Madés Beach, where the mountains and waters become one / Travel Guide

Discovering a Heavenly Beach in a Small Bay with Turquoise Waters

The Place 

 Madés is a tiny village by the sea, originally part of the larger Lygaria village, located 21 km northwest of Heraklion. Nestled in a picturesque natural setting around a small bay, it is a kind of secluded peaceful settlement, with a less buzzy atmosphere than similar tourist areas next to the big city.

 The bay has a northern orientation, which exposes it to cold winds in winter. Only a few people live here all year-round, the vast majority of properties being summer houses and apartments to rent. A mini-market, a beach bar, and few taverns are at hand, but most of the tourists from this area prefer to frequent the neighboring villages Agia Pelagia and Lygaria to enjoy a larger variety of venues for dining, shopping, and socialize.

The Beach 

 The beach is sandy and has small pebbles and the water is crystalline, calm, and swimmable. Despite these features and breathtaking sea views, it is not well known or frequently visited, because of its small size, difficult access on sloping streets, and very few parking spaces around.

 One side of the bay is occupied by a nice resort hotel with terraced cubist villas facing the sea and its attractive beach bar, built on and around the cliff. The entire beach is well organized by the hotel which provides umbrellas and sunbeds to its guests for free, so that, sometimes, in the peak season, the spontaneous visitors may not find enough room to sit.

What to Do

 On the left side of the bay, huge slabs of rock fell off from the cliff and crushed, forming a rugged path of about 100 m, which tourists walk and climb like on a weird planet. At the end of it, the two small islets looking like two monsters lying in the water face to face are the landmark of the Madé village.

 Due to the fact that the bay is partly protected from the sea currents, swimming is a pleasure here, and not less the place serves as an anchorage for smaller locally owned boats or for water sports equipment like ski jets. The rocky seabed is plentiful in fish, making the bay suitable for snorkeling, diving, and fishing.

How to Get There

 To get there from Heraklion, take the National Road towards Rethymno and after the Pantanassa Bridge and then the Palekastro Bridge, take the exit to Mades / Paralia Lygarias. Just after 1.5 km, there is a sign for Madé, and the road begins to descend toward the sea.

 No bus goes all the way down to the beach, because of the steep and narrow streets with tight curves. But there are buses from Heraklion to neighboring Agia Pelagia and some of them make a stop in front of the hotel.

You can find more interesting information about beaches in the article Top 10 beaches to visit in Crete.

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