Chania is undeniably one of the most famous Greek travel destinations, renowned for its captivating Chania beaches. The city of Chania is wonderful, and you can have a delightful time for a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation. It’s a perfect destination for couples, groups of friends, and those who love places that offer beaches with turquoise waters and golden sands. Below you will find my favorite Chania beaches, but there are many other equally beautiful ones that I haven’t discovered yet. As I’ve been told before, one visit to Chania is not enough to see everything, which is why many people return year after year!
**Explore the Stunning Chania Beaches: Top 10 Coastal Getaways**
#1. Balos, the beach that enchants both Greeks and foreigners
If you visit Chania, it’s a must to go to Balos at least once, which is considered not only one of the most enchanting beaches in Greece but also in the world. The lagoon of Balos is located 56 kilometers away from Chania, but you can easily reach it by boat or by road. You can find detailed information about Balos in my article here. If you want to book online tickets to take a boat to Balos, take a look here!
#2. Elafonisi, another wonder of greek nature
Elafonissi Beach in Crete is the second-best beach that you absolutely must not miss, especially when exploring Chania beaches. It is located approximately 80 kilometers away from Chania, and the easiest and most convenient way to get there is by car. Elafonissi is famous for its turquoise waters and the sand that takes on pink hues. It somewhat reminded me of the stunning beaches I saw in Koufonisia!
What to watch out for? Avoid going when there is strong wind! The fine sand easily gets lifted by the wind, and it’s not pleasant at all when it gets in your eyes. So, if you’re looking for beaches in Chania without wind, I wouldn’t recommend Elafonissi. However, it also depends on the winds on the day you plan to go: the best solution is to check the weather forecast and decide accordingly.
#3. Falassarna, the beach for all tastes
Falassarna is perhaps the most beautiful beach in Chania for children. It is quite large, with clear waters, sandy shores, and plenty of available sunbeds and umbrellas. It is located approximately 53 kilometers away from Chania (so it’s not a beach close to the city), but it’s definitely worth a visit. The sunset is stunning in Falassarna, and the waters are crystal clear. There are cafes that offer drinks and food: if you have several days to spare, it’s worth spending a relaxing day in Falassarna with your book under the umbrella.
#4. Agia Marina – Platanias – the most convenient
Agia Marina is a tourist resort highly favored by English and other foreign tourists. It’s very close to Chania, yet it’s quite cosmopolitan. In other words, there are many hotels, restaurants, beach bars, and tourist shops, resulting in a large number of tourists. The nightlife is lively, and the good thing is that you don’t even need a car. You can easily take one of the many buses connecting Chania to Agia Marina.
Why choose Platanias Beach? If you’re looking for something close to Chania with plenty of dining and drinking options, this beach is ideal! Also, if you’re searching for affordable accommodation in Crete, here you’ll find several offers. As an example, here are some deals from Booking for the summer of 2023.
#5. Gramvousa beach
Gramvousa is a petite and uninhabited island that showcases an extraordinary spectacle of the clearest and bluest waters, creating a visual marvel that is hard to surpass. However, reaching Gramvousa demands a bit of an adventure. You’ll find two primary avenues: embarking on a journey by private boat or opting for the ferry ride departing from the charming port of Kissamos, destined for the renowned Balos Beach.
The ferry voyage presents an intriguing twist, offering a pause of around an hour at Gavdos, an additional gem in its own right. This intermission provides an ideal opportunity to plunge into the inviting waters, indulging in a refreshing swim as you immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings.
While access to Gramvousa might not be a walk in the park, the ethereal allure of its pristine waters makes the journey undeniably worthwhile. Whether you’re sailing your own course or embarking on a ferry adventure, the promise of Gramvousa’s enchanting seascape awaits, ready to captivate and inspire with its unrivaled natural beauty.
#6. Seitan, another natural wonder
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Seitan Beach in Crete boasts an air of seclusion, yet its hidden charm has gained considerable popularity in recent times. The most convenient mode of transportation to reach this picturesque destination is by car, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the journey. The waters surrounding Seitan Beach are a mesmerizing shade of azure, reflecting the serene beauty of the coastline.
Access to Seitan Beach presents a slight challenge, particularly for older individuals and young children. While the path to reach the beach might not be the easiest, the reward of its unspoiled beauty is well worth the effort. It’s important to note that Seitan Beach isn’t organized with facilities or amenities commonly found in more tourist-oriented destinations, contributing to its untouched ambiance.
For those planning a visit, my recommendation would be to avoid the peak month of August when the beach can become more crowded. Opting for a weekday excursion offers a quieter and more tranquil experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the natural splendor and soothing waves. Seitan Beach’s pristine allure, coupled with careful planning, promises an unforgettable seaside escape amidst the stunning landscape of Crete.
#7. Νea Chora, the beach near the city of Chania
Apart from Agia Marina, which was previously mentioned and is approximately a 10-minute drive from Chania, there are several other charming beaches in close proximity to the city. If you’re in search of a beach getaway that doesn’t require the use of a car or public transportation, Nea Chora emerges as the top choice for those looking to enjoy the coastline near Chania.
