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Top Beaches in Crete

Top Beaches in Crete

Crete—Greece’s largest island—is ringed on all sides by beautiful beaches, where snorkeling, sunbathing, and windsurfing are the order of the day. Here’s a rundown of the top beaches in Crete, from hidden coves and historic relics to open stretches of white sand.

Vai Beach

Tucked in between a grove of palm trees on one side and rolling waves on the other, Vai is widely considered among the best beaches in Crete. In between swimming and sunbathing, take a stroll to the nearby rainwater lake and admire fine views over the beautiful palm forest of Vai.

Balos Beach

Famous for its beautiful lagoon, Balos Beach lies 34 miles (56 kilometers) from Chania and 10 miles (17 kilometers) from Kissamos. The beach is nestled between Cape Gramvousa and Cape Tigani, offering some of the most impressive views in Crete.

Matala Beach

Located beneath the foothills of the Asterousia Mountains, Matala Beach boasts hidden limestone caves, ancient Minoan history, and clear waters. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to visit for refreshments, and the beach is a popular nightspot for locals and travelers alike come nightfall.

Falassarna Beach

This exotic stretch of sand lies on the western shores of Cape Gramvousa, home to the ruins of Falassarna—an ancient Roman city. Flanked by a protected nature reserve and with lounge chairs stretched out on the sandy beach, Falassarna Beach is especially great for snorkeling. With strong westerly winds, it’s also a very popular for water sports like windsurfing.

Bali Beach

Bali is actually home to four beaches strung out along the coast, and they all offer sandy coves and turquoise sea. Natural springs carry fresh water to the shoreline at Bali, so the sea is a little cooler here, but the sheltered bays are very family-friendly.

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1,055 Tours and Activities

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Full-Day Land Rover Safari from Heraklion with Lunch
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Full-Day Land Rover Safari from Heraklion with Lunch

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293
Discover ancient Minoan history, Cretan farming culture, and magnificent island views on this full-day off-roading adventure from Heraklion. Travel in a rugged Land Rover along historic mountain trails, stopping along the way to visit the mythological Diction Cave, shepherds’ villages, the scenic Lassithi Plateau, and an eco park where traditional ways of life are still practiced. Replenish your energy with an included lunch and taste of ‘raki’ liqueur at a local tavern.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$89.54
Price varies by group size
From
$89.54
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Luxe boat trip on sailing catamaran, Heraklion, Crete

Luxe boat trip on sailing catamaran, Heraklion, Crete

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56
Boat trip to Dia Island. Sailing ⛵ on catamaran Lagoon 380. Departure from Heraklion port. All inclusive yachting tour: Mediterranean meal with grilled fish, local and import beverages, entertainment (SUP, snorkeling masks and fins, floating flamingo and unicorn, four-meters water carpet, fishing rods). 6 hours of sailing fun. Great option for everyone, even for families with small children.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.08
From
$179.08
Taking safety measures

Snorkeling and Boat Tour in Crete

Snorkeling and Boat Tour in Crete

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64
Snorkeling is very relaxing and at the same time a very exciting activity which is suitable for all ages. Join us in a daily (morning or afternoon) guided “snorkeling” trip, take the mask, fins, snorkel and shorty wet suit from us, board on our 10 meters shady rib boat and take the chance to relax watching the marine life of our island. We visit always two different spots with a lot of marine life, such as caves and an open water area always depends on the weather conditions
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.47
From
$73.47
Taking safety measures

Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania
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Samaria Gorge Hiking from Chania

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20
There is no better way to experience the real side of Crete, than to traverse the island's unspoiled soil, swim in its crystal waters and stroll down its traditional villages. This hiking tour of the Samaria Gorge will give you the opportunity to do all 3 and at your own pace. Early in the morning, you will be picked up from designated spots around Chania via a luxurious bus and reach the starting point of your tour in Omalos Plateau around 7 am. Shadowed by the adjacent White Mountains and with plenty of drinking water to be found along the way in many natural springs, this self-paced hike will create unique memories for every traveler. Behind your group, there will always be a hiking escort to ensure everyone's safety and provide assistance if needed. At around 17:00 you will start your trip back to the place where you were picked up from.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.75
From
$47.75
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Santorini Island Trip from Crete
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Full-Day Santorini Island Trip from Crete

