Beaches near Kousés, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Kousés

  • 6.5 km
  • Komos beach
  • Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Situated 66km southwest of Heraklion, Kommos (or Komos) lies a mere 2km north of Matala and in close proximity to Pitsidia village. It stands as the southernmost and remotest section of the extensive beachfront of Messara Bay. Once serving as the port of Phaestus, the remnants of the ancient port of Kommos can still be observed on the beach. It can be reached by driving towards Matala and following a sign to Kommos near Pitsidia.

The entire beachfront of Messara is exposed to the prevalent westerly winds. Visitors should exercise caution as the seabed can be rocky in certain areas. The beach also serves as a nesting ground for the protected loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) between the months of May and September.

Potamos or Potamoserma, the northern section of Kommos, is a popular spot among naturists, dating back to when hippies frequented the area. The location is dotted with sparse tamarisk trees and devoid of buildings due to its protected archaeological status, restricting construction. Next to the archaeological site in the south, there is a developed beach equipped with amenities such as umbrellas, sun beds, a toilet, showers, a canteen and a lifeguard. Surrounding sand dunes are home to white sand lilies that mark the end of summer. Nearby Kalamaki or Pitsidia and Matala offer options for accommodation and dining.

The sight of Paximadia islets during sunset is breathtaking. A large rock, known locally as Volakas, stands 300m out at sea, opposite the archaeological site. According to local lore, this rock is the tip of the boulder that the blinded Cyclops Polyphemus hurled at Odysseus’ ship to prevent his escape, following Odysseus and his crew’s escape from Polyphemus’ cave.

Kommos, the ancient port of Phaestus, was established around 200BC. However, it was subsequently destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt at the same location. The archaeological site of Komos, not open to the public, houses a Minoan harbour, public buildings, warehouses, oil presses, shipyards and a large courtyard. Archaeologists have uncovered a small temple, constructed on the ruins of an older one.

  • 6.7 km
  • Kalamaki beach - Heraklion
  • Fine Pebbles, Rocks in places
  • Normal
  • Blue

Kalamaki, a quaint seaside hamlet, is nestled between Matala and Kokkinos Pirgos, 65km southwest of Heraklion. The beach, a 2.5km stretch of the vast Messara Bay coastline, graces the village’s front. Its sandy shore is kissed by the sea, which conceals a slick, flat rock bed beneath its surface. It features large waves, usually stirred by northwest winds, making beach access challenging at times due to the rocky seabed.

The village-facing part of the beach is well-equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, eateries, accommodation, a lifeguard, playground, and water sports. For a more isolated experience, head southeast towards Kommos beach, a favorite among nudists.

To the north, you’ll find Afratias and the Pahia Ammos beach, which features patches of rocks. Devoid of amenities, the beach does boast a small park used for hosting cultural events like concerts during summer months.

Further north lies the Timbaki military airport, now serving as a resort for Greek Air Force staff. Although the beachfront is accessible, trespassing beyond the fence is prohibited and could lead to arrest. Sometimes, parachuters and skydivers can be spotted descending from small aircraft, courtesy of a local club based at the airport. In 2008, a small plane crashed into the Kalamaki sea, with the pilot miraculously surviving the ordeal. The Tymbaki airport holds ecological significance for the Mesara plains as it’s intersected by the Geropotamos River, which flows out to the beach. This river, the area’s largest, serves as a sanctuary for hundreds of rare birds across its numerous ponds.

The sandy coast of Messara Bay is a protected breeding ground for the loggerhead sea turtle. To prevent nest destruction and avoid frightening these creatures, it’s best not to roam the beach’s darker areas during summer nights.

Although Kalamaki doesn’t boast a significant history due to its relatively new establishment, it’s a popular seaside resort for Kamilari locals. Some believe it once served as a small harbor for Phaestus or Gortys in ancient times, though no concrete evidence supports this claim.

  • 8.0 km
  • Matala beach
  • Fine Pebbles, Sand
  • Deep
  • Blue, Green

The beach of Matala is situated 68km southwest of Heraklion, where the Messara plain and Asteroussia Mountains intersect. It is one of the most frequented tourist spots in Crete and the most well-known beach in the southern region of the Heraklion prefecture. Matala is notable for its rock-carved caves and its association with the hippie culture of the 1970s. It lies in close proximity to Phaestus, the second largest palace of the Minoan civilization, having once served as its port. During the era of the Romans, Matala transformed into a port for Gortyn.

Nestled at the end of a small valley, Matala overlooks an enclosed bay with a picturesque view of the Paximadia islands. The beach spans 300m and features beautiful sandy shores, fine gravel, and crystal-clear deep waters. However, parts of the seabed, particularly the central area, are quite rocky and waves are common due to frequent westerly winds. A large cave can be found on the northern part of the beach, from which some thrill-seekers dive.

Matala beach is well-equipped with amenities such as umbrellas, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, first aid facilities, beach volleyball courts, snack bars, water sports, excursion boats, and a camping site. The surrounding area of Matala offers a range of accommodation, dining, and entertainment options. The beach is largely shaded by tamarisk trees, providing a respite from the sun. Come evening, the beach bars are brimming with people, both locals and tourists. The internationally acclaimed Matala Festival draws large crowds every June.

  • 8.3 km
  • Red beach
  • Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue, Green

The Kokkini Ammos, or Red Beach, can be found 68km southwest of Heraklion and a short 800m from the popular resort of Matala. You can reach this hidden gem by following a clearly marked trail from Matala, which takes you over Kastri hill. While the trail includes some initial rock climbing and a steep descent at the end, it’s quite feasible. After a 15-25 minute walk from Matala, passing through a shepherd’s gate along the way, the breathtaking Red Beach comes into view. It’s an ideal spot for enjoying panoramic views and beautiful sunsets. Alternatively, you can also reach the beach by boat from Matala Harbour for a small fee of around 5 euros.

The beach is most noted for its red sand, a result of the area’s unique geology, which forms a stunning contrast against the bright blue-green sea. However, it’s important to note that it’s not shielded from the typical western winds in the region. The beach has minimal facilities, with a simple stone-wall coffee shop that opens occasionally offering food and drinks, and some umbrellas. It’s recommended to bring your own mats and umbrellas as the only natural shade is provided by a few tamarisk trees near the canteen.

In the 1960s and 70s, Red Beach was a popular spot among hippies, and its legacy continues with enthusiasts still visiting the beach regularly. Especially the northern part of the beach has gained a reputation as a nudist-friendly area and has gained international recognition for this. The beach and its surrounding area are protected by the Natura 2000 program due to its ecological importance.

The northern end of the beach features a long rocky limestone formation, similar to the limestone found in Matala. These rocks are decorated with carvings of Minoan and Egyptian sea figures, created by Gerard, a Belgian fan of Matala. These carvings have become a key part of the beach’s appeal. Between Matala and the Red Beach, there’s a large rock known as Theosini that offers stunning views of Messara Bay. This rock has been eroded by the sea, creating a marine cave known as Kouroupi, which can only be accessed by boat. The cave is a haven for endangered Mediterranean seals and various species of wild pigeons.

  • 8.8 km