Beaches near Káto Vátheia, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Káto Vátheia

  • 3.5 km
  • Vathianos Kambos beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Situated 15km east of Heraklion lies the well-liked tourist resort of Vathianos Kambos. It derives its name from the nearby village of Vathia, found just a few kilometers to the south. The region is known for the Vathianos River that drains into the area and dries up during the summer. It is characterized by several contiguous bays with golden sands and shallow waters. Due to its north-facing beach front, the area experiences regular wave activity in the months of July and August, leading to the construction of numerous small piers that help to break the waves, retain the sand, and safeguard swimmers.

The most developed beach of Heraklion is found in the westernmost part of Vathianos Kambos, within the Estavromenos settlement. It is widely recognized as Arina, named after a local hotel. This extensive sandy beach attracts thousands of locals who flock there daily for a swim. The beach is teeming with umbrellas, bustling beach bars, and offers a plethora of beach sports options.

Moving east of Arina, you’ll come across the small bay of Agii Theodori. Here, you can still find the carved Minoan shipyard visible in the sea. Further on, you’ll encounter the successive coves of Vathianos Kambos, hidden from the main road due to the hotels interspersed between them. These bays are somewhat protected due to the presence of small piers. Only a handful of locals are privy to these secluded beaches, which extend all the way to Kokkini Hani.

  • 4.0 km
  • Kokkini Hani beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Situated 15km west of Heraklion and to the west of Vathianos Kambos, Kokkini Hani is a thriving resort, nestled amidst numerous crops grown in the region’s fertile plain. Its name, meaning “Kokkinis’s Inn,” harks back to the early 1900s when an inn run by a man named Kokkinis provided a resting place for weary travellers en route to Heraklion.

The resort boasts numerous beaches, safeguarded by artificial mini piers. Characterized by sandy shores and shallow turquoise waters, these beaches, though located in front of hotels, are open for public access. The resort is replete with shops and restaurants, and the beaches are well-equipped with umbrellas, lifeguards, and water sports facilities, providing all the necessary tourist infrastructure. In comparison to Malia and Hersonissos, Kokkini Hani’s nightlife is rather subdued.

Close to Vathianos Kambos, on Kokkini’s eastern side and near the coast, lies the small archaeological site of Niros Villa. This mansion from the Late Minoan Times served as the dwelling of a high-ranking Minoan priest, presumably overseeing the local Minoan harbour. Open to the public, this site offers visitors a glimpse of the architecture of a Minoan religious structure from 4000 years ago. Excavations at the villa have unearthed several large bronze axes – the emblem of the Minoans, along with jars, offering tables bearing raw clay, and a host of other smaller artefacts.

  • 4.4 km
  • Gournes beaches
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

Located 16km east of Heraklion, between Kokkini Hani and Kato Gouves, lies the tourist resort of Gournes. The area of Gournes, originally a separate village, is now part of a 23 kilometer stretch of unified beachfront that begins in Vathianos Kambos and ends in Malia. The fertile plains of Gournes are abundant with vegetable crops and olive groves.

The name ‘Gournes’ is derived from the Latin word ‘urna’ which means water troughs for livestock. However, there is another theory suggesting that the name comes from the Minoan larnakes (urns) that were found in the area.

The beaches of Gournes, like most on Crete’s north coast, are exposed to north winds. The beachfront is dotted with small artificial piers constructed to absorb wave impact and to preserve the sand. This has resulted in the formation of several sandy coves between these piers. The area’s long beach, located on the west part of Gournes, is well organized with lifeguards and umbrellas.

As you head east, the coast becomes rockier and you’ll come across a small torrent. A kilometer further east, you’ll find the former American Airbase of Gournes, which was abandoned in the early 1990s. Despite the derelict buildings, the area is home to the International Exhibition Center of Crete, the Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), the City Hall, and the Aquarium. There is also a small port and the longest beach of Gournes, a beautiful sandy stretch that extends to the beaches of Gouves. Particularly noteworthy is the well-organized municipal beach of Gouves, located west of the Old Base boundary.

During your visit to Gournes, don’t miss the chance to see the old church of the Annunciation in the old village and the picturesque church of Agios Ioannis Pezetis with its ancient frescoes. An excavated Minoan settlement and cemetery nearby have revealed many vases, figurines and seals. One of the most popular attractions in Gournes is the Cretaquarium. Once the largest aquarium in southern Europe, it continues to attract thousands of visitors daily and is located within the former U.S. base.

  • 5.8 km
  • Karteros beach
  • Sand
  • Shallow
  • Blue

The Karteros Bay, situated at the exit of the synonymous Karteros Gorge, lies 7km east of Heraklion and stretches 3.5km to the east. It pays homage to the Byzantine General, Krateros, who in 824AC attempted to liberate Crete from the Saracens by landing his ships on the bay’s beach, but unfortunately, he was defeated. The bay encompasses two villages, Karteros and Amnissos, which have now merged due to the area’s rapid evolution. The area’s development can be attributed to its proximity to Heraklion and the presence of an exquisite beachfront featuring fine golden sand.

You’ll find numerous hotels, eateries, and beach bars in close proximity to the bay. Karteros Bay is exposed to the northern winds, and as a result, the water tends to be wavy. The water is shallow with almost no rocks, except for a few areas. The least crowded part of the beach is situated next to the “Nikos Kazantzakis” airport, 7km west of Heraklion, known as Florida. This part got its name from an old tavern that no longer exists and is the most serene of all the beaches. Compared to the easternmost beaches, Florida has fewer umbrellas and facilities. The river from the Karteros Gorge empties into Florida, creating a small wetland on the beach, which dries up during the summer. It’s certainly worth a visit, especially in the spring.

While in Florida, you should stop by the old Church of St. John and St. Nikon Metanoite, constructed within a large cave. Moreover, don’t be startled if you spot horses on the beach as it’s home to the Heraklion Riding Club.

  • 6.2 km