Beaches, Crete Island
Preveli beach is a ery scenic beach, especially when seen from high up: there's the sea at the front and a river at the back. In one day you can get a salty and a resh water swim. You can also walk along the river and admire the canyon and vegetation, or rent kayaks to go upstream. There's soft sand and may trees for some precious shade. Parking (uphill) is 1.50 euros, and all the money goes to the Preveli monastery
Equipment: swimsuit and sunscreen, and a pair of comfortable shoes to wal down to the beach: there's a steep path - rocky at some points too. Definitely not the place to go wearing slippers
Directions: Take the road in direction plakias that starts from the north of spili. When it forks you'll see signs leading to preveli
Komos beach is a long sandy beach on the other side of the Matala promontory. While Matala is crowded and noisy, Komos is very quiet and uncrowded: there's deck chairs and sun umbrellas - several of them in fact - and very few people to occupy them. No one came to collect money for their use - strangely... there were so few people that no one seemed to care about anything. The sea's great and the beach lovely
Equipment: it's known as a naturist beach so i guess swimsuit is optional - however when we were there, there was no naturist in sight. Bring sunscreen for protection
Directions: south coast - 1,5 ilometres east of Matala
The beach of Vai is located within the largest oasis of palm trees in Europe. it's a nice beach with clear water and a small islet not too far away from the beach. The water is quite shallow so it's nearly possible to walk out there - if it weren't for the slippery rocks beneath the water. The beach is a lovely pebble beach - the further you go from the entrance and car park (payable, 2.50 euros), the fewer people you will encounter. Vai is a nice place to swim your day away.
Equipment: sunscreen and swimsuit (optional). What's not optional is water shoes - without them it's a pain to walk on the beach and into the sea
Directions: in the northeastern part of Crete, about 7 kilometers from Paleokastro
Falasarna is a place to relax and especially to swim: the water is nice, the beach not very crowded and the setting superb. At sunset it turns really magical. When you're tired of swimming, on the plus side, you can visit the ruins of the ancient harbour.
Equipment: sunscreen and a swim-suit, but you can make-do with only the first one
Address: north-west crete
Directions: west of Kisamos/Kasteli - there are clear road signs from there
Elafonissi Beach (or lagoon) looks more like a tropical beach than a Greek beach. Colourwise it's a delight to the eye: the calm and warm water is transparent, in the shades of green and blue, and the soft sand is white and pink.From the beach you can walk to a small islet which is connected to the beach by a shallow reef. At the back of the islet there are the most secluded, scenic and quiet areas to go for a swim and to sunbathe.
Equipment: Sunscreen is the only must-have piece of equipment. A bathing suit is optional. Bring some food and water as there are only a couple of overpriced places to buy stuff in the area
Address: south-west coast
Directions: take the road south from Kisamos/Kasteli on the north coast, and then follow the direction Vathi. From there on Elafnissi is clearly marked