Best
Beaches
Chania

Things to do in Chania – R4W 2024 
Rent a Motorbike in Chania – R4W 2024
Rent a Car in Chania – R4W 2024
Best time to visit Crete – R4W 2024

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the Best Beaches in Chania, written by actual locals!

If you’re planning a trip to this picturesque destination on the island of Crete, you won’t want to miss out on the stunning beaches that line its shores. Whether you’re seeking solitude, adventure, or family-friendly fun, Chania has a beach that’s perfect for you.

We decided to sort these suggestions by fame rather than which one is actual better. 

Enjoy the read!

Elafonisi

Elafonisi translates to “Deer Island” in Greek, is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With its pink sand and turquoise waters, it is truly a sight to behold. Located about 75 kilometers southwest of Chania, Elafonisi is accessible by car, motorbike or bus. You will enjoy it most if you visit it during the “shoulder season”, check more on our best time to visit Crete blog. Its not forbidding during peak season, however it can get uncomfortable, so make sure you arrive as early as possible. 

Nearby Hidden Gem: Kedrodasos.

Three Reasons Why should you visit Elafonisi:
1) It is the most famous beach in Crete and one of the most famous in the world.
2) It actually has pink sand. It is not as blown as Instagram makes it appear but still visible.
3) Due to currents it is always clean, regardless of the thousands upon thousands that visit.

Three Reasons Why you should NOT visit Elafonisi:
1) It is far. It is one of the longest trips you will embark to while in Chania.
2) It gets extremely busy during peak season. Locals are steering clear due to that.
3) You will have to park further away from the beach or risk damaging your tires.

R4W opinion on whether you should visit Elafonisi:
For us it feels more like a hustle going there. Locals barely visit the beach. But as a tourist, you shouldn’t visit the island and miss out on it. If you can spare the full day on it or maybe plan your accommodation so you stay locally for a day its a definite yes!

Balos

Balos Lagoon, together with Elafonisi is often considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located on the northwest coast of Chania, Balos Beach is a must-visit for any beach lover. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand, Balos is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.  Located about 50 kilometers west of Chania, Balos is accessible by car, motorbike or ship. You will enjoy it most if you visit it during the “shoulder season”, check more on our best time to visit Crete blog. Its not forbidding during peak season, however it can get uncomfortable, so make sure you arrive as early as possible. 

Nearby Hidden Gem: Gramvousa Island.

Three Reasons Why should you visit Balos:
1) It is the a very famous beach in Crete and one of the most famous in the world.
2) The view that you see in this picture just worth it getting there.
3) To see Gramvousa. 

Three Reasons Why you should NOT visit Balos:
1) Its a long dirt road leading there. As a NATURA preserved site, its illegal to lay asphalt.
2) It gets extremely busy during peak season. Locals are steering clear due to that.
3) Due to its geometry, the currents do not sufficiently clean the water during summer.

R4W opinion on whether you should visit Elafonisi:
Its easier to say yes to Balos than Elafonisi. The main reason is that Gramvousa, known as the “pirate island” that is next to it, yet barely gets mentioned, is too good to be missed. Our suggestion is to combine Balos + Gramvousa on a boat trip. You should drive to the port and get in a boat trip that will take you to both Gramvousa & Balos. Make sure you climb all the way to Gramvousa island!

“We don’t just rent vehicles. We have driven all over Chania. We can suggest day trips, where to drive, where to swim, where to eat. With high attention to detail, we will provide you with a safe, clean, modern and reliable vehicle to get you there.”

– R4W Chania 2024