The capital city of Crete, Heraklion, has some great options for those interested in discovering the history and landscape diversity of the island. There are museums, archaeological sites and amazing beaches 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. Amoudara has a rocky strip, approximately 50 meters from the beach which marks the ancient coastline. There are organized areas with umbrellas and sunbeds, bars and water sports facilities. On the east side of the beach, one can enjoy s secluded spot called, the dunes of Xeropotamos.
- 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 and beautiful bays. 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 harbor. There are several options for diving and practicing 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 located 22 kilometers away from Heraklion and is sheltered from the northwest winds. The beach is pebbly and is very popular among locals. There are sunbeds and a canteen that offers drinks and cocktails.
You reach Psaromoura within 20 minutes by car, direction to Agia Pelagia.
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 kilometers. On the long bay, travelers can find two different settlements, Karteros and Amnissos.
There is beautiful beachfront, clean shallow water, fine golden sand. 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 is a developed resort surrounded by a fertile plateau and can be found about 15 kilometers west of Heraklion.
This landscape has always been popular among travelers for its many sandy beaches and shallow waters. Each beach has lifeguards, water sport options, umbrellas, and sunbeds and there are lots of shops and restaurants all over the area. A very popular beach in the area is Arina Beach, well organized and with beautiful clear waters.
Near Kokkini, visit Niros Villa, a small archaeological site dating to Late Minoan Times as a residence of a senior Minoan priest who ruled the local Minoan harbor.
- 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 Heraklion 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. It faces a significant religious site for the Minoans, the stunning island of Dia.
- 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 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 hotel websites for information and inspiration.