The district of Chania with over 350km of coastline and more than 80 beaches – most of which awarded with a blue flag – hosts some of the most drop-dead beautiful exotic beaches in Greece. Let’s get to know them.
On the NW coast of Crete – 50km from the city of Chania and 17km from Kasteli (also called Kissamos) - a vast sandy zone stretches out. It is Falassarna, one of the most popular destinations on Crete, a sequence of five beaches separated from each other with dunes and rocks. Pachia Ammos, a 1km long broad golden and pink beach surrounded by imposing mountains, is the one receiving most of the visitors, thanks to its thin sand, deep crystal waters, and a view to the enchantment of a sunset; no wonder it is amongst the most renowned beaches in Europe! What is more, it is very well organised with beach bars, umbrellas, a beach volley court, and sea sports facilities. Accommodation and delicious Cretan food are also available in the wider area that belongs to the Natura 2000 ecological network of protected ones. You don’t have to go far to visit the remnants of the ancient town, as well as the quarry, the carved throne, and what is left from the temple of Artemis. Overlooking the bay of Falassarna and worth a visit too, there is also the church of St Fotis and St Invincible built in a cave.
Lying at almost 80km SW of the city of Chania, Elafonissi is an oblong peninsula which is connected to the mainland with a shallow underwater passage, thus seeming to be an island: the surrounded lagoon is no deeper than 1m. On both sides of the peninsula you will find gorgeous turquoise-watered and pink-coloured beaches, adorned by myriads of shells. The eastern part is the organised one, leaving the western part to those in love with conquering personal paradises. If you walk for as long as 1km you will see a natural treasure lying before your eyes: it’s a cedar forest, a 110.000m2 area of pristine beauty reaching the seashore to form stunning secluded beaches where skinny-dipping is a choice, not to say a must.
Gramvoussa – Balos
In the gulf of Kissamos, on the West of Chania, there is a complex of islets of exquisite beauty. Among them, the peninsula of Gramvoussa stands out: a wonderful landscape with a Venetian castle dominating it on one hand, blue and green shallow waters with an astonishing sea bedon the other. Its pride and joy is Balos, a leeward beach with warm waters and white-like-powder sand. For the sporty visitors, there is a (rather demanding) 10km long dirt road – a 4X4 vehicle can be an excellent option here – followed by a 15min walk on a path. For the sea lovers, a small boat from Kissamos will carry you there on a day trip. Whatever your decision, don’t forget to take along whatever you consider necessary for a day on a non-organised beach.