Ombros Gialos (or Omprosgialos) is located 26km east of Chania, on the east coast of Drapanokefala, near Kefalas and Paleloni villages. It is a rocky beach with blue deep water. There is a small harbour with a dock, from which swimmers usually dive in the crystal waters. Next to the harbour, there is only one tavern, very famous for its fish dishes. The coast is not well organized and is quite far from well-organized accommodation choices. The sea around Ombrosgialos is ideal for snorkelers and scuba divers.
Ombrosgialos can be accessed by car through the asphalt road that starts from Paleloni. Though, another way is to come here by private boat from any nearby port, such as Georgioupolis or Kalives.
Almyrida beach is a tranquil resort offering basic facilities along with a magnificent seafront. Almyrida is situated 23km east of Chania city and nestled on the southern edge of Souda Bay near Cape Drapanos. The surrounding pristine countryside and verdant olive groves provide perfect opportunities for hiking and exploration.
A short distance of just 1km to the east lies the scenic village of Plaka, the largest in the area, renowned for its welcoming atmosphere and healthy climate. The coast stretching to Drapanos Cape is dotted with numerous sea caves, presenting a breathtaking natural spectacle. Plaka is also celebrated for its charming, narrow lanes and well-preserved, traditional houses.
Each July, the village hosts the Plakiana festival, a tribute to the renowned lyre musician Michael Papadakis, or Plakianos, showcasing the area’s rich cultural heritage. Among the unforgettable experiences here is the mesmerizing sunset, a truly memorable sight.
Declared a region of infinite beauty in 1977, Almyrida boasts two beautiful sandy beaches with shallow waters. On calm days, they’re safe for children to play in. These two beaches are separated by a small rocky peninsula featuring a quaint white chapel. Ideal for water sports and windsurfing, the area is also renowned for its seaside taverns serving fresh fish and delicious traditional Cretan cuisine. Regular bus and taxi services connect Almyrida and Plaka to Chania city.
Directly across from the beach is the small island of Karga, a haven for birdlife and a popular spot for excursions and fishing. The island still bears traces of ancient Phoenician walls and shelters constructed by the Germans during World War II.
Almyrida is thought to have been a Phoenician colony, hence the nearby location Finikia. Here, you can find ancient ruins and tombs. At the entrance to the village lie the remnants of a 6th-century triple-aisle Christian basilica with well-preserved mosaics. Almirida also played a role in Crete’s history as the site of the last battle against the Turks in 1896.
For those interested in sightseeing, just four kilometres east of Almirida is Kokkino Chorio or Red Village. A small village with intriguing fortifications built by the Germans during their occupation (1941-1945) to safeguard the military port of Souda. This was also a filming location for the famous movie “Zorba the Greek”. Today, it hosts a small factory producing handmade glass using traditional blowing techniques.
Situated approximately 20km east of the city of Chania, Kera beach can be found on the southern coastline of Souda Bay, near the scenic villages of Kalives and Plaka. This beach, adorned with soft sand and the occasional pebble, is nestled amidst a breathtaking landscape of towering cliffs. The sea at Kera is shallow and boasts crystal clear waters. Although it lacks organization, the surrounding area offers numerous choices for lodging and dining. Those preferring less crowded spots will find Kera an ideal choice. The beach offers a striking view of Karga island and features a unique elongated rock in the sea towards its west end. This rock, named Karavos (meaning ship) by the locals, resembles a boat.
Close to the beach is the 19th-century church of Panagia Kera (or Dame Virgin Mary), erected on the location of a former monastery. According to local legend, when pirates once tried to invade the area, the inhabitants sought divine intervention from the church of Panagia Kera. In response to their prayers, the Virgin Mary turned both the pirates and their boat to stone.
Located 38km east of Chania and 21km west of Rethymnon, Kalivaki is the furthest beach to the west in the bay of Georgioupolis. Nestled near the exit of the Almyros and Boutakas rivers, which maintain a steady flow of water year-round, Kalivaki is a gorgeous sandy beach. The water here is particularly cool, owing to the influence of the rivers and freshwater springs. Kalivaki is a well-appointed beach, complete with umbrellas, water sports facilities, and nearby restaurants. Its protective positioning relative to the other Georgioupolis beaches makes it an excellent choice for children, especially on windy days.
Koutalis, also known as Koutalas beach, is positioned 25km to the east of the metropolis of Chania, situated near Cape Drepano and approximately 1km north of Kokkino Chorio. The region is notable for its extraordinary caves, such as the Elephants’ Cave and Petsis Cave. Adjacent to Koutalis, Kokkino Chorio is recognized for the WWII cavernous shelters erected by the Germans on Drapanokefala hill to safeguard Souda Bay, its charming traditional residences, and a collection of wells for water collection. This location also served as a filming location for “Zorba the Greek.”
Being relatively secluded, Koutalis beach is a familiar starting point for local scuba divers exploring the nearby sea caves. The beach is nestled at the end of a rocky gorge and cradled within a narrow bay, characterized by its large, round pebbles and stones. It’s the perfect spot for fishing and solitude, but ensure to pack essentials like umbrellas, food and water. To reach this location, head north from Kokkino Chorio village towards Drepano Cape, then onto the road leading to Faros (Lighthouse). Roughly 700m further north, look for the sign to Koutalas. A manageable dirt path will lead you directly to the beach, which might well be totally deserted. A large cave can be found next to the beach.
A hidden gem between Koutalis and Almirida is Vraskos beach. Similar to Koutalis, Vraskos is located at the end of a short narrow gorge, but no road leads directly to it. The sea bed is quite rocky with patches of sand.