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46
Take a day out from Crete to visit Santorini on this day trip. Board a boat to this famous volcanic island, known for its sea-filled caldera (crater) and black cliffs. On arrival, enjoy a caldera cruise to admire the whitewashed houses perched high on the cliffs, and take an island tour to stroll along the clifftops and visit Thira and Oia. Boat transfers, transport on Santorini, and pickup and drop-off at selected Crete hotels included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$213.70
From
$213.70
Taking safety measures

Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP in Chania

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Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP in Chania

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49
Immerse yourself in the Aegean Sea with this 3-hour guided snorkeling trip from Chania. All equipment is provided. Swim in the crystal blue waters in Almyrida Chania and explore reefs, caves and see the Elephant Cave of Crete.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.58
$89.54
$8.96 savings
From
$80.58
$89.54
$8.96 savings
Taking safety measures

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket (Shared Tour - Small group)

Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Ticket (Shared Tour - Small group)

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Join our small group (up to 8 pax) Walking tour at Knossos palace with a Licensed Tourist Guide. Skip-the-ticket line to enter Knossos Palace. Explore the ancient palace, step into the royal residence and see the Minoan king's throne. Be amazed by the House of the Frescoes and its colorful wall paintings. Learn about the history of the Minoan Civilization, probably the oldest one on the European continent. Please check your location before booking! Crete is divided in four regional units and is approximately 260 km (162 miles) long and 60 km (37 miles) wide. Crete’s four prefectures: from west to east, Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Lasithi (Elounda, Agios Nikolaos). Knossos palace located at the center of the island (Heraklion). Distance to Knossos palace from: Heraklion center, port or airport (code HER) approx. is 5 km (3 miles or 20 min by car)
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.41
From
$76.41
Taking safety measures

Relax in Nature - Chrissi Island day Cruise

Special Offer

Relax in Nature - Chrissi Island day Cruise

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18
Follow the lead of this excursion on the way to Ierapetra by bus, accompanied by the morning sun. Soon after embarking in the boat, enjoy the trip in the Libyan sea on your way to Chrissi island where you will taste the natural beauty of a unique and protected by “Natura 2000” golden beach.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$46.20
$51.34
$5.14 savings
From
$46.20
$51.34
$5.14 savings
Taking safety measures

Crete Wine and Olive Oil Tour
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Crete Wine and Olive Oil Tour

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Treat your senses to the ancient flavors of Crete on a full-day wine tour from Chania. Travel through the mountains of the Kisamos region and traditional Cretan villages to reach two family-run wineries, where you’ll taste award-winning regional wines and stroll through the vineyards. Sample another prized Cretan product at an olive oil factory, and stand before one of the world’s oldest olive trees on this relaxed culinary tour of northwestern Crete.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.64
From
$101.64
Taking safety measures

Spinalonga island

Special Offer

Spinalonga island

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68
A day trip that combines relaxation and history gives you the chance to visit the highlights of the Northeast part of Crete, where the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos with the magnificent lake can be found. Elounda, a small village on the shore of Mirabello bay with spectacular views, is where the boat begins the cruise heading to Spinalonga island, a small uninhabited island used during the history as a fortress and later on as a leper colony.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.11
$50.14
$10.03 savings
From
$40.11
$50.14
$10.03 savings
Taking safety measures

Sailing full day island DIA with lunch from Heraklion
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Sailing full day island DIA with lunch from Heraklion

