Hersonissos Beaches: Breathtaking Shores and Quiet Coves

Exploring the Beaches of Hersonissos
 The beaches of Hersonissos are scattered on the western side of the Gulf of Malia, from Cape Sarandaris to Cape Drapanos, with the bustling harbor as a focal point. From luxurious and well-maintained beaches to small secluded bays with golden sands caressed by clear and calm turquoise waters, Hersonissos provides an attractive setting for any lover of sun, water, and relaxation.

There are various ways in which beaches are managed. Some are overseen by the local municipality, while others are named after the hotels or bars behind them. Additionally, some unmanaged beaches don't have an official name and are known solely by the locals. 

Here's a quick overview of the most popular beaches in Hersonissos, including the neighboring ones that you can reach by taxi, bus, or car.

Beaches In Hersonissos

1. The Beach West Of The Port

 The biggest beach in Hersonissos stretches 300 meters long west of the port, from Kastri Hill to Creta Maris Resort. It's a narrow, sandy beach with shops, cafe bars, restaurants, and water sports rental centers along the road next to the beach. It's often called the beach of the bar and restaurant nearby, offering sunbeds, umbrellas, and food and drink service. The beach faces north, so it's windy and has strong sea currents, making it ideal for surfers and a great spot to watch the sunset.

2. The Harbor Beach 

 Bordered by the commercial waterfront and just a step away from the city's main road, the beach to the east of the port, known as "Paralia Limenas," is always busy with hundreds of people from early morning. The seawater here is calm and clear, protected by Cape Kastri and the harbor's cement dock. The beach is sandy and well-organized, but there are no trees for shade. Due to its compact nature, finding space for your own towels and umbrellas might be challenging. 

Further down, close to the Silva Maris Hotel, you will find some tiny beaches that can be completely washed away by the waves on windy days.

3. Sarandari Municipal Beach

 On the west side of the port, just after the main road passes the Creta Maris Resort, you'll find a short cement staircase leading to the well-known Sarandari Municipal Beach. This soft sandy strip is nestled between two cliffs, offering a peaceful environment. The calm, warm, and shallow waters make it perfect for families with kids and also provide excellent scenery for snorkeling. The beach has umbrellas, sunbeds, and a small kiosk with snacks.

4. Gefyri Beach

  Further along the coastal road to the west, you'll discover the secluded mini beaches known as "Limanakia" (The Small Coves). These beaches feature warm, crystalline waters unaffected by northern currents. Located just after Sarandari, at the base of a high concrete wall that supports the paved road, Gefyri Beach is among the most beautiful, featuring coarse white sand and a rocky, deeper seabed. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available, but the place tends to be crowded.

5. Limanakia Coves

 At Limanakia Beaches, the golden sand blends with the white dust of the limestone cliffs, and the water has a wide palette of blue shades. The area, spanning 1.5 km along Cape Sarandaris includes hotels, restaurants, and several parking lots. Buses do not run here, so you can reach it by car, taxi or on foot. If you arrive early, you can find your own little private bay. Some coves are equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds, but if you prefer to stay in the shade at no cost, you can find natural shade from the rocks along the beach. Due to the eastern orientation and height of the cliff, its shadow covers the small beaches long before sunset. 

6. Chrisi Ammos Beach 

 Located east of the town, Chrysi Ammos is on the list of favorite beaches. It is managed by a beach bar with a cheerful atmosphere and lively music, from which you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. Snorkeling is practiced around the rocks, and adrenaline lovers can rent water sports equipment. Another good beach without a name lies near an abandoned campsite, to the east.

7. Iliostasi Beach

 On the eastern side of town, right in front of the  Lychnostatis Ethno-Folk Museum, lies one of the quietest beaches in Hersonissos. With its golden sand and the view of the blue sea embracing the horizon, Iliostasi Beach is a great spot to relax for a few hours after visiting the museum, while enjoying a Cretan craft beer

8. Unnamed Cove Beaches

 Next to Iliostasi Beach, until Abaton Hotel, there are several small bays with rocky seabeds and sandy or pebbly beaches, where you can unwind peacefully. Due to the presence of some freshwater springs that flow into the sea, the temperature of the water is lower. Occasionally, the sand is washed away during stormy winters and reappears on the shore later.

