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Beaches near Arkalochóri, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Arkalochóri

  • 18.0 km
  • Tsoutsouras beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Tsoutsouras, derived from the Venetian word Zuzzuro, is situated 63km south of Heraklion, at the entrance of the formidable Mindris Gorge. It’s built on the location of the ancient city Inatos, which once served as the port for Priansos (located near Kasteliana village). More specifically, Tsoutsouras is the union of the two settlements, Pera Tsoutsouros and Tsoutsouros, that presently serve as the harbour for Arkalochori. Despite being well-organized and developed for tourism, it remains a peaceful holiday destination.

The village is home to the small harbour of Tsoutsouras, with two lengthy sheltered bays to its east and west, boasting a total length of 2km. These bays are characterized by beautiful coarse sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach is modestly organized with umbrellas and surrounded by several tamarisk trees, making it an ideal spot for family holidays as all necessary facilities for accommodation, entertainment, and food are nearby. For a more secluded experience, one can walk to the eastern end of the beach, where the sandhills and the easternmost part called Limniara, housing the sea cave Pourgonero, are located. Tsoutsouras can also serve as a base for exploring other nearby beaches.

Swimming in Tsoutsouras is traditionally viewed as therapeutic by many Cretans due to its high salt and iodine concentration, which aids in healing musculoskeletal and orthopedic issues.

Tsoutsouras is an area teeming with energy, myths, and folk narratives including tales about dragons, wild beasts, illegal excavations, and modern fantasy stories. In ancient Inatos, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, was worshipped. Visitors can explore the cave where this goddess was worshipped for centuries, and where numerous offerings have been found, showcasing the sanctuary’s global influence. In recent years, this cave has garnered attention, making Tsoutsouras well-known throughout Greece. There have been reports of the American army confiscating objects of Minoan technological advancements from the cave and surrounding area for their own knowledge.

To the west of Tsoutsouras, two parallel mountains known as Zeus and Hera can be seen, which according to local tales, is where the king Asterion raised the sons of Zeus, Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon, who later ruled Knossos, Phaistos, and Malia respectively. West of the harbour, in the Kerkelos area, remnants of ancient Inatos have been discovered. South of Kerkelos, the coast boasts unique karstic cave formations, including Drakospilia, where locals claim to have found a dragon skeleton. Despite the incredulity of this tale, numerous eyewitness accounts have left researchers puzzled. A Minoan settlement was also excavated in the Aliori area, located at the eastern end of the beach.

  • 18.5 km
  • Krassas beach
  • Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

The Pourgonero beach, situated in the Krassas region, is a mere 500m eastward from the Tsoutsouras port, extending beyond the eastern boundary of the settlement. It represents the eastern section of Tsoutsouras bay, and lies at the foot of the Sarakinos hill. Legend has it that this location holds the eternal burial place of King Minos, the fabled king of Knossos. The beachfront of Pourgonero comprises two coves with large sand dunes, and the beaches facing these dunes are a mix of rocks and sand. These secluded, peaceful spots are ideal for those seeking solitude.

The Pourgonero region holds significant importance as a nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles, with the nesting season running from May till fall. A visit to the beach in the late summer offers a view of the stunning white sand lilies, also referred to as the lilies of Knossos in Crete. Accessing the beach is fairly straightforward, given its proximity to Tsoutsouras. One simply needs to take the road towards Dermatos, and the dunes will be visible on the right. There are pedestrian paths leading down to the beach.

The Krassas region has the distinction of being the site of the first Aloe vera plantation in Greece.

  • 18.9 km
  • Kamboula beach
  • Pebbles, Rocks in places, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Listis, situated 69km southeast of Iraklion, is nestled between Kastri, 2km to its west, and Tsoutsouras. The beach stretch west of Listis, up to the Anapodaris river, is known as Kambala. This river is a significant wetland in Crete. Kamboula beach, with its charming pebbles and clear, blue waters, is quite a sight to behold. Though the area is not fully developed, a few accommodations have sprouted up in recent times. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking seclusion or wishing to sunbathe in the nude.

Contrary to the dry and warm surroundings, the Anapodaris river maintains water nearly all year round. Parts of the beach are dotted with tamarisk trees, providing much-needed shade. The beach is easily accessible, with the road connecting Kastri and Tsoutsouras running alongside it.

  • 18.9 km
  • Maridaki beach
  • Pebbles
  • Deep
  • Deep blue

Maridaki, a coastal hamlet on the east side of Mount Asterousia, is located 65km south of Heraklion and on the west of Tsoutsouras Bay. A 2.5 km footpath is the only direct link between Maridaki and Tsoutsouras. However, a rough 15km dirt road starting near the village of Ahedrias (close to Mesohorio) gives access to the settlement. This road takes you through the towering cliffs and rugged rocks of Asterousia and leads to the monastery of Saint Nikitas. It’s advisable not to park your car under Maridaki’s trees, as the local goats may cause damage.

Maridaki, also known as Saint Panteleimon after its local church, is nestled in the arid, untamed landscape of southern Crete, at the mouth of the impressive Achendrias Gorge. A spring and a small stream provide drinking water to the beach all year around, creating an oasis with evergreen plane trees lining its banks. Near the springs, a large square with a 200-year-old plane tree and a small tavern can be found. Locals believe that fairies reside just beyond this spot. A 15-minute journey from the settlement reveals the striking Lichnistis waterfalls, visible until early spring.

In this modest village, you’ll mostly encounter locals enjoying the sun and sea, residing in their summer homes which are casually built. The village’s coastline boasts a lovely pebble beach surrounded by towering rocks. Along the shore, sandy coves provide shade, but beware of goats traversing cliff edges as they often trigger landslides. The sea is deep and cool due to the stream. Maridaki has showers, a small coffee shop, a tavern, and a few rooms for rent. Two additional beaches are situated to the north of the settlement, at the base of Cape Kerkelos in an area known as Nisakia (or islets), named after two small sea rocks.

While in Maridaki, it’s worth visiting the village springs to enjoy the cool water. Nearby, the church of Saint Panteleimon, formerly dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Mamas, patron of shepherds, stands. If you have a car, consider visiting Saint Nikitas (2km from Maridaki), the beautiful palm grove of Saint Anthony (3km), and the chapel of the Holy Cross (1km outside the village).

Maridaki – Tsoutsouras Trail: Maridaki is one of the few places on Crete where foot travel is quicker than by car. From Tsoutsouras, a 20-minute walk along a well-maintained footpath takes you through a breathtaking landscape of wild carob trees, caves, and dry grasslands, offering stunning sea views. One of the caves, Drakospilia (Dragon’s Cave), is shrouded in mystery and tales of metaphysical phenomena. It’s entrance is small and may go unnoticed. The cave expands after the entrance and is home to bats. A narrow passage leads to a point from where, locals claim, no one has returned, possibly due to volcanic fumes. Legends of treasure, the tomb of a great king, monsters, and dragons fill the air, adding to the cave’s mystery. Some locals believe it houses the tomb of Alexander the Great, while others believe it’s the final resting place of King Sarpedon of Lycia, whose body is said to be preserved in honey. The mystery deepens with tales of U.S. missions and helicopter patrols when someone enters the cave. As per local lore, a submerged church dome from the lost city of Queen Achendra becomes visible at sunset from the last point where Tsoutsouras can be seen from the sea.

  • 18.9 km