Crete is the largest island in Greece, and it’s no surprise that Crete beaches offer a huge choice for every taste. With our help, it will be easy to find the best beaches in Crete. We have outlined details of the nearest beaches in Crete on our site.
Family friendly beaches are some of the best beaches in Crete and you’ll find them by the bucketful with all the amenities you need including life guards, beach tavernas, mini-markets selling lilos, beach balls, inflatables, snorkeling equipment and of course ice-cream and the very best sandcastle building sand anywhere in the world!.
Maleme beach is to the West of Chania. It is part of the Platanias municipality in the prefecture of Chania. It is a relatively small village resort by the sea. It is quiet and peaceful being 2,5 km from our House Cretan Sun the beaches of Gerani, Agia Marina and Platanias.
There is a magnificent church befitting a village of this size. The church of Agios Antonios is effectively at the Center of the village. Maleme is a quiet place built on the side of a fertile hill between the villages of Tavronitis and Gerani. The village is surrounded by Olive trees, Orange groves and vineyards. There are about 800 permanent residents in Maleme.
Maleme has history – both very recent and significantly older. It has believed to have been founded many centuries ago – long before its first mention in the 16th century census. The area is relatively flat and is of course coastal – because of this, it has been very popular with many invading armies in previous years.
The Turks landed here in 1645 and stayed in the area before conquering and ruling for some 250 years. A fierce battle took place between the Cretan revolutionaries and the Turks in 1867.In 1897 the Greek army landed here to start the war that would ultimately lead to the liberation of Crete.
More recently Maleme also featured prominently in the Cretan history associated with World War 2. At that time (1941) Maleme was the site of the old Chania airport and a tremendous battle took place in May as the airport was taken by the Germans. Many parachutists were deployed and the Germans in particular suffered huge losses as the parachutists jumped in to heavy infantry fire from the British.
This was the start of the ‘Battle of Crete’ that would ultimately lead to the death of thousands of young German, British, New Zealand and Australian lives.
There is a German War cemetery at Maleme in the area of Kafkalos. Some 4,500 Germans are buried there in a beautifully kept place with line after line of flat headstones. It is similar to the British and Commonwealth War cemetery at Souda. An incredibly moving place to be and its impossible not to reflect on the stupidity of war as you walk through and see the headstones of dead soldiers with an average age of 17 – 20.
Most people who visit Crete are aware of a book called ‘The Cretan Runner’ written by Giorgos Psychoundakis. Giorgios was originally a shepherd but became a member of the resistance after the German invasion. His heroic and selfless exploits along with those of the resistance fighters, the British soldiers trapped on Crete and the general population are described in the book. It is regarded as a classic book of its type.
Surprising until his death in his late eighties, Giorgos Psychoundakis was the ‘caretaker’ of this extremely well kept and maintained cemetery!
In reality, if you look closely or talk to the villagers, there are reminders of WW2 all over Crete. However, the Cretan people are not – as far as I can see / have ever observed, Anti German in any way.
Having dwelt on the not exactly uplifting history of Maleme, it is worth saying again that it’s a lovely quiet and peaceful village on the coast with a great beach and many tavernas and shops! A really nice place to holiday and to live.
Platanias Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete and is a popular sandy beach just 11 km west of Chania. The beach is a long stretch offering full amenities with great food and drink at the sea front tavernas and bars. It has great facilities for swimming and sunbathing and water sports. you can easily access the beach from the road. So Disability access is good. 800 m across the bay is the island of Thedorou, with excellent scuba diving and snorkeling sites.
Platanias is a great popular place – check it out here.
It is a bustling seaside town where a raucous main strip splits the town in half. To the north there’s a long beach lined with bars and hotels, while to the south there’s a charming old town climbing up the surrounding hillside. And along the main street itself you’ve got late-night bars and the most popular nightclubs on the island.
Like many villages on the north coast of Crete, there is an Upper (Ano) and a Lower (Kato) Platanias. Upper Platanias is the old village built on a hillside with fantastic view of the sea and the islet of Thodorou. Kato Platanias began to thrive thanks to the burgeoning tourist trade. It is now one of the most popular destinations in Crete. It has grown and spread out so much that it has practically merged with next door Agia Marina to the east. Platanias can be a noisy, busy place but lots of fun if you’re looking for that sort of thing.
The beach is a beautiful strand of golden sand, and there are many nice little beach bars, restaurants, snack places, and terraces to sit and enjoy the sun all along its length. It is a favorite of young people but it also attracts large numbers of families with children. In short, there is something for everyone at Platanias. It has some of the most popular night clubs in Crete, which line the main street of the village, running parallel to the sea.
Platanias is not only a popular tourist destination, many locals live there too and it offers plenty of amenities all year round like shops, supermarket, bank, post, bakery, taverns, cafeterias, police stations, school etc. – a bustling center full of activity and entertainment..
Chania, a bustling, fascinating medieval city is only 20 minutes away.
The proximity to Chania, the beautiful beach and the regular bus services from Chania have made Platanias the most popular beach near Chania city.