9. The small beaches at the top of Cape Sarandaris

  Almost unnoticeable from the road above, Hersonissos' most sheltered beach lies 200 m from the tip of Cape Sarandaris, at the end of a steep staircase carved in limestone cliffs. It is a sandy beach with shallow bright blue water at the shore, with a little sea cave hidden at the northern end. Just below Cape Sarandaris headland, you will see a cement dock, particularly frequented by paddleboarders and divers. Moving west beyond the Agios Giorgos little church, you will discover several natural pools formed in the volcanic rock and the spot where boats with tourists laze in the open sea to admire the most romantic sunset in the Hersonissos.

10. Naturists Beach

 Although nudism is not officially allowed in Crete, it is tolerated on secluded beaches, unexposed to the public eye. This is the case of the unofficial "naturists' beach", a small and quiet beach, discreetly hidden by the high cliffs of Cape Sarandaris. It's more a rocky platform than a beach, but the few boulders around offer privacy to those seeking a clothing-optional experience.

11. Beaches Managed by Hotels

  A series of sandy beaches stands out with its high level of organization, lifeguards, and numerous facilities, managed by the hotels behind them. Typically, these beaches are only accessible to the hotel guests. However, many resorts that provide all-inclusive services also offer day passes for external guests, allowing them to access the beach and catering services for a fee. 

 Suppose you want a vacation with luxury pampering and a private beach. In that case, you can choose one of the top category resorts such as Lyttos, Creta Maris, Silva Maris, Nana Hotels, or Abaton Island Resort & Spa.

 There are several beaches recommended for the entertainment facilities in Hersonissos. One of the most popular is managed by Star Beach Hotel, which has a water park, a go-kart track, a bungee jumping tower, sports fields, and a rental center for nautical equipment.

Beaches Near Hersonissos

12. Stalis Beach

 Just 5 km east of Hersonissos, the beach of Stalis or Stalida is like a magnet for tourists in the area, emanating a tropical atmosphere. You'll find here a vibrant promenade with bars, cafes, souvenir shops, and a flat shore with rich sand and clear, shallow water. Suitable for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts, Stalis Beach offers a delightful combination of relaxation and entertainment. Regular buses between Hersonissos and Stalis provide a quick and cheap way to travel with the whole family, while taxis are also convenient at 10-15 euros per journey.

 13. Anissaras Beach

 Situated to the west, just outside Hersonissos town, Anissaras Beach is easily accessible on foot and offers pristine sandy shores, turquoise waters, and picturesque surroundings. It's the perfect spot for a peaceful escape, swimming, and various water sports. Additionally, seaside taverns and cafes provide the opportunity to indulge in delicious Greek cuisine, making it an ideal destination for relaxation, adventure, and an authentic connection with nature.

14. Analipsi Beach

 Stretching for 1 kilometer between Lyttos Hotel and Aposelemi beaches, Analipsi Beach is surrounded by palm trees and offers strips of fine sand interspersed with gravel. The crystal-clear water deepens rapidly as it drifts out to sea. Hotel guests have reserved sunbeds and umbrellas near the Agia Marina Church, but there are ample areas for laying out towels, equipped with showers and toilets. The beach also features restaurants, taverns, and water sports centers offering activities for adults and children.

15. Aposelemi Beach

 Located approximately 7 km west of Hersonissos in the proximity of the Aposelemis River, the sandy wide beach is a natural habitat for migratory birds and rare animals of the Cretan fauna. While less organized than other beaches, Aposelemi offers tranquility and wild beauty, with a few umbrellas and discreet sunbeds available for those seeking more comfort. The beach provides a beautiful panorama of the uninhabited Dia Island and the untamed nature of the Aposelemis protected area.

We hope this article helps you add Hersonissos to your travel bucket list! Find out more in the article Hersonissos: Between Traces Of The Past And Modern Adventure / Travel Guide".

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