Midway through May, the beaches of Crete are usually a home away for tens of thousands of visitors. Not this May. The pandemic has put life for everyone on Earth in a kind of limbo. There are, however, some positive points to ponder since we’re given this rare pause to think. Crete beaches are the perfect focal point for us to study what should be next.
Seitan Limania is a secluded and wild beach about 22km northeast of Chania and 2km east of the village Chordaki, at the east side of Akrotiri Cape. Here, steep cliffs protect three parallel coves unlike anyplace on Earth. The central cove, Stefanou is a beach made of tiny pebbles and sand kissed by the remarkably clear aquamarine sea. World-famous, the beach is usually a bit crowded, but not this season.
Falasarna, in the far western end of Crete island, is one of my favorite beaches. Located about 60 kilometers west of Chania, this immaculate stretch of fine sand has been voted as one of the top 10 beaches in Europe dozens of times. There are actually five beaches here, as well as archaeological sites and a world of natural wonders to explore. I was on the beach last May when a couple of hundred early tourists were enjoying the cool azure waters off the beach. The Instagram below shows a solitary sand castle builder having fun.
Karteros just outside the city limits of Heraklion is a fascinating area of the island steeped in ancient history. The beaches here, while unprotected from the open sea, offer clear, crystal water that is shallow and good for families to enjoy the sun and fun. Amnissos, where it’s said Odysseus set sail for Troy from, has a ton of historic attractions nearby. As you can see, this May is not exactly Grand Central Station on the beach.
Of all the wondrous secluded beaches on Crete, Agiofárango is beyond compare. Situated at the end of the gorge of the same name, the finely pebbled beach is otherworldly. Situated in the extreme south of Heraklion Prefecture, the beach is accessible by hiking for about 25-50 minutes, of by boat from Matala, Agia Galini, Kokkinos Pyrgos, or Kali Limenes. Friends who visit Crete from other countries thank me via their phones the instant they lay eyes on this magical place.
I’ll bet you, there’s not a single footprint on world-famous Vai Beach this morning. Situated 94km east of Agios Nikolaos and 24km east of Sitia, this unique tropical paradise is where the largest palm grove forest in Europe is located. Lined by thousands of Cretan Date Palms (Phoenix theophrasti), Vai is a living picture postcard no one who visits ever forgets. Today, the sand is as untouched as the day God created it.
Drone footage frame from Preveli Beach from some hours ago bids you welcome to unspoiled perfection. Another palm beach, this remarkable natural wonder is situated about 35km south of Rethymno and 10km east of Plakias. Fed by the Megalos Potam River, the beach is at the end of the imposing Kourtaliotikos Gorge. As you can see, the drone driver is the only one anywhere around.