The island of Crete is host to some of the best beaches of Greece. No matter what coastal town you choose for your vacation, you will be withing a short driving distance from a first-rate beach. The list here is but a small fraction of the beaches the island has, but it is a list of the most noteworthy swim spots, the ones worth traveling from afar to enjoy.
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Agia Galini in the southern coast of Rethymno, near the archaeological site of Phaistos.
Balos is one of the best beaches of Greece. It is located in an isolated spot, but it's well worth the pilgrimage to get to it.
Chersonissos in Heraklion is popular with young vacationers, partly because of the beautiful (and crowded) beaches, and partly because of the wild nightlife.
Chiona is a nice beach on the east coast of Lasithi, near the archaeological site of Palekastro.
Belegrina (Chrysi) is another isolated beach located in the uninhabited island of Chrysi, near the holiday resort of Ierapetra at the south coast.
Diasari a large beach near another popular resort town of southern Lasithi: Makrygialos.
Elafonissos is by all accounts one of the best beaches of Greece. It is located on the west coast of the island, and it has developed with environmental sensitivity and care.
Erimoupolis a beautiful little beach on the east coast of Lasithi, adjacent to the archaeological site of Itanos, and near the popular Vai beach.
Fallassarna is a vast expanse of sand at the west coast of Chania prefecture, and it is another considered to be among the best of Greece.
Komos is a large beach at the southern coast of Heraklion, near Matala.
Kouremenos is a large beach, popular with RV campers and local people from Lasithi.
Makrygialos includes a series of small sandy beaches in the small holiday resort of the same name.
Malia is a series of sandy beaches east of Heraklion, and near the Minoan Palace of Malia. It is adjacent to Chersonissos beach, and just as famous for its youthful nightlife.
Matala is a spectacular beach in southern Heraklion prefecture. It was a hippie community in the 1960s when youth lived a bohemian life in the ancient rock-cut cemetery.
Maridati is a little know little beach nested between other spectacular beaches (live Vai and Kouremenons) in eastern Crete.
Sitia is located at the edge of Sitia town, and a nice place to swim if you are already vacationing there.
Vai is one of the most celebrated beaches of Greece, partly because of it's organized sandy patch, but mostly because of the unique palm forest that frames it.
Xerokampos offers relative isolation since it's far from any urban and vacation centers. It has a series of beautiful, small sandy coves.