Sfinari beach, nestled 60km west of Chania city and 30km south of Kissamos, is a hidden gem in front of its namesake village. This peaceful village is at the mouth of a lush, deep valley and is wrapped in the embrace of verdant mountains. Known for its tranquillity, Sfinari offers a beautiful sandy beach speckled with pebbles. With a handful of lodging and dining options, it’s an excellent choice for serene family getaways. On days when the waves are gentle, the beach becomes a haven for snorkelling. Numerous tamarisk trees provide ample natural shade, making it a perfect spot to unwind.
Sfinari is favoured primarily by those on the hunt for solitude, so don’t anticipate a bustling nightlife or booming beach bars. Despite its remote location, it’s easily accessible via bus from Chania station, so not owning a car isn’t an issue. However, having a car could enhance your Crete exploration experience.
Venturing up the mountain at the beach’s southern end, crossing the carob tree-filled rocky cape of Korakas, you’ll glimpse the secluded beach of Platanakia on the other side. With careful navigation, you can descend to this remote beach for a truly peaceful dip.
Kokkina Grema, a secluded beach known for its Red Cliffs, is located 55km west of Chania, 28km southwest of Kissamos, and 3km west of Platanos village. The beach’s name is derived from the reddish soil of the northern peninsula.
Situated at the exit of a tiny gorge from Platanos village, Kokkina Grema shapes the bay of Lygia. The beach, characterized by its ruggedness and pebbles, is an ideal spot for camping and solitude, although it may not be suitable for families with children due to the lack of facilities and shade. Visitors are advised to bring their own umbrellas.
Reaching Kokkina Grema can be challenging due to the poor condition of the dirt track leading from Platanos. However, the journey ends beautifully with the scenic chapel of Panagia situated on the beach.
Platanakia beach, situated 61km southwest of Chania city, 31km south of Kissamos, 5km northwest of Kambos village, and in close proximity to Sfinari bay, is nestled at the mouth of the scenic Kambos gorge that originates from the namesake village.
Platanakia is a secluded cove, often deserted, and guarded by towering cliffs. The beach is a mix of sandy and stony patches, making it a perfect retreat for those seeking solitude, even in the height of summer. Nearby trees provide natural shade to beachgoers.
To reach the beach from Kambos village on foot, one must traverse the lush, two-hour path through the gorge, which is adorned with plane trees and has a river flowing throughout the year.
Adventurous travelers equipped with a 4×4 vehicle can opt for an offroad journey to the beach via a dirt track starting from Kambos. This route involves crossing fences installed by goat and sheep herders; please ensure they remain closed to prevent livestock from straying. The journey concludes at the picturesque, unexplored surroundings of Platanakia. Park your vehicle at the final plateau, near the visually striking cave chapel of Agia Ekaterini and Agia Marina, and descend the path directly to the beach below. Chances are, you’ll have the place to yourself!
The attractive Sfinari beach is tucked behind the northern rocky side of Platanakia beach (Cape Korakas) and is a 20-minute walk to the north of the beach.
Gylisma, also known as Kambos or Afratolaki, is a stony beach nestled 69km southwest of Chania city and 29km south of Kissamos, in proximity to the village of Kambos. The beach, characterized by its coarse pebbles, is not particularly suited for swimming, especially for families on windy days due to the high waves. The locals of Kambos mainly frequent it on calm days.
Afratolakki is an excellent option for those seeking solitude. Although the beach has basic amenities for accommodation and food, it lacks facilities like umbrellas and sunbeds. The rocky seabed of Afratolakki makes it an ideal spot for snorkelling.
To access the beach, one must traverse a 4.5km poorly-maintained dirt track leading from Kambos village to the beach.
Telonio Beach, beginning east of Kissamos’ main pedestrian road and extending to the Kissamikos stadium approximately 1km east, is the most westerly section of a long stretch of beach that reaches from Kissamos to Nopigia. Telonio is situated adjacent to Kissamos’ most vibrant area, where the former Customs’ Office and the current bustling seaside pedestrian road with its numerous taverns and cafes can be found. The beach itself is a mix of pebbles and sand, often characterized by waves and shallow water. Despite being close to the town, it is typically unorganized. Telonio used to be the most frequented beach in the area decades ago, but now Mavlos Molos holds that title. Telonio remains an excellent choice for those who desire tranquility yet also want the convenience of nearby amenities.