fabulous sandy beaches, wonderful beach side tavernas and restaurants and plenty of choice in accommodation including 4 and 5 star luxury hotels some of which that are all inclusive. Kokkini Hani is the perfect choice for families, the young at heart and those that love a vibrant nightlife.
Panormos is just about as near as perfect as you can get when looking for one of the best Crete resorts. You’ll find it in the Rethymon region on the north coast of Crete. It has two lovely golden sand beaches, a quaint fishing harbour and some of the best traditional Greek tavernas on the island. It also has a few cocktail bars to enjoy the Crete nightlife.
Platanes is on the north coast of the Rethymon region of Crete. It merges into the equally popular beach resort of Adelianos Kampos. The Platanes nightlife offers a wide range of experiences from traditional Greek Sirtaka shows, relaxed cocktail bars to dance bars and clubs. Although the beach at Platanes is long with golden sands it does have small pebbles too. Many swimmers choose to wear the beach shoes you can find in the tourist shops to combat this. (NB. Some misspell and mistake the sound alike Platanias in Chania as Platanes.)
The town of Rethymnon (alternative spellings Rethymno or Rethimno) lies on the north coast in central Crete and is one of the most visited Crete resorts. Some of the best beaches in Crete are found in and around the town of Rethymno. There’s plenty to do and see in Rethymnon with no shortage of luxury hotels, traditional tavernas, up-market restaurants and chic cocktail bars to experience the best in Crete nightlife.
This is our East Crete Resorts Guide.
The following Crete beach resorts can be easily accessed by flying to Heraklion airport or by ferry to Heraklion port.
Agios Nikolaos (alternative spellings Aghios Nikolaos, Ayios Nikolaos) is the capital town of the prefecture of Lassithi on the Greek Island of Crete. The pretty town lies east of the island's capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. Although it is a town rather than a beach resort, Agios Nikolaos still has some of the best beaches to enjoy.
There are two Crete resorts named Ammoudara which to add to the confusion are sometimes spelt as Amoudara. No matter how you spell either of these Crete beach resorts - Amoudara or Ammoudara they are both smaller and more relaxed beach resorts in Crete. The Amoudara in Heraklion just 5km from Heraklion airport. The Ammoudara found in the Lassithi region of Crete is close to Aghios Nikolaos.
Elounda (alternative spellings Elounta) is one of the most special beach resorts in Crete. Elounda is close to the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos in the Lassithi prefecture. Several attractive beaches are in and around the area and there are many top class 5 star luxury hotels close to Elounda. We’re pleased to include Elounda in our Crete Resorts Guide.
Hersonissos (alternative spellings Hersonisos. Chersonissos or Chersonisos) is one of the most popular and visited Crete resorts. Hersonissos is 27 kilometres east of Heraklion airport, on the north coast of Crete and with neighbours of Stalis and Malia this area has got to be the place for the best beach resorts in Crete. There is so much choice in accommodation, ranging from budget studios and apartments right through to Crete luxury hotels. There are lots of places to eat and drink and experience a fantastic Hersonissos nightlife.
Istron - Kalo Horio
Istron is just 10 km from the cosmopolitan town of Aghios Nikolaos in the Lasithi region of Crete. Istron is one of our most favourite of all Crete beach resorts. Istron is a quiet beach resort on the coast, whereas Kalo Horio is slightly inland. There are three attractive bays at Istron, all within easy walking distance of each other, and close to the wonderful tavernas and small shops.
Malia is perhaps the most popular Crete beach resorts, especially for the 18-30 young crowd. Malia is a wonderful vibrant beach resort with probably one of the best beaches on Crete. Malia is found in the prefecture of Heraklion, around a half hour drive from Heraklion airport. Malia nightlife has to be the hottest on the entire Greek Island of Crete. Malia clubs, bars and hot places to see and be seen add up to a throbbing heart beat of excitement, exhilaration and elation.
Paleokastro, (alternative spellings Palekastro and Palaikastro) is one of the most easterly Crete resorts about 20k from Sitia. Paleokastro prides itself on being a working village rather than a tourist hotspot. It has a number of small beaches where you can find some water sports including wind surfing. If you are looking for a taste of real Crete then heading for the Paleokastro area could be what you are looking for.
Sissi (alternative spelling Sisi) is one of the smaller and quaintest of beach resorts in Crete. Sissi has a small scenic port and sandy beach. The seaside village is just 25 km from the pretty town of Aghios Nikolaos in the Lassithi region of Crete. Several attractive beaches are within easy walking distance of the village.
Sitia (sometimes spelt Siteia) lies in the far east of Crete and is one of the most easterly beach resorts of Crete. Sitia harbour, with its small fishing boats bobbing on the water has a wide pretty waterfront promenade lined with palm trees, cafes and tavernas, and ends in a long stretch of clean sandy beach. Our Crete Resorts Guide wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of Sitia.