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10
The minibus picks you up outside your hotel and takes you to the port in Heraklion, where the boat leaves at 10 o'clock. During the trip to the Island Dia the captain will explain some of the history and secrets about the protected Island Dia. Reaching the Saint George bay it is time to walk to the little church or just enjoy the silence by snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing. Then it is time for lunch and to try the delight Cretan food that is prepared by the skipper. After lunch we sail of again to a second hided bay to relax and enjoy. Around 17 the boat slowly sails back to the port of Heraklion where you can see the city from a new point of view. In the port the minibus is waiting to bring you back to your hotel.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.45
From
$107.45
Taking safety measures

Crete Land Rover Safari with Lunch and Drinks

Crete Land Rover Safari with Lunch and Drinks

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311
Explore the diverse palm forests, gorges, and beaches of Crete on a full-day Land Rover safari. Rumble along remote roads in the gorgeous Rethymno region, passing landmarks like Prasses Gorge and Potamon Dam and stopping to swim in the Libyan Sea. Get a taste of Cretan country life when you visit traditional villages like Spili, and try local cuisine with included lunch at a tavern. Skip the hassle of a rental car and let a sturdy 4x4 and guide show you the best of the island’s scenery and culture.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.48
From
$101.48
Taking safety measures

Wine and Food Tastings Walking Tour

Wine and Food Tastings Walking Tour

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47
Getting to know the real Chania is difficult without a guide to show you behind the tourist sights. This small-group tour delivers: introducing you to its foods, customs, people, and wines in ways only a local can. Stroll around Chania’s lanes, churches, and monuments; meet townsfolk, visit authentic spots, and sample staples such as sesame bread, cheese, and Cretan honey before a wine-tasting. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$113.41
From
$113.41
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Heraklion

Full-Day Trip to Santorini island by Boat from Heraklion

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8
Explore Santorini’s top attractions on this guided excursion. After setting sail from the port of Athinios aboard a speedy catamaran, enjoy activities that include touring the volcanic island by bus, exploring the picturesque village of Oia, strolling through the alleys and streets of Fira, and taking a refreshing swim at a black sand beach or traveling by boat to a crater lake.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$213.70
From
$213.70
Taking safety measures

Scuba Diving for Beginners in Chania

Scuba Diving for Beginners in Chania

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49
Immerse yourself in the Aegean Sea near Chania with this exciting scuba dive for beginners. Learn how to dive from an experienced instructor and then head under the water to explore the sea life in the Aegean.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$107.45
Price varies by group size
From
$107.45
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Zeus Cave-Traditional-Villages-Old Wind Mills-Olive Oil Factory-Small Group.

Zeus Cave-Traditional-Villages-Old Wind Mills-Olive Oil Factory-Small Group.

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162
Spend a full day exploring Crete with a local guide. Visit Psychro Cave, the birthplace of Zeus, and a platanus tree that is according to local legend, the oldest tree on the island. You’ll also tour the villages of Mochos and Krasi and enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch in a local restaurant.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$104.08
From
$104.08
Taking safety measures

Balos Lagoon & Falassarna Beach - Luxury Jeep Tour with Lunch (Semi Private)

Balos Lagoon & Falassarna Beach - Luxury Jeep Tour with Lunch (Semi Private)

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16
On this small-group tour, travel in a luxury four-wheel drive vehicle to off-road locations that you wouldn’t be able to access by bus or minibus. Venture from Kaliviani village to the spectacular Balos lagoon and Falassarna beach. As an extra perk, a sunbed is reserved for you on the beach, and lunch is provided at a local restaurant with beer or wine.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$143.26
From
$143.26
Taking safety measures

The Real Cretan Cooking Experience

The Real Cretan Cooking Experience

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84
Visit the family mountain home of a local Cretan for a completely authentic evening of cooking, eating, and cultural exchange. Begin your visit with a walk through the vegetable gardens, where you harvest ingredients to use in your recipes. Learn traditional dishes from your hosts, and hear the stories behind each dish. Enjoy a walk through the mountain paths with views of the Aegean Sea. Sit down to a meal you helped prepare, including local wine and a sweet dessert.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$96.74
From
$96.74
Taking safety measures

