The capital city of Crete, Heraklion, has some great options for those interested in discovering the history of the island. There are museums, archaeological sites, and amazing restaurants to discover the gastronomic culture of Crete. But there are also some amazing beaches, some of them really close to the center. Here is a list of the nicest beaches in the area of Heraklion.
This long, sandy beach is located only 1 kilometer from the center of Heraklion and extends to reach the mouth of river Almyros. The beach has fine sand but it also counts with a rocky strip about 50 meters from the beach marking the ancient coastline.
There are organized areas with umbrellas and sun-beds, bars, showers and water sport facilities, but there is also a possibility to find more secluded spots, such as the dunes of Xeropotamos, on the eastern end of the beach.
- You can reach Amoudara with the blue bus N.6, the trip lasts about 25 minutes and the bus stop is in Platia Eleftherias.
Only 21 kilometers west of Heraklion you can find the famous Agia Pelagia, a small picturesque settlement with several small but beautiful bays. Despite the small size of the town, it offers visitors all the necessary amenities to spend the day. There are restaurants, tavernas, and cafes and it is and is connected to Heraklion with a regular bus service.
The main beach is long and narrow with clear sand. The greenish water is usually calm and the bay creates a natural harbour. There are several options for diving and practising water-sports too.
- You reach Agia Pelagia with the green bus (direction to Chania or Rethymno), the trip lasts about 30 minutes and you catch the bus at Heraklion’s Central Bus Station.
The small cove of Psaromoura is little less than 22 kilometres of Heraklion, 500 metres north of Agia Pelagia. The beach faces the east therefore it is sheltered from he northwest winds usually blowing. The beach is pebbly and is very popular among locals. There are sun beds and a canteen that offers drinks and cocktails.
- You reach Psaromoura following the directions for Agia Pelagia, and once there, walk towards the north, following the multiple signs that lead to the beach.
This beautiful bay is at the exit of the gorge of the same name, just 7 km east of Heraklion and it extends for over 3 kilometres. On the long bay, travelers can find two different settlements, Karteros itself and Amnissos, but both villages have merged and are now just one well-served town.
There is a beautiful beachfront and shallow waters, while the fine sand is golden and clean, and there are no rocks. The area counts with several bars and restaurants too.
- To visit Karteros take the blue bus N. 7, the trip is about 30 minutes, and the bus stop is opposite the Archaeological Museum, next to the taxi station.
Kokkini Chani can be found about 15 kilometres wast of Heraklion. This favourite beach area has turned into a very developed resort while still surrounded by a fertile plateau.
Kokkini Chani has always been popular among travelers for its many sandy beaches and shallow waters. There are lots of shops and restaurants all over the area, and every beach counts with basic touristic infrastructure, such as lifeguards, water sport options, umbrellas, and sun beds. A very popular beach in the area is Arina Beach, well organized and with beautiful clear waters.
Near the area it is also possible to visit Niros Villa, a small archaeological site dating to Late Minoan Times, which is believed to have been the residence of a senior Minoan priest who probably ruled the local Minoan harbour.
- Get to Kokkini Chani with the green bus (direction Malia, Chersonissos, Gouves or Agios Nikolaos), the trip lasts about 25minutes, the bus departs from Heraklion’s Central Bus Station.
Just 9 kilometres east of Herakliom the beautiful sandy beach of Amnissos is growing in popularity among visitors, thanks to the great organized services and facilities.
Travelers will find very clean waters, water sports facilities, sun-beds, umbrellas, showers, and several seaside fish taverns for a quick and delicious lunch.
For those interested in history, Amnissos used to be the port of Knossos. The beach is right in front of the stunning island of Dia, another significant religious site for the Minoans.
- To reach Amnissos take the blue bus N. 7, the trip is about 30 minutes, and the bus stop is opposite the Archaeological Museum, next to the taxi station.
If you want to discover more beaches in the area near the city of Heraklion, you also can read our article about Family Holidays in Heraklion.
Where to stay in Heraklion:
For a perfect stay in the city centre, you can choose among the three top hotels in the city, it all depends on your travel style.
- The foodie traveler, with an interest in the cultural aspect of the island, the best place to stay is Legacy Gastro Suites.
- The eco-minded traveler will find modern comfort, ecological features, and a cutting edge technology in Olive Green Hotel.
- Luxury travelers and those looking for the best views in town will find themselves at home in Lato Boutique Hotel.
Check the hotel links for further information, booking and inspiration.