10 must-visit beaches in Crete for those chartering a boat
Crete, the largest island of Greece, is adorned with bays on all four sides, each with a different beauty, is a unique route for a boat vacation. To guide those who want to rent a boat in Crete, we have created a clockwise route from east to west.
Just 8 nautical miles from the island's largest city, Chania, Kalami Beach could be your first stop in the eastern direction once you start sailing when you charter a boat from Crete. The view from Souda Castle at the top reveals the beauty of the beach. Kalami Beach is very close to the historic city of Aptera and the Intzedin Fort built by the Ottoman Empire. The small cove on the beach also provides comfortable mooring for boat vacationers.
Spinalonga, another small island off the northeast coast of Crete, lies just at the entrance to the Mirabello Gulf. The size of the island is less than 1 square kilometer. Its highest point is only 53 meters. The 16th-century fortifications that surround the island offer an extraordinary view to those on a boat vacation in Crete. There is also a Venetian castle on the island with a rich history. The beach with the same name as the island is also one of the stops that will make those who take a sea vacation in Crete say "thank goodness".
The most important feature that sets Vai Beach apart from the others is the dense palm forest that starts right at the edge of the sea. This beach is certainly one of the most important reasons to rent a boat in Crete. With around 5,000 trees, Vai has the largest palm forest in Europe. Therefore, this unique beach makes those on a boat vacation in Crete feel like they have arrived on a tropical island. Not far from Vai Beach is the 15th century monastery of Toplou, with its precious Byzantine icons.
Matala Beach in Heraklion District on Crete's south coast was a gathering place for hippies in the 1960s and 70s. Nowadays, it is the favorite destination for those who rent boats in Crete. The caves on the rocky Matala Beach are a great discovery route for those who want to add a little adventure to their sea vacation. Matala Beach, which is very close to Phaestus, the second largest palace of the Cretan civilization, is located in a valley.
If you've chartered a boat in Crete and want to enjoy the tranquillity of the island, we recommend dropping anchor at Plakias Beach. Located on the south coast of the island and surrounded by steep rocky patches, Plakias Beach is more than 1 kilometer long. The eastern side of the beach, called Paligremnos, with its vertical patches, has a pleasant course for extreme sports enthusiasts who want to climb as well as a seaside vacation.
Agios Pavlos Beach
One of the most popular stops in the Venetian and Türk influenced Rethymno District of Crete, especially for those chartering a boat in Crete, is Agios Pavlos Beach. This beach, which is on the shore of Agios Pavlos beach, is ideal for families who want to spend their Cretan sailing vacation in silence with its calm environment and sheltered sea. At the top of the beach is the historic Saint Paul's Church. Legend has it that Saint Paul stayed here for a while during his journey to Rome.
One of the indispensable anchorages of the boat vacation route in Crete, Preveli Beach is also known as Preveli Gölü or Phoenix. Preveli Beach, located at the point where the Grand River enters the sea, attracts attention with its extraordinary nature. The unique feature that makes Preveli Beach unique for those who take a boat vacation in Crete is the beautiful beach formed by the river before it dives into the sea. You can walk on the Preveli gölü and have a pleasant walk in the canyon along the river.
Elafonissi Beach, located on the southwest coast of the island of Crete, fits the description of "paradise on earth" with its shallow waters, turquoise waters and pinkish-soft sand. With this feature, Elafonissi deserves to be included in the boat vacation route in Crete. Elafonissi, which offers everything for those who want to have a sea vacation in Crete, is home to endangered sea turtles and many other rare sea creatures. Let's pass on an important note: It is strictly forbidden to remove any plants, animals, shells or sand from Elafonissi Beach.
Falassarna Beach is one of the most popular spots on the island, where you can enjoy boat rental in Crete to the fullest. The huge Falassarna Beach is not only an attraction for boaters but also for sörf enthusiasts. Voted as one of the top 10 best beaches in Europe, Falassarna has different options for your pleasure. Pachia Ammos Beach, for example, is the most lively area with its cafes. If you stop at Falassarna Beach, we advise you not to miss the sunset.
Balos Beach is a lagoon with a unique nature that boaters renting boats in Crete can't help but notice. Balos Beach, which is called the Caribbean coast of the island with its turquoise sea and white sands, is one of the most valuable stopping points of the boat vacation route in Crete. Since it is a completely closed lagoon, boat renters can easily anchor their boats. When you go to Balos Beach, don't forget to climb the Venetian Castle on the hill and watch the lagoon from the top.