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Beaches near Ayios Ioannis, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Ayios Ioannis

  • 1.4 km
  • Analipsis beaches
  • Rocks in places, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Analipsi, or Ascension, is a village situated 20km to the east of Heraklion and is named after the Ascension of Christ church. Positioned in a fertile valley, the area is primarily utilized for olive groves. In the early 20th century, it was known as Svourou Metohi, after the Turks who owned land there. Upon Crete’s liberation from the Ottomans, Analipsi was given to the shepherds of Agios Georgios village in Lasithi Plateau as a winter grazing ground. Now, these shepherds’ fortunate descendants own expansive properties featuring hotels, shops, restaurants, and various tourist amenities.

Compared to neighboring resorts, Analipsi is less touristy and more peaceful, making it a preferred destination for families. The village front features a quaint pier with a charming church dedicated to Agia Marina. To the west of the chapel, the coast is rocky, save for a small harbor with a lovely beach. East of the chapel, you’ll find the main sandy beach of Analipsis, which is well-maintained. Though the water isn’t deep, summer months often bring waves.

A leisurely afternoon can be spent wandering through the charming alleys of the old traditional village, admiring the beautiful gardens and stone-paved square. You might also want to visit the four-aisled Ascension church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Ascension of Christ, the Holy Cross, and Saint Efrosinos. The village’s main street, lined with cafes and shops, runs perpendicular to the coast.

  • 1.9 km
  • Anissaras beaches
  • Fine Pebbles, Rocks in places
  • Normal
  • Blue

Located 21km east of Heraklion and west of Cape Sarandaris, the tranquil resort of Anisaras is now home to a plethora of large hotels, most of which provide all-inclusive services. Small sandy beaches with rocky seabeds line the front of these hotels, all well-equipped with umbrellas and sun beds mainly offered complimentary to hotel guests.

Although beautiful, the beaches have a generally rocky seabed, making them popular with snorkelers. Regular waves can pose challenges. The beach near Analipsi, however, the longest in the area, is notably sandier. The coastal road of Anissaras starts from here, running along the coast, stopping before the large Anissaras hotel complex, and then extends southwards, passing around the hotels up to Cape Sarandaris. To swim at the hotel-front beaches, one must either stroll along the coast until finding a preferred cove or seek permission from hotel security to cross the hotel grounds.

The small, picturesque chapel of St. George can be found on Cape Sarandaris, offering breathtaking views of Hersonissos’ western coves. It can be accessed by walking eastwards from the hotel beaches or by taking the road that links Anisaras and Hersonissos. Near the cape, a stone footpath leads to the church.

Anisaras is not a structured settlement, but rather a scattering of hotels and holiday homes, limiting dining and entertainment options outside the hotels. However, the close proximity of Hersonissos provides alternatives. Access to Anisaras from Heraklion by bus is slightly problematic, with no direct route available. The buses destined for Hersonissos stop about 2km from the beach, necessitating a taxi.

Contrary to rumors, Anisaras does not derive its name from the plant anise, which is not found in the area. Instead, the name is a corruption of ‘agisaras,’ the Greek name for the plant Cistus creticus (also known as aladania), which is abundant in the region.

  • 2.4 km
  • Sarandaris coves
  • Fine Pebbles, Rocks in places, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue, Green

The tranquil beaches of Hersonissos Coves, also known as Limanakia, are located 27km east of Heraklion, extending from Cape Sarandaris to Hersonissos harbour. The beaches are protected from the strong northwest winds by Cape Sarandaris (Sarantari), providing calm waters for visitors. These coves are easily reachable and are situated near the vibrant town of Hersonissos with plenty of bars and cafes.

The western edge of the coves features a concrete dock ideal for diving, nestled on the rocky western side of Cape Sarandaris (Sarantari) near the quaint St. George Sarandaris chapel. A staircase leads to a sunbathing spot with hotel umbrellas and a rocky seabed perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Further down, at Cape Sarandaris’s base, you’ll discover the breathtaking Sarantari Cape beach, arguably the most picturesque and sheltered beach in Hersonissos. Its sandy beaches, shallow crystal-clear waters, and an intriguing sea cave make it a tranquil alternative to other beaches, despite the challenging descent through steep limestone cliffs.

Contrary to popular belief, Hersonissos also has a stony naturist beach located next to Sarandaris Cape, hidden discreetly by tall cliffs. This sandy, rocky cove provides a peaceful spot for swimming and solitude.

The well-known Sarandari beach comes next, popular among children due to its shallow waters and soft sands. The beach offers umbrellas, sunbeds, and a small canteen for convenience.

Next to Sarandari is Giofyri beach, situated under the main road and supported by a massive concrete wall. With its unique white coarse sand, deeper waters, and rocky seabed, it’s a popular choice among visitors, complete with umbrella and sunbed facilities.

Heading east from Giofyri along the coastal road, a series of small, slim beaches framed by white rocks awaits, their light-blue waters offering a truly mesmerizing sight. This captivating landscape stretches until you reach the large beach in front of the Creta Maris hotel, which extends up to Hersonissos port. This beach is well-equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports facilities, and a beach volleyball court, becoming busier and more exposed to winds nearer the harbor.

Regardless of whether you decide to swim, a casual walk from the port to Cape Sarandaris offers stunning views of Hersonissos Bay and St. George’s chapel in Sarandaris. At Hersonissos port, consider visiting the lighthouse and the Agia Paraskevi church, partially built into the rock. On Kastri Hill, the remnants of the early Christian Hersonissos basilica and its preserved mosaics are a must-see.

  • 2.8 km
  • Aposelemis beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

The Aposelemis River, situated 19km east of Heraklion, between Analipsi and Gouves, is a significant wetland in northern Crete. The pond that forms near the shoreline serves as a natural habitat for various migratory birds and rare species. The river’s outlet gives way to a beautiful sandy beach with shallow cool waters. Although it’s in close proximity to large hotels and tourist spots, the beach lacks organization compared to other top beaches in the vicinity, with only a handful of umbrellas and sunbeds available.

There are two alternative routes to reach the beach. One option is to drive towards the beach of Analipsi and then follow the coastal road heading west. After traversing a few meters past the region’s rocky shores, you’ll arrive at the extensive Aposelemis beach. Alternatively, you can take the coastal road of Kato Gouves to its eastern end, where the road veers right and runs along a hotel’s walls. Aposelemis beach is directly across from this hotel, adjacent to Gouves’ soccer field.

  • 3.3 km