If you ever find yourself exploring the northeast of Crete, be sure not to miss a lesser-known treasure called Tholos Beach. Situated about 29 kilometers east of Agios Nikolaos, and 45 km from Sitia, this unspoiled bit of seashore is out of a storybook.
This perfect kick-back spot is just off the beaten path in between Crete’s most popular destinations. The short video below gives you an idea of the secluded beauty of this marvelous Lassithi beach.
The beach has showers, good parking, a cafe and snack bar, and a few accommodations options nearby. There are several rooms to let and taverns at the nearby village of Kavoussi. This lovely village is very historic and it has a lively spirit to go along with many activities and sights nearby.
The Psira Islet just offshore is where the Minoan port was found. In fact, the only shipwreck of the Minoan era was discovered here in 2006. The view of the island, and that of the entirety of Mirabello Bay from Platanos, on the east of the village, is awe-inspiring. Also, be sure to visit the monumental olive tree nearby that is said to be nearly 4,000 years old.
More About Tholos Beach
Tholos Beach is formed at the exit of a fertile valley, surrounded by olive and vine groves. The water is sometimes blurred with a typical light blue color, due to the underwater springs of freshwater coming from the massif of Thipti mountain. (Tholos means blurred in Greek)
The beach has large pebbles to its east end, but the western side has very soft golden brown sand and pebbles. The water is shallow with a sandy sea bed. Perfect for kids unless the wind is from due North. The water here takes on an exotic blue-green color most days. A good road runs along the beach and it is lined with a row of nice tamarisk trees, which offer good shade.
There are a good number of archaeological sites in the area, as well a couple of wonderful Byzantine churches, one of which, the church of Agios Georgios has beautiful frescoes. Another fascinating archaeological wonder lies at the west end of Tholos beach. What’s left of a fairly massive granary (above) From Roman times served the port of Tholos in antiquity. It is believed that the bay once held a big port on the route between Alexandria, Egypt, and Rome.
Stay & Eat
Right on the eastern side of the beach, Tholos Bay Suites is the most popular and well thought of stay in the area. Booking.com and other reviews are 9.9, which is amazing from the perspective of this travel writer. I need to create a website for them, but the €120 per night for a two-bedroom 90 square meter suite there is a steal even in October. Tholos Boutique Houses and Villa Tholos are also super choices for breathtaking views overlooking the bay. Tholos Love Beach Restaurant is also right on the beach for when you get hungry. For Cretan culinary wonders to remember, Ntakos and Panorama are gastronomic magic.
How to Get There
Tholos is accessible by car just off the main road connecting Agios Nikolaos and Sitia. To reach the beach you turn left turn at Kavousi, just opposite the church. From here there is a sign leading to the beach which you will find at the end of a road, after driving through some lovely olive groves.