In May, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF), the national operator of the International Blue Flag Program in Greece, announced the Crete beaches that have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag destination.
World-renowned for its stunning sand and sea experiences, Crete island is an incomparable natural paradise that offers visitors an incomparable list of experiences. Ancient culture, brilliant cuisine, stunning wines, perfect traditions, and unimaginable countryside notwithstanding, Greece’s biggest island is a swimmer’s and sunbather’s Eden. No place on Earth has more aquamarine treasures, hidden coves, isolated bays, or expansive stretches of the sea meets the sand.
The prestigious Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognized eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. This year, 497 beaches were awarded the distinction. Crete received 117 awards with 33 beaches in Chania Prefecture, 18 in Rethymno province, 27 in Heraklion region, and 39 in Lassithi in the far east of the island.
In Chania magnificent Falasarna (Instagram above) has again been designated a Blue Flag beach, along with the beaches at Platanias, Kavros Beach in front of the fabulous Mythos Palace Resort, the remote stunner at Sougia, and other stunning locations. In Rethymno Prefecture the amazing beach at Skaleta by Creta Star Resort took home honors, as did Kriti Beach’s Rethymno seaside. Agia Galini, Souda, Plakias and others also were designated.
Many Heraklion Prefecture beaches such as Amoudara, the closest to the city center, were awarded Blue Star status as well. Noted resorts we’ve visited like Candia Maris (above Instagram), the unmatched Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort (feature image and Instagram below), and Knossos Beach at Kokkini Chani were also on the list. We were a bit surprised that world-famous Matala was the only Blue Flag designee on the Gulf of Mesara since Kommos and Kokkinos Pyrgos are so clean. But it could be those less popular beaches were not nominated.
As for Lassithi, Crete’s easternmost prefecture is home to the island’s most pristine stretches of sand and sunshine. Elounda’s fabulous clear beaches dominate the list, but Istron is also on the list, as along with incomparable Kato Zakros, Kouremenos, Vai-Finikodasos, and the wonderful beach by Kalimera Kriti Hotel & Village Resort in Sissi.
The full list for 2020 can be found here in Greek and in English.