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Beaches near Astirákion, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Astirákion

  • 9.6 km
  • Pantanassa beach
  • Pebbles, Sand
  • Deep
  • Blue

Pantanassa, situated 12km west of Heraklion, is named after the Monastery of Panagia Pantanassa, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The beach lies adjacent to the quaint port of Pantanassa. Prior to the establishment of the port, Pantanassa boasted an enchanting beach, concealed by a small pine forest and possessing crystal-clear waters. Now, the beach has been divided by the port, causing Pantanasa beach to lose some of its former allure. Nonetheless, it still retains its beauty, featuring pebbles and clear waters.

The beach offers amenities such as umbrellas and sunbeds, and some pine trees still grace the nearby cliffs. A pathway from the port allows for easy access. If hunger strikes, there are eateries in the port of Pantanassa and nearby areas. Visitors can combine their beach visit with a trip to the Pantanassa Monastery, perched atop the pine-covered hill above the beach. Built in the mid-20th century, it was envisioned to serve as a charity monastery, but the founder, Nikolaos Xenos, passed away before realizing his dream. Today, the monastery functions as a nunnery.

The Lefkadia area lies to the west of Pantanassa beach. Here, two secluded bays, largely unknown to most Heraklion residents, provide an ideal spot for relaxation. Recently, a beach bar was established and a trail leading to the beach was opened. Helidoni beach, featuring sandy and pebbly areas with a predominantly rocky seabed, is perfect for snorkeling. The western view is captivating, with the ruins of the old Paliokastro castle visible. Visitors can park in the nearby small pine grove and hike up to the castle.

  • 9.6 km
  • Fodele beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Situated 26km northwest of Heraklion, Fodele beach is just a short 3km journey north from the village of Fodele, the suspected birthplace of famed painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, or El Greco. The National Road, linking Heraklion and Chania, runs parallel to the beach, offering easy access. This sandy beach is open to the north winds and is flanked by Cape Stavros on the east and Kastellos hill on the west. Atop Kastellos hill, one can find the remnants of the old fort, Kastelos. The beach itself is formed at the mouth of the river Pantomantris or Fodelianos.

The western section of the beach is meticulously maintained and comes equipped with sun umbrellas, sun beds, showers, water sports, cafes and taverns. You can spot a large hotel on the west slope of Kastellos hill, with a small pier in front of it that provides protection to swimmers. The eastern part of the beach, near the local gas station, is less developed and exposed to the north winds.

Visitors can pair their beach day with a trip to the picturesque village of Fodele, nestled in a verdant valley along the banks of the river Pantomantris. The village, located on the site of the ancient city Pantomatri, was named after its first inhabitant. The valley is renowned for its citrus trees, especially oranges and lemons. Numerous taverns are scattered within the village and along the river, offering traditional cuisine under the cover of towering plane trees. It’s worth exploring the village streets and visiting the local churches of St. George and the Assumption. Just outside the village, you’ll find the churches of Annunciation, All Saints, St. George, St. John and Virgin Mary.

Fodele is known as the birthplace of El Greco, the most celebrated figure of the Cretan School of Iconography. El Greco spent his early years in Crete before relocating to Italy, where he worked alongside Titian. His later years were spent in Toledo, Spain, where he passed away. His artwork exhibits a fusion of Byzantine and ancient Greek influences with Renaissance art. The house he grew up in, positioned 1km southwest of the village at Skotini, is well preserved and functions as an El Greco museum housing replicas of his work. Nearby, the ancient church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) is a worthwhile visit. It’s believed that this church greatly inspired the artist. Lastly, an exhibition showcasing El Greco’s original and reconstructed works, along with items from the movie “El Greco”, has been on display at the Bethlehem Gate of the Venetian Walls of Heraklion city since 2009.

  • 9.8 km
  • Helidoni Beach
  • Pebbles, Rocks in places, Sand
  • Deep
  • Blue

Contrary to the prevailing belief that Crete’s scenic beaches are situated in remote areas far from major cities, those familiar with the island know that hidden gems are scattered across every corner. One such paradise is the Helidoni (Swallow) beach, just a stone’s throw from the historical Paliokastro fort in Rogdia near Heraklion. This haven is just a five-minute drive from the outskirts of Heraklion.

The beach known as Helidoni or Porto Helidoni is situated just south of Paliokastro and is nestled beneath the highway. A staircase with wooden steps descends to the sea level. The beach stands out for its cleanliness and the crystal-clear water that brings to mind the best beaches of southern Crete. The beach is oriented towards the east and, as a result, is typically calm, much like other beaches stretching from Ellinoperamata to Frankia. It is a quaint beach with a blend of fine pebbles and sand in certain spots. The seabed is quite rocky, making it perfect for snorkelling. There’s also a small canteen on the beach. Its name, Helidoni, is derived from the swarms of swallows that flock to this area annually.

Just a few meters east of the main Helidoni beach, another small sandy beach can be found, surrounded by picturesque rocks. This beach can only be reached by traversing the rocky coastline from Helidoni, lending it a tranquil atmosphere. There are stairs leading to the beach, but they pass through private properties, making them inaccessible to visitors.

  • 9.9 km
  • Korakia beach
  • Pebbles
  • Normal
  • Green

The secluded bay of Korakia is located 48km east of Rethymno and 39km west of Heraklion, near the village Sisses and close to Fodele beach. There are three adjacent beaches, which are mainly sandy with large pebbles in places, open to northwest winds. The beaches are secluded and almost unknown to everybody. Korakia is totally unorganized, thus you should have anything you need with you. However, the seawater has been significantly degraded, due to the north winds that carry rubbish and because of the nearby landfill of Heraklion city.

The area is a candidate for the construction of the new Power Station of Crete, but this has raised many arguments against this by ecologists. In order to access Korakia from Fodele, you should take the highway to Rethymno and turn right 1km after Fodele, on a very bad dirt track that leads to the beach after 1.5km.

  • 10.0 km