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Red beach

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Beach description

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.

Location

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Most frequent asked questions

Where is the Red Beach located?

The Red Beach is located 68km southwest of Heraklion. It’s approximately 800m south of the popular resort of Matala.

How can I reach the Red Beach from Matala?

The Red Beach is accessible via a 15-25 minute trek from Matala. The trail begins north of the Matala settlement and crosses the Kastri hill. Alternatively, you can take a boat from Matala harbour.

Is the Red Beach nudist-friendly?

Yes, the Red Beach has been recognized as a nudist-friendly destination. This is particularly true for the northern part of the Red beach.

What is the water colour of the Red beach?

The water colour of the Red beach is blue and green.

What type of sand is found on the Red beach?

The Red beach has sand.

What is the water depth of the Red beach?

The water depth of the Red beach is normal.

What is the surface of the sea like at the Red beach?

The sea surface at the Red beach is usually wavy.

What is the crowd like at the Red beach?

The Red beach has a normal crowd.

What facilities are available at the Red beach?

The Red beach has food and water nearby, as well as umbrellas and beds.

What are the ways to access the Red beach?

The Red beach can be accessed by boat or walking.

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Other beaches in the area

  • 870 m
  • Heraklion
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Stays near Red beach

  • 8.7 / 10
  • Matala

Boasting garden views, Villa Red Beach – Matala Love features accommodation with a balcony and a coffee machine, around 100 metres from Matala beach. It has mountain views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The holiday home has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with sea views.

Hiking can be enjoyed nearby.

Red Sand Beach is 1.2 km from the holiday home, while Phaistos is 12 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 64 km from Villa Red Beach – Matala Love.

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€165

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  • 690 m
  • 9 / 10
  • Eparchiaki Odos Gortinas - Matalon

Boasting city views, Stelios Apartment features accommodation with a balcony and a coffee machine, around 100 metres from Matala beach. It has mountain views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The apartment features 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with sea views.

A car rental service is available at the apartment, while cycling can be enjoyed nearby.

Red Sand Beach is 1.2 km from Stelios Apartment, while Phaistos is 12 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 64 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

  • 700 m
  • 8.6 / 10
  • Matala

Just 50 metres from the beach, Villa Sylvia is located in Matala Village. It boasts free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned accommodation with a terrace or balcony overlooking the stone paved courtyard and garden or mountain.

Villa Sylvia’s rooms come with a fridge and a private bathroom with bathtub or shower. All of the studios offer a kitchenette with coffee-tea-facilities and cooking hobs for the preparation of light meals.

A variety of taverns, café-bars and shops are conveniently situated only 20 metres from the property. It is 66 km from Heraklion International Airport and Heraklion Port.

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  • 700 m
  • 9.7 / 10
  • Matala Village Square

Featuring city views, Alexandra`s House offers accommodation with a balcony and a coffee machine, around 80 metres from Matala beach. It features mountain views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The apartment is fitted with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with sea views.

Red Sand Beach is 1.1 km from the apartment, while Phaistos is 12 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 64 km from Alexandra`s House.

  • 700 m
  • 8.4 / 10
  • Matala

Set in Matala, Beach View Matala offers accommodation 100 metres from Matala beach and 1.2 km from Red Sand Beach. Complimentary WiFi is offeredthroughout the property.

All units are air-conditioned and some of them feature a seating area with a flat-screen TV, and a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area. A fridge and kitchenware are also provided, as well as a coffee machine.

A car rental service is available at the apartment, while fishing and hiking can be enjoyed nearby.

Phaistos is 12 km from Beach View Matala, while Museum of Cretan Ethnology is 15 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 64 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.

  • 710 m
  • 9 / 10
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Studio George – near the beach has a balcony and is set in Matala, within just 60 metres of Matala beach and 1.2 km of Red Sand Beach. It features quiet street views and free WiFithroughout the property.

The air-conditioned apartment is composed of 1 separate bedroom, a fully equipped kitchenette with a fridge and a kitchenware, and 1 bathroom. Towels and bed linen are featured in the apartment.

If you would like to discover the area, snorkelling and hiking are possible in the surroundings.

Phaistos is 12 km from the apartment, while Museum of Cretan Ethnology is 15 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 64 km from Studio George – near the beach.

  • 710 m

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