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Beaches near Stérnai, in Heraklion region

Here is list of closest beaches to Stérnai

  • 7.2 km
  • Glykys Kolimbos beach
  • Pebbles
  • Normal
  • Blue

The Glykys Kolymbos beach, also known as Glykos Kolymbos, is the most westerly beach in the Tris Ekklisies region of the Asterousia Mountains. It’s a remarkable location featuring striking geological formations in the water that appear as stripes when viewed from above. The beach’s name, which translates to sweet water beach, is derived from the freshwater springs that bubble up underwater.

What sets Glykys Kolymbos apart are the three incredible interconnected caves at its eastern end, resembling a series of rooms. The largest of these caves stands at a height of 20 meters, and the first one is likened to a swimming pool. A stunning stone bridge takes shape at the eastern end’s extremity.

Access to the beach is primarily by boat due to the challenging land approach. However, a steep ravine after the beach’s western end allows for a descent to the beach. This ravine sits beneath a small sheepfold, right where the dirt road that runs through the Tris Ekklisies carob wood terminates. Due to the poor state of this dirt road, access is typically on foot from the Ornios beach to the west, along the steep shores. Here, you can marvel at the cliffs featuring natural arches. A unique natural balcony, a rock shelter, forms above the termination point of the dirt road, offering a breathtaking view of the sea.

  • 7.4 km
  • Tris Ekklissies beach
  • Pebbles, Sand
  • Normal
  • Blue

Treis Ekklisies, or Three Churches, is a hidden coastal village situated 64km south of Heraklion, nestled within the rugged and untamed terrain of the Asterousia Mountains. This remote area of Crete, despite its challenging accessibility, boasts some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches. Reaching Treis Ekklisies involves a scenic 10km drive along a winding asphalt road, beginning in the village of Paranymfi, offering breathtaking views of the sea.

While in Paranymfi, visitors can explore the ancient monastery of Saint Paul, adorned with 14th-century frescoes. Just half a kilometre past Paranymfi, the breathtaking Libyan Sea and Tris Ekklisies vistas can be admired from the majestic Ambas Gorge waterfall, standing at a height of 145m.

The settlement of Treis Ekklisies is nestled in a bay at the mouth of the Ambas Gorge. The surrounding cliff walls house Greece and Southern Europe’s largest vulture colony, including the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), one of Europe’s rarest vulture species.

The village’s name, Three Churches, originated from the three local Byzantine churches dedicated to Transfiguration, St. George, and Annunciation. A lengthy sandy beach with crystal-clear deep waters lies in front of the settlement. While the beach lacks extensive infrastructure, there are available accommodations, cafes, and taverns nearby. Further to the east, along the coastal dirt road, one can find the rock of Kolovrehtis and a small cove, followed by Volakas beach and finally, Glikia Vlyhada, both well-liked by locals and free campers.

  • 7.5 km
  • Agios Antonios beach
  • Fine Pebbles
  • Normal
  • Deep blue

St. Anthony, also known as Agios Antonios, is situated 71 kilometers south of Heraklion, nestled between the village of Agios Ioannis and Koudoumas Monastery on Crete island. This secluded area is accessible only by a footpath linking Agios Ioannis to the monastery, meandering amid pine trees. Midway along the path (20′-30′), a Δ-shaped cave housing the quaint St. Anthony chapel can be observed from a distance. The cave, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, drips holy water into three troughs. This cave was once a refuge for monks, including Saint Parthenios and Evmenios, the founders of Koudoumas Monastery.

The surrounding landscape is dotted with several small bays that house pristine beaches with coarse sand and crystal-clear deep waters. These secluded beaches are encircled by towering cliffs and small caves providing shade. The remoteness and challenging access make this location perfect for those seeking solitude or for fishing enthusiasts, as it can only be accessed by swimming from the sides. The largest beach is named Agios Antonios or Green Beach, named after the nearby St. Anthony’s cave and the sea’s hues. The two smaller coves to the west are known as Small (Mikro) Agadiko and Big (Megalo) Agadiko, which are not directly visible from the trail. Additionally, the small cave of Hostospilios, located west of Agios Antonios and near Agadiko beaches, is also worth visiting.

  • 7.7 km
  • Koudoumas beach
  • Pebbles
  • Normal
  • Blue

The Koudoumas Monastery is nestled 74km south of Heraklion, on the western edge of Cape Martelos and beneath Kofinas Peak, the highest summit of the Asterousia Mountains. This region is dotted with cavities, once the refuge of hermits. Getting to the monastery involves a 20km drive on a dirt road originating from Sternes village, which takes you from an elevation of 1000m down to sea level. The descent offers breathtaking views that might even induce vertigo! The path is lined with pine and cypress trees, many contorted by the forceful winds.

In front of the monastery, a beautiful pebble beach with crystal clear, cool waters awaits. It’s a perfect spot for swimming and tranquil moments. Please be aware that nudism is not permitted here. Besides the monastery, there is no other infrastructure for several kilometres, so ensure you have all the essentials with you. Camping on the beach is allowed, as long as you respect the monks’ privacy. To the east of the beach, numerous caves provide shelter and shade.

Dedicated to the Assumption, the Koudoumas Monastery was initially a small church within a cave. The original chapel, constructed in the 14th century and dedicated to Christ, was either abandoned or destroyed by pirates. In 1878, Saints Parthenios and Evmenios started constructing the monastery over the old church ruins. Today, it has been restored, with the ancient frescoes now visible. A newer, second church honouring Saint Parthenios and Evmenios has also been built, with their feast day celebrated on July 10. The monastery houses the relics of these saints.

Each year, on July 10 and August 15, hundreds of worshippers flock to the monastery to celebrate and spend the night on the beach, partaking in the feast. If you visit Koudoumas, take a 15-25 minutes walk westwards to the Cave of Avakkospilio, home to monks in the past. The cave boasts an impressive array of stalactites, stalagmites, and large columns. In antiquity, it served as a fertility goddess worship site, where childless women were brought. You can also trek to the St. Anthony’s Cave (60′-90′) or follow the old footpath eastwards to the village of Paranimfi (4-5 hours).

  • 7.8 km
  • Agios Ioannis beach - Heraklion