Stalis, also known as Stalida, is around 30 kilometres east from Heraklion Town. We love Stalis because it has something for everyone and we consider it top of the list of best beach resorts of Crete. The beach is very long with soft golden sand and is gently shelving making it perfect for families with young children. The choice of places to stay, shop, eat and drink are plentiful and wide ranging. You’ll find Stalis in between the popular Crete beach resorts of Hersonissos and Malia.
Vathi is a tiny Crete resort very close to the lovely beaches of Istron, the traditional village of Kalo Horio and the popular town of Agios Nikolaos. Our Crete Resorts Guide wouldn’t be the same without the inclusion of this small resort of Vathi. If you’re looking for a location that is tranquil, unspoilt and secluded then Vathi is the place for you.
This is our South Coast Crete Resorts Guide.
The following Crete beach resorts can be easily accessed by either flying to Heraklion airport or by ferry to Heraklion port or flying to Chania airport or by ferry to Souda Bay port.
Agia Galini (alternative spellings, Aghia Galini, Ayia Galini) is in the Rethymnon region on the south coast of Crete. It is smaller than some beach resorts of Crete and has a laid back charm and relaxed feel to it. Agia Galini is a perfect holiday resort with just the right amount of accommodation, hotels, tavernas and bars to give the visitor a choice but not too much to be overpowering.
Chora Sfakion (alternative spelling Hora Sfakion) is found in the scenic region of Sfakia on the south coast of western Crete. Visitors arriving in the beach resort of Chora Sfakion usually arrive at Chania airport or the port of Souda Bay if arriving by ferry. There are a number of small, quiet beaches in the Sfakia area and many visitors are drawn to this Crete resort because of the many walking and hiking opportunities at the mountains and gorges of Crete. The food in Sfakia is renowned and respected throughout the whole of Crete and in particular the cheese pies served with honey.
Frangokastello (alternative spellings Frangocastello) is one of the smaller south coast beach resorts of Crete in the Sfakia region in the Chania prefecture. It has few sandy beaches which are quiet as is typical of the south coast. Frangokastello was given its name after the Venetian castle or fortress built here. The fortress is an impressive backdrop to the lovely beach with shallow crystal clear water. There are a few tavernas, bars and small hotels and budget apartments at Frangokastello.
Ierapetra (alternative spellings Irapetra, Iearapetra or even sometimes misspelt as Lerapetra) is the southernmost town of Europe. This is one of the most popular Crete resorts on the south coast. There are a number of brilliant beaches around the town and a good selection of luxury hotels and budget apartments and studios.
Loutro is probably one of the quaintest of Crete resorts as it is only accessed by ferry. Loutro is found on the south coast of the Chania region of Crete. Away from any hustle and bustle Loutro promises a very peaceful holiday base. It has a number of smaller hotels and self catering budget accommodation and a few traditional Cretan tavernas. So if you are looking for somewhere to really relax and unwind then Loutro could be your answer.
Makrigialos (alternative spellings Makry-Gialos, Makrygialos, Makri Gialos, Makriyialos) is one of the most misspelt Crete resorts! Makrigialos is a small coastal village on the south coast of Crete. Close to the towns of Ierapetra and Sitia in the Lassithi region, Makrigialos is one of the best south coast beach resorts of Crete. Despite its small size the village of Makriyialos does offer a choice of hotels and apartments making it a perfect place to stay for a holiday in southern Crete.
Matala is one of the most famous beach resorts of Crete and is found on the south coast of the Heraklion region. The beach of Matala is situated within an area of unique natural beauty. The spectacular natural harbour on the Bay of Messara with its gently shelving sands and impressive sandstone cliffs are very appealing to visitors. For fans of Greek mythology Matala is of great interest as it is the reported location of where Zeus himself swam ashore in the guise of a bull with Europa on his back.
Paleochora (alternative spellings, Paleohora and Palaiochora) is perhaps the most popular of south coast Crete beach resorts. Visitors arriving in the beach resort of Paleochora usually arrive at Chania airport or the port of Souda Bay if arriving by ferry. Paleochora has a number of budget hotels, apartments and self catering studios with just a few luxury hotels. Paleochora has a laid back charm that offers just the right amount of bars and tavernas to have choice but not to be too overwhelmed.
Sougia lies on the south coast of the Chania region of Crete. Sougia is an away from it all location that offers traditional Cretan hospitality in a very peaceful, laid back fishing village. Sougia is one of the quietest beach resorts in Crete. The south coast of Crete s generally quieter than the north coast resorts and Sougia is great for families on a budget too as both the accommodation and restaurants tend to be cheaper than some of the busier north coast resorts.
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