Belegrina Beach is as far from Europe as you can imagine. It’s located in the uninhabited island of Chrysi at the southern end of Crete. Despite the islands isolated nature, the beach swells with free campers in the summer months.
- Name: Belegrina Beach (Μπελεγκρίνα)
- Location: Chrysi island, South of Crete, Greece
Click here to see it on the map and to get directions
- Overall Rating: 5/5
- Joy Index (What the Water Felt Like): 5/5
- Beach Berm: Sand and shingle
- Seafloor: Sand, shingle, rock in different areas
- Access: The only access to Chrysi island, and Belegrina beach is by boat from Iearapetra, Crete.
- Amenities: Despite its isolation, the burgeoning population of free campers and day-trippers has attracted a host of prospectors who have setup restaurants, beach bars, parasols, and everything else you need at the beach.
- Snorkeling: There are plenty of rocks and marine life in the beache’s vicinity, so bring your mask.
Chrissi is an uninhabited island so you may access its beaches via boat from Ierapetra town in southern Crete. The boat ride takes one hour.
You can buy tickets at the little kiosks at the dock. There are several boats that visit Chrissi and depart 10:30 and 12:30. You have to catch the same boat back either at 4:00 or 6:00 pm.
The boats dock at the south end of the island at Vougiou Mati, near the Fragou Mnima beach.
To reach Belegrina beach, walk the foot path found at the left of the taverna, and walk ten minutes north through the kedros forest. I saw just about everyone walking the sandy path on flip-flops, but athletic shoes might make the trek more comfortable.
For an “uninhabited” island, Chrissi offers a suprising array of amenities. There is a prominent taverna right at the dock in Fragou Mnima, another taveran at the east end of Belegrina beach at the foot of Kefala hill, and two kiosks at the center of the same beach that offer cold drinks, alcohol, and ice cream!
Unfortunately, it all comes at a price. Locals move the goods around the island with four-wheelers. This, the gas generator for the beach bar, along with those who find it fit to bring their jet-skis to such an island make it feel as if you are in any busy resort. So, if you are looking for isolation, you might find the crowds and noise not agreeable.
There are no hotels or rooms for rent on Chrissi, The island is a host ot several species of endemic plands and animals that are rare and protected by international treaties according to every brochure you read. But this does not deter the multitude of free-campers that pitch their tents and make-shift shelters under every other tree (using them to tie their ropes).
The main beaches of Chrissi island, Belegrina included, is lined with straw parasols and sun-beds. If you don’t want to pay the high fee for them, you should bring your own parasol since there is ample space around the organized rows to pitch your own.
If you plan to find shade under the threes that line the beach, keep in mind that most are already taken by free-campers, and the rest would never be enough for the thousand day-trippers who arrive at the same time every day. Even if you are lucky enough to find a tree, most likely you will find yourself one or two hundred meters away from the water.
Overall, Belegrina beach is a very pleasant one, and definitely worth the day trip from Ierapetra if you are in the area.