Best Beaches in East Crete
Many believe that the best way to visit Crete is to move around… a lot! If you are staying in the center of Heraklion there are lots of places a traveler shouldn’t miss and lots of beaches to love, here are some of the best in East Crete
The Coves of Chersonissos, known as Limanakia are little over 25 kilometers east of Heraklion. The area has beautiful beaches and bays with calm waters.
Cape Sarandaris is in charge of protecting them from the northern winds. It is easy to access the coves and the area is well-served with restaurants and beach bars. This sandy beach has shallow waters and stunning blue shades.
- You reach Sarandaris by taking the bus to Malia. The trip lasts 45 minutes.
One of the most popular resorts in Crete is Chersonissos. It is only 28 kilometers east of Heraklion and it caters for all tastes. There are very nice beaches, water parks for the family, restaurants, bars, and tavernas.
For a walk and a lunch, visit the traditional villages of Ano Hersonissos, Koutouloufari, Piskopiano and take an excursion boat from the port of Chersonissos to sail off to Dia island. You will be amazed!
- To get to Chersonissos and Koutouloufari village, take the bus from the Central Station of Heraklion. The bus departs every 20 minutes in summer. It will leave you in the Central Station of Chersonissos.
Agios Nikolaos and Mirabello Bay
Agios Nikolaos is an area with a character of its own. This small seaside town has lots to offer. Take a walk in the center, shop and have lunch with a view to Lake Voulismeni.
Among the best beaches in Agios Nikolaos, there is Ammos, a sandy public beach by the marina. In the center of town, swim at the sandy beach of Kitroplatia.
On the way to Elounda, find Ammoudi, Havania, and Almiros, with organized facilities and nice bars.
- The best way to reach Agios Nikolaos is by bus, departing from the Central Bus Station of Heraklion.
At about 16 km from Agios Nikolaos, Plaka is located opposite the entrance of Elounda’s lagoon. May travelers consider Plaka one of the most beautiful places of Crete.
From this pebble beach, enjoy the view of Kalydon Island, home to the fortress of Spinalonga.
In the area, there are many traditional restaurants and a stroll in the village will reward you with images of unique old houses.
- This amazing beach in Elounda can be reached after a 3-hour bus ride. The bus departs from the Central Bus Station of Heraklion. If you have rented a car, it will only take you about an hour.
Ierapetra is an area on the south coast of Crete. It offers endless choices of golden beaches with deep crystal blue waters.
Every year, all major beaches of Ierapetra are awarded the European Committee’s Blu Flag. Water quality, safety, and environment are among the best.
Visit Agios Andreas, Makrygialos and the spectacular Chrissi Island. This deserted island is home to unique flora in Crete and an excellent day-trip destination.
- The trip to Ierapetra takes about 2 hours and a half from the Central Bus Station of Heraklion, with a daily bus service.
If you ever dreamt of getting lost in a tropical paradise, all you have to do is visit the beautiful Vai beach in Crete. Nature’s epic creation, Vai is known for its sandy beach fringed by exotic palm trees. But we’re not just talking about a few palms scattered around the beach. No, we are talking about a thick forest of over 5000 palm trees. This is one of the top beaches in Crete and it’s located not too far from Heraklion which means you can marry the love for tropical beaches with the conveniences and luxuries of the Cretan capital.
If crystal clear waters and swimming with fish if your idea of an excellent long weekend in Crete, look no further, as Istro beach is the perfect place for you and your family. Whether you wish to honeymoon in Legacy Gastro Suites, or just enjoy an exquisite holiday at the luxury hotel, Istro beach is located just 1.5 hours away, making it a divine day trip, to experience some of Crete’s best turquoise beach.
Where to stay in Heraklion
Choose accommodation in the center of Heraklion, and explore the most remote beaches.
- For the foodie traveler, with an interest in Crete’s culture, the best place to stay is Legacy Gastro Suites.
- For the eco-minded traveler seeking for modern comfort and cutting edge technology, Olive Green Hotel is the place to stay.
- Travelers looking for Venezian port views will find themselves at home in Lato Boutique Hotel.