Best Beaches In Crete For Family Vacations

Best Beaches in Crete. Crete is the Mediterranean’s fifth-largest island and one of the most fabulous places in Greece. The island is a beautiful mix of the old and modern, offering travelers some incredible historical and cultural sites as well as modern stores, chic resorts, and sophisticated restaurants and tavernas.

Crete has some of the most amazing beaches in the Mediterranean. Besides the large seaside resorts, you can also find some quiet time in Crete heading to the further coves and hidden beaches close to the local villages. Most of the beaches in Crete are sandy, and the waters are pure and calm.

Crete stands out with its local cuisine and incredible local wine. You can enjoy admiring beautiful sunsets by the beach. Some of the gorgeous beaches in Crete are listed below.

Elafonisi Beach

Elafonisi beach is one of the best beaches, not only in Crete but in the world. As a matter of fact, these shores are natural reserves on the channel between the mainland and Elafonisi.

Elafonisi beach is prominent for its soft pink sand and turquoise waters. It has a rectangular shape and attracts thousands of holidaymakers from all over the world.

The shores are relatively shallow and lagoon-like, which makes it perfect for you to visit with kids and enjoy excellent family time in Crete. The water is knee-deep for several meters until it gets deep. It surrounded by gorgeous mountains on the southwest coast and made it a real piece of heaven on earth. It is undoubtedly one of the best vacation spots in Crete and one of the best places you can visit on the island.

Elafonisi Beach Crete
Elafonisos Photo by Enza Dattolo on Unsplash

Map of Elafonisi


Matala beach, located towards the southwest of Heraklion, is another stunning beach, very lively and romantic at the same time. It is one of the most popular destinations in Crete and the most famous beach in Heraklion. It is mainly known for its incredible caves in the rocks which get illuminated at night and very enjoyable to admire and sip on excellent cocktails.

This beautiful sandy beach stretches around 300 meters along the bay with crystal deep waters. The sea very often gets wavy, creating excellent conditions for some water sports. It is possible to capture a large cave on the north side of the beach that you can explore and dive.

The beach is quite lively with all the conveniences you need for perfect beach vacations. You can find umbrellas, sunbeds, many bars, and cafes and accommodation options. The best thing about Matala beach is that it is partially covered by trees, which make an excellent spot to hide in the shade.

Map of Matala

Matala Beach South Crete
Matala beach image by : Pat_Scrap from pixabay

Sweetwater Beach

Another famous shore in Crete.  The Sweetwater beach or Glyka Nera called in Greek, which is also one of the longest sandy beaches in Crete—located in the region of Sfakia between Chora Sfakion and Loutro. If you prefer to have some quiet time with your beloved ones, this is the perfect option since it is isolated between mountains and can be accessed either by foot or a boat.

The beach has a green background with lots of trees which can provide perfect shade. The name of the beach “Sweetwater” is because some freshwater comes from the White Mountains because of the snowmelt supplying the underground water routes. It is the reason why the area is so green and fresh.

The spring water is potable; you may not even carry bottled water with you. The seawater is rather cold most of the time because of the springs. But of course, it is perfect for a swim during the summer months.

Map of Sweet Water Beach

Sweet Water Beach Crete South
Sweet water (Glyka Nera) Beach

Vai Beach

If you’re planning to book your accommodation in the northeastern part of Crete, definitely visit Vai beach, which is one of the most significant attractions of the Mediterranean island of Crete. Rich with palm trees, Vai beach very often reminds the travelers of the Caribbean. The name itself means palm in Greek. The palm grove around this beach is the largest in Europe, with around 5000 trees.

The exotic sandy beach will leave you speechless with its gorgeous views and will serve as a perfect location for family vacations in Crete. You can find everything necessary here for perfect beach vacations, from sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, many water sports activities and taverns for delicious meals.

It is worth mentioning that it gets pretty crowded in the summer but is less busy in late spring and the fall. It is effortless to get to Vai beach by bus from Sitia. Vai is undoubtedly one of the most exceptional beaches in Crete you shouldn’t miss visiting.

Map of Vai

Vai Palm beach east Crete
Vai beach image by :Walkerssk from pixabay

Crete is undoubtedly one of the most incredible islands in Greece. Blessed with amazing beaches, tons of history, and fascinating past. It is not only the largest island in Greece but also the birthplace of Zeus.

You can rent a car to visit all the gorgeous beaches mentioned above and enjoy your time with your beloved ones. Beaches in Crete are simply perfect for family vacations, blessed with soft golden sand, turquoise waters, and excellent weather conditions.

The island has been a top holiday destination in Greece for many decades. It is impossible not to enjoy a quiet evening with a glass of excellent Cretan wine and admire the gorgeous sunsets and the soft breeze coming from the sea. You can surely check out the best beaches in Crete listed above to make your vacation even more memorable and joyful.

You can find many luxury holiday villas that feature top-class vacations. For renting  Private Luxury Villas Crete, you can check over 200 properties of RNT Maclaren.  See the collection.

Using Public Bus services in Crete is easy to travel throughout the Island. Comfortable and new buses airconditioned and prices are reasonable.  There are two networks. One is Chania – Rethymno for the west part of Island, and Second Heraklion – Lasithi for the eastern part.

For more info and online bookings, you can visit their websites.

Chania – Rethymno WEST           Heraklion – Lasithi EAST

See also our web destinations.

Read also: Crete travel Guide.

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