Vai beach lies at the east coast of Crete. Despite the long trip to get there, it is one of the most popular beaches of Greece. Vai is framed by the only natural palm forest in Greece.
- Name: Vai Beach (Βάι)
- Location: Lasithi, eastern 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): 4/5
- Beach Berm: Sand with shingle in different spots
- Seafloor: Sand, shingle, and rocks
- Access: Good. There is a paved road all the way to the beach. Many drivers choose to park on the side of the road to avoid the parking fee and as a result, there is a very long line of cars on either side of the road as you approach the beach.
- Amenities: There are plenty of restaurants, and beach shops around the parking lot.
- Snorkeling: Vai is a good snorkeling site, especially around the little islet and the southern end of the beach.
Notes: Vai has been voted consistently as one of the top ten beaches in Greece in various publications.
It has all the right attributes to be considered one of the best beaches of Greece: it is out of the way, it is large, it’s organized with parasols and sun beds, it has a unique palm forest and a spot where you can take bird-eye view photos and selfies.
In addition, Vai beach is handicap accessible with wooden walkways on the sand near the entrance. It’s not perfect, but it does help people with mobility issues.
But Vai’s popularity is its downfall. Vai beach gets crowded even during the weekdays in the summer, and parking near the beach is expensive.
The palm forest that frames the beach bestows unique character to the place, and offers a welcome spot for shade.
Around Vai entrance you will see several signs with information about the natural environment in the area, and especially the palm forest.
While Vai beach is nice, you can swim in relative isolation if you are up for the short hike to Psili Ammos beach.
There is a similarly secluded beach about five minutes to the north of Vai. You have to walk the entire length of Vai and then over the rocky area to get to it. It is just as hermetic, but it does not have the beautiful sand the northern beach has.