Paleochora Beach Guide

Find a beach in or near Paleochora

Paleochora’s beaches are some of the best in south-western Crete. A pristine coastline travels 18 kilometres along the shore of Paleochora. Like a bride flaunting an aqua wedding gown train, Paleochora proudly displays a continuous line of beaches that lace around the luminous Libyan Sea. No need to leave town to bask in the best!

satellite image of paleochora beaches
  • 1. Pachia Ammos
  • 2. Halikia or Votsala Beach
  • 3. Anidri and Gialiskari Beach
  • 4. Volakas, Plakaki and Karavopetra
  • 5. Grammeno
  • 6. Krios
  • 7. Elafonissi

Beaches in Paleochora at Google Map

Beaches in Paleochora

pachia ammos beach

Pachia Ammos Beach. Pachia Ammos (meaning ‘Thick Sand’) is the large, kilometre-long beach on the west coast of Paleochora.

Pachia Ammos Beach is proud to fly the EU Blue Flag, showing that the water is clean and the beach has all the necessary facilities for safe swimming.

There are usually nudists at the northwest end of the beach. If this bothers you, stay away; there are another 900 metres of wonderful beach at your disposal.

halikia or votsala beach in paleochora

Halikia or Votsala Beach. The second beach in Paleochora itself is the pebble beach on the east side, Halikia (‘Pebbles’) as the locals call it.

The beach is in front of the street with the most restaurants and tavernas in Paleochora. Cast off your clothes and dive into the sea, then head across the street for something to eat.

Halikia Beach is also ideal for those who hate sand sticking to them. Especially on days when a north wind is blowing, there’s no sand to sting you on the pebble beach

Beaches east of Paleochora

gianiskari beach and anidri beach

East of Paleochora, about 4 kilometres away, is a treasure trove of little beaches at Gianiskari or Gyaliskari. Follow the smooth dirt road that runs east along the coast after the campsite, to its end.

The coast here is strewn with great rocks, bringing to mind one of the myths of Crete, that of Talos. The bronze giant Τalos ran from one side of the island to the other every day, guarding Crete from its enemies.

As soon as Talos spotted strange ships approaching, he drew up his giant bronze body before them. If the sailors could not persuade him that they were friendly and did not change course, Talos hurled huge rocks at them and sank their ships.

But don’t worry, we all hallucinate a bit along the way, especially if walking or cycling, as there is no shade at all.

The three beaches at Gianiskari are next to each other. Two of them are also called Anidri or Anidri Beach, as they are at the mouth of the gorge from the village of Anidri.

Two of the three beaches have pebbles, a taverna and umbrellas (No 1), while the eastern most beach is sandy (No 2). Here you may well see some nudists, especially in the quieter months.

Beaches west of Paleochora

Beaches of Psilos Volakas, Plakaki and Karavopetra. West of Paleochora the coastal tarmac road brings you to a row of tiny inlets and beaches to suit every taste. The first ones you come to are Psilos Volakas, Plakaki and Karavopetra. Stop for a refreshing dip wherever you feel like it.

grammeno beach in paleochora

Four kilometres west of Paleochora is Grammeno, a lovely peninsula with cedars, many beaches, a campsite and a canteen for anyone who feels like a bite to eat after swimming.
One beach (Νο 1) has small pebbles and stretches west, while on the east side is a sandy beach (Νο 2). There are also two or three little inlets among the cedars on the Grammeno peninsula (Νο 3).

Krios Beach. About 10 kilometres west of Paleochora is Krios, a large beach which is well worth a visit. It’s after the village of Koundoura with its many greenhouses. Krios is a pebble beach with a canteen and umbrellas.

Elafonissi Beach. If there is a place worthy of being called an earthly paradise, it is Εlafonissi with its lagoon and breathtakingly beautiful beaches.
There is a boat from Paleochora to Elafonissi. The trip takes 45 minutes and everyone gets on the boat sooner or later when they hear about the world-famous Elafonissi beach. Otherwise you can drive there, but the route goes in a great circle and it’ll take you at least an hour and a half. You can also walk to Elafonissi along the coastal E4 path from Krios, and return by boat in the afternoon.

Naturists’ beaches in Paleochora

There are no exclusively nudist beaches at Paleochora, but on almost all of them you may see people who want to enjoy their swim without being encumbered by the slightest strip of clothing. This is obviously not allowed on the beaches in the town itself, but outside it anything is possible depending on the time of year.

  • The end of the large Pachia Ammos beach is suitable for nudism throughout the tourist season.
  • You can strip off on the beaches at Gianiskari if opportunity allows, on days when there aren’t too many people.
  • The same applies to Krios and the western inlets at Grammeno.

The beaches of Paleochora are definitely both spectacular and many. Explore them one-by-one and choose the one that suits you best.

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