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There are some beaches that just take my breath away, capture my heart and make me want to go back over and over again. An addiction with a salty aura that travels me to careless places, small magic moments full of Greek sunshine. They may look exotic; like some beaches that we would expend to find on the other side of the world, definitely not in Europe, but they are in fact found on the unique island of Crete, which create memories once you visit that are not very easily forgotten!

Balos Lagoon

Balos is my favorite beach all over Crete. I think I even stopped moving the moment I reached the hill and faced the lagoon of Balos. It was impossible for me to believe that this exotic landscape exists. Dozens of shades of blue that blend together like a painting by a vivid brush, contrasting with the white sand and the wild landscape of the mountains that surround the sea. There are 2 ways to reach Balos. One by boat and the other by car and a little bit of hiking.

Balos Lagoon
Balos Lagoon

Elafonisi

Elafonissi is the beach where you won’t want to come out of the water even if there were sharks (well, in Greece there aren’t but still). It has an idyllic beauty that enchants but it’s much more than that. These are the emerald waters that blow your mind away, the magical pink sand, the small seashells that adorn the white sand, the dunes that mentally transfer you to the desert. I can’t get enough of wearing my mask and diving into the bottom of the sea, observing all these small seashells scattered in abundance like marine diamonds! All this on the backside of the beach, where there is no trace of sunbeds, because paradise, in my opinion, doesn’t require human intervention.

Elafonisi
Elafonisi

Kedrodasos

Kedrodasos is the epitome of tranquility! A strange thing is, every time I visit this beach, I forget everything, zero thoughts cross my mind, as if the calm penetrates into my soul and soothes everything. The exotic Kedrodasos is only 1 km west of Elafonissi and you have to know where it is to reach it. The truth is that it’s the shelter of many campers (although camping there is forbidden) that want their peace. Who can blame them? This beautiful beach is filled with juniper trees, resembling cedar trees, and dunes, reminiscent of the tropical beaches of Lebanon. It’s also one of the favorite beaches of nudists. Kedrodasos has this incredible white sand and some black rocks that make a very nice contrast. This secluded beach is one of the last untouched paradises in Europe!

Falasarna

The Bay of Falasarna, with its crystal blue waters and white sand, is an endless bliss! A place that you must visit, at least, once in your lifetime to experience its beauty in these tropical waters and certainly admire its magical sunset; where the sun is lost into the sea as there is no physical obstacle on the horizon! Falassarna has been awarded in the past as the best beach in Crete and one of the top 10 in Europe. It is surrounded by a verdant wild landscape and consists essentially of five successive beaches. Its main beach is called Pahia Ammos and is an exotic wide sandy beach one kilometer long.

Falasarna beach
Falasarna

Seitan Limani

I had seen it in pictures, but the reality of it even surpassed those images. It’s a beach different from the others, since sea lanes penetrate between the steep rocky coasts of Akrotiri, creating small coves, such as this one. The word Seitan is Turkish, and it means diabolical. But this beach has nothing to do with the Devil, it’s the earthly paradise. There is, certainly, another version, according to which, it was named by the dangerous waves when the sea becomes turbulent.

But the surprise for me was when I entered into the emerald waters. The moment was somehow magical. There were a lot of people around me but I felt like there was nobody there when I stepped into the sea and I was surrounded by these deep blue crystal-clear waters and the high marble rocks. Only if you experience it, you can fully understand it. Seitan Limani was known by a very limited number of people until a few years ago, when the road was built and it became a hot spot! It’s a little bit difficult to reach, so avoid flip-flops and white clothes, by all means. During August and especially on weekends, the beach gathers a lot of people for its size (it’s quite small), which may be annoying to you, so it’s better to visit it on another period or at least not on the weekends. 

*All images by Polina Paraskevopoulou (Copyright) 


Polina Paraskevopoulou

Contributor

Polina Paraskevopoulou is a Greek journalist who shares her time between her two beloved cities of Paris and Athens. With a love of writing, blogging, fashion and travel, she has now joined the GCT team as one of our main European contributors.

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