Beaches with Blue Flag on Crete Island

Find a beach with Blue Flag near you

A Blue Flag award is not merely an accolade for a beach’s beauty or popularity; it signifies a commitment to high standards that cover a broad range of factors. It’s not just about water purity, contrary to popular belief, but also includes numerous additional parameters.

To win this prestigious flag, the beach operator – often a municipality or a large hotel – must meet all 33 rigorous criteria set by the program. These include not only the quality of sea water, which is a basic prerequisite, but also the beach’s organization, health conditions, safety measures, information availability to bathers, cleanliness of the coast, and more.

In 2023 Crete claimed 139 Blue Flags – the highest among all Greek islands. These flags are spread across its four regions: Chania with 38, Rethymno with 20, Heraklion with 33, and Lasithi taking the lead with 48.

Vai Beach, famed for its unique natural palm forest, is one of the Blue Flag beach that assures visitors of its high environmental and quality standards. Almyrida, Falassarna, Agia Fotia and Stavros are other notable beaches on the island that proudly bear the Blue Flag label.

Each of these beaches offers not only breathtaking scenery but also a commitment to sustainable tourism and excellent services, ensuring an exceptional beach experience for all visitors.

  • Paralia Schisma Elountas
  • Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Elounda’s Skisma Beach is a picturesque sandy enclave, perfect for families. Its cleanliness and organization make it especially welcoming.

Little ones delight in its flat sandy terrain and the playground, while older kids gravitate towards the available water sports. Occasional winds result in bigger waves, offering simple surfing opportunities.

With convenient facilities like restrooms and showers, coupled with an array of nearby taverns, it’s an ideal spot for families with children.

  • Georgioupolis beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Georgioupolis, a small coastal town located 38km east of Chania and 21km west of Rethymnon, is a seaside resort nestled in a verdant valley crisscrossed by rivers and springs. Situated on the western edge of a sprawling 10km beach, the town’s beach spans 2km to the east, beginning at the Almiros river and terminating at Kavros beach, a natural continuation of the former. The beach in Georgioupolis is sandy, dotted with dunes, and has shallow waters.

The beach is well-maintained and child-friendly, with lifeguards on duty. Caution is advised during windy conditions due to sea currents. Amenities such as umbrellas, showers, and food and drink stalls are available for beachgoers. Approximately 700m east of the port, the Perastikos river bifurcates the beach, which then widens as it continues eastward. On the opposite end, west of Georgioupolis’s port and near the Almyros river’s exit, lies the picturesque Kalivaki beach.

  • Hersonissos beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Hersonissos, a bustling tourist hotspot in Crete situated just 28km to the east of Heraklion, is renowned for its tranquil beaches and calm seas – a rarity along the northern coast of Crete due to the prevailing northern winds. The most serene beaches can be found to the west of the port, shielded by the Cape Sarandaris. Towards the east of the port, however, lie the resort’s most frequented beaches.

As you venture east from the port of Hersonissos, the first sight to greet you is a sprawling, narrow, sandy beach, buzzing with throngs of beachgoers. It’s impeccably organized and conveniently close to the city’s amenities, though it may not be the best choice for those seeking a more serene environment.

Journeying further east, a series of small, sandy coves become apparent, primarily situated in front of hotels. Of these, Silva Maris Beach stands out with its high level of organization, a lifeguard, and numerous facilities. Continuing eastwards, you’ll encounter Star Beach, one of Crete’s most populous beaches, largely patronized by British and Dutch tourists. Lastly, near Cape Drapanos lie the peaceful beaches of Eastern Hersonissos, offering a quieter seaside experience.

  • Plakias beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Situated 36km to the south of Rethymno city, Plakias is a charming tourist haven nestled at the mouth of a fertile valley just beyond the Kouroupa range, where the Kotsifos river meets the sea. It owes much of its popularity to the impressive Gialia beach, stretching for 1.3km from the edge of the town to the east, ending at Cape Mouri. This fully-equipped beach, characterized by its crystal-clear, cool waters, is an ideal location for leisurely walks or cycling along the adjacent road. It features numerous hotels and restaurants, as well as beach essentials such as umbrellas, water sports facilities, beach volley courts, snack bars, changing rooms, and showers.

Paligremnos, the eastern portion of the beach, boasts fine sandy shores and is well-appointed with various amenities close to local accommodation and eateries. Noteworthy are the tall, vertical cliffs nearby that prove to be a magnet for climbing enthusiasts. This spot, also known as “Gonates” (knees), is steeped in local lore; it’s said that the epic hero Digenis knelt here to drink from a local spring. An intriguing phenomenon takes place here every full moon from September to January, as the moon’s reflection on the sheer cliffs draws large squids to the beach, which locals catch with long sticks. A few meters south of Paligremnos, you can also discover tunnels once used for transporting coal to waiting cargo ships.

  • Stavros beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue, Green

Stavros beach is situated 17km northeast of Chania on the farthest point of Cape Akrotiri, is known for its distinct, camel-shaped mountain, Vardies. This towering landmark gained recognition in the film “Zorba the Greek”