Elafonisi Full-Day Tour from Chania

Elafonisi Full-Day Tour from Chania

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21
After we pick you up in the morning from various locations around Chania, we will follow the green north coast just before Kastelli and finally reach the rock chapel of Agia Sophia through the village of Topolia. After a short visit to this incredibly interesting site, we will proceed to the main attraction of the tour! Elafonisi is located on the southwestern most point of Crete and being an oblong gives the impression of being a separate island as it seems to be divided into two parts by water. On the eastern side of the beach, in front of the lagoon, you will find umbrellas, showers, lifeguards, snack bars and changing rooms. In Elafonisi, you will have plenty of time to explore the area and swim in the crystal clear waters!
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.63
From
$47.63
Taking safety measures

Quad Safari Half Day
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Quad Safari Half Day

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360
Go to hidden-away corners of Crete few travelers get to see with this guided all-terrain vehicle tour. Follow your guide off-road to quiet tracks far from the traffic and crowded resorts. Explore the near-abandoned ghost village of Achlada, where only a few locals still live, and Fodele, the birthplace of El Greco.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$89.54
per group
From
$89.54
per group

Off-Road Buggy Adventure in Crete

Off-Road Buggy Adventure in Crete

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188
Explore Crete’s rugged interior on a full-day off-road buggy trip from Hersonissos. Drive or ride a 4-wheeler and travel through picturesque villages and countryside up to the Lasithi Plateau, framed by the Dikti Mountains. Follow black-topped roads and off-road trails, traverse olive groves and mountain slopes, and stop for photos and to visit the Kera Kardiotissa monastery (own expense). Traditional taverna lunch, driving instructions, and port and hotel drop-off in the Hersonissos area included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.14
From
$167.14

Your Tailored Elafonisi Escape and Cretan Dream Where Time Doesn’t Exist

Your Tailored Elafonisi Escape and Cretan Dream Where Time Doesn’t Exist

star-4.5
17
Somewhere between heaven & earth, there is a Cretan beach paradise sculpted by nature over ancient times. On some days, this geological masterpiece is connected to the coastline of South-West Crete, and on others, it is an island you can easily wade to through a shallow sea corridor. Imagine yourself basking in crystal blue waters of the intermingled Cretan & Libyan Seas. With your toes sinking in the fine white sand that is blissfully blended with flecks of pink from millions of crushed shells as the fresh sea-breeze touches your cheeks leaving salt crystals in its wake. There are many ways to appreciate Elafonisi, but none quite as rewarding as a tailored & stress-free escape for the discerning travelers who pursue experiences at their own pace. On the road trip across West Crete rely on our top local insider to immerse in a true adventure by the comfort of a luxury chauffeured vehicle. This is your relaxation rhythm. Take things slower, breathe deep & luxuriate in your freedom
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$656.61
per group
From
$656.61
per group
Taking safety measures

Gramvousa and Balos Cruise from Chania (Boat ticket is included!)

Gramvousa and Balos Cruise from Chania (Boat ticket is included!)

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22
After we pick you up from various locations around Chania we will drive through West Crete until we reach the Kissamos port. After approximately 1 hour, the boat arrives at the port of Gramvousa. On top of a steep rock on the highest point of the island, lays the Venetian castle built during the late 16th century. You will have plenty of time to explore the island and swim in its coast before we board the boat that will take us to the Balos lagoon. Fantastic azure waters fill the lagoon creating an rare amalgamation of serenity and ild natural beauty. At around 16:30 we will board the boat back to the port of Kissamos and eventually return by bus to the designated spots you were picked up from.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.21
From
$75.21

Elafonissi Beach Trip from Chania

Elafonissi Beach Trip from Chania

star-4.5
15
Elafonissi Beach frequently appears on lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches because of its stunning pink colored sand and aquamarine water. Avoid the hassle of figuring out local public transport schedules and travel on with ease on an air-conditioned bus. Along the way, see pretty traditional villages—such as Elos and have plenty of time to relax and unwind at the beach.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.82
From
$35.82
Taking safety measures