Balos is probably the most famous and most photographed beach in Crete. It is located approximately 56 km northwest of Chania and only 17 km away from Kissamos. It is formed between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani. Balos is famous for its turquoise waters, the exotic scenery and the wonderful natural beauty.

Balos with its exotic white sand and turquoise waters offers a beach ideal for young children, since the sea is very shallow and warm. One trademark of the Balos beach is that in many places the sand has a lovely pinkish color due to the millions of crushed shells.


Elafonissi is located 76 km west of Chania and 5 km south of the Monastery of Chrysoskalitisa in the southwestern part of Crete. Elafonisi often “breaks” into two pieces, giving the impression of being a separate island. It is a Nature 2000 protected area and it is full of dunes with sand lilies and junipers.

Elafonisi is the house of the endangered turtles careta careta and several rare animal nests. Thus, it is forbidden to remove any plants, animals and sand from the area. On both sides of the peninsula, exotic beaches with white sand and turquoise waters are formed, reminding of the Caribbean.


The palm forest of Vai is located around 6km from Palaikastro in Lasithi and it is one of the most famous sights in Crete. Some people consider Vai as one of the most beautiful and special places in the whole Mediterranean. Vai is famous not only for its forest, but also because of the large sandy beach spread out at its foot.

Its name derives from the word vai that means palm in Greek. It is the largest palm grove in Europe with more than 5000 trees. The exotic sandy beach with the white sand reminds of the African and Caribbean seascapes and it is a destination definitely worth visiting!


The beach of Matala is located 68 km southwest of Heraklion on the boundaries of the plain of Messara and the Asterousia Mountains. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Crete and it is probably the most famous beach of Heraklion. It is famous for the carved caves in the rocks where the hippies used to live in the ‘70s.

Also, it is located close to Phaestus, the second largest palace of the Minoan civilization. Matala used to be the port of Phaestus and during the Roman Times it became a port of Gortyna.


The beaches of Rodakino in Rethymno is located 43 km south of Rethymno and close to Plakias village. It is a wonderful destination for families and for those who wish to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters since it is quite isolated with no facilities, amenities or any other type of organization. The atmosphere is really peaceful and calm.

Polyrizos is one of the beaches in Rodakino and it is located amidst the olive groves that run on down to the sea. It is a really sandy beach with shallow waters, cliffs and some coves. In contrast to the other beach of Rodakino, Polyrizos is slightly organized with umbrellas and sunbeds.