While Nea Chora may not boast the same fame as iconic beaches like Balos or Falassarna, it offers a unique blend of convenience and relaxation. The beach is thoughtfully organized to cater to visitors’ needs, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Its proximity to the city center makes it an easily accessible option, ideal for both spontaneous trips and planned outings.
Nea Chora’s gentle waters and sandy shores make it a suitable destination for families and beach enthusiasts of all ages. The absence of strong currents or excessive waves creates a safe environment for children to play and swim.
Beyond the sun and sea, Nea Chora presents a delightful culinary scene with numerous taverns dotting the shoreline. After savoring a delectable meal, you can leisurely indulge in a glass of ouzo, enjoying the laid-back ambiance without concerns about your journey back. Nea Chora’s close proximity, accessibility, and variety of offerings make it a convenient and enjoyable choice for a relaxing beach day in Chania.
#8. Marathi, if you are seeking a romantic beach
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Marathi is yet another charming beach located in close proximity to Chania. Just a 20-minute drive by car, it offers a convenient escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Marathi is well-known for its organized facilities, ensuring a comfortable visit for all beachgoers. The waters here are remarkably clean, inviting you to take a refreshing dip or indulge in various water activities.
One of the distinct characteristics of Marathi is its calm and tranquil waters, making it a preferred destination for those seeking a serene beach experience. The gentle lapping of the sea against the shore is a soothing backdrop that adds to the overall relaxation.
Families with children will particularly appreciate Marathi’s family-friendly environment. The minimal presence of waves provides a safe haven for kids to play in the shallows, giving parents peace of mind. Whether you’re lounging on the sandy shores or exploring the crystal-clear waters, Marathi has something for everyone, making it an excellent choice for a memorable beach day in Chania.
#9. Kedrodassos and camping
The Cedrodasos Beach, among the captivating Chania beaches, is quite unique; it’s not easy to find a place like this, where the cedars almost touch the sea! It has cliffs, and the access isn’t the easiest, but it’s precisely these factors that make it a hidden gem cherished by adventurous spirits and nature enthusiasts. One of its main attractions is its popularity among free campers who relish the experience of camping in the midst of this beautiful cedar forest, creating an atmosphere of harmony with nature.
If you’re wondering how to reach Cedrodasos, the beach is situated in the southwestern part of Crete, approximately an hour and a half drive by car. While using GPS is strongly recommended, it’s worth noting that there are a few tricky spots along the way. Don’t hesitate to seek directions from the friendly locals, who are more than happy to guide you through the winding paths to this enchanting destination.
#10. Frangokastelo, another enchanting beach of Southern Crete
The final beach on our list, showcasing the mesmerizing Chania beaches, may be a bit farther from Chania, but trust me, it’s a gem that you won’t want to miss! Frangokastelo Beach derives its name from the historic castle constructed by the Venetians in the 14th century. This captivating shoreline is also shrouded in the enchanting tale of the Drosoulites. As the early dawn breaks, the ethereal shadows of Greek warriors who bravely fought alongside Dalianis against the Ottoman forces are said to make their ephemeral appearance, adding an intriguing touch of mystery to the scenery.
Beyond its compelling stories, Frangokastelo Beach boasts waters that glisten like crystal and are so clear you can see right through them. Not only that, but it’s also thoughtfully organized, ensuring you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience by the sea.
ARE THE BEACHES IN CHANIA WORTH IT?
If you’re still wondering whether the beaches in Chania are worth a visit, especially the captivating Chania beaches, I can confirm that they absolutely are! It’s no coincidence that Crete is a top tourist destination. You can find EVERYTHING here – from stunning beaches and majestic mountains to 5-star hotels and charming traditional guesthouses. Whether you’re craving delectable cuisine, late-night entertainment, or simply a peaceful retreat, Crete has it all.
In Chania, you’ll discover beaches that cater to various preferences – tranquil ones with no wind or waves, remote getaways, or well-organized stretches with convenient beach bars. The southern beaches of Chania offer idyllic landscapes, and the northern ones are equally enchanting. One common factor for all these paradisiacal spots is the need for a car.
Before my trip to Crete, I heard differing opinions. Some suggested relying on public transportation to explore the beaches, while others insisted that a car was essential to truly experience the island. Well, I’ll agree with the latter! While I usually rely on public transport, Crete is a different story. Public transport doesn’t do justice to the island’s beauty. Renting a car is a must if you want to fully enjoy the beaches and the island’s treasures.
As I mentioned earlier, most beaches are quite a drive away from the city, ranging from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Having a car gives you the freedom to start whenever you like, make stops wherever you please, and stumble upon hidden gems (like the grandmother selling honey and wild oregano on a mountain slope). And of course, you can return whenever you feel like it. Buses are infrequent and unfortunately don’t cover all the beaches. If you’re thinking about saving a few euros on a car rental, my advice is: don’t do it! The exhaustion and hassle of waiting under the sun for the next returning bus after a full day at the beach aren’t worth the 20 euros you might save.