Winter has really started showing its teeth by now -especially if you live in Northern Europe or parts of the states. A bullet proof way to beat these November blues though, is to start daydreaming. And what could be more fantasy stimulating, than an exotic beach with transparent, crystal clear waters and fine, golden sand?
Like the astonishing, world class beaches in Chania; in fact one of Crete’s principal claims to fame. Good news is that Greece’s largest island, made from the stuff of legends and dreams, also boasts one of the longest beach lounging seasons in the continent, if not the planet. Which means that if you’re brave enough you might as well still venture into the sea, as the water temperature during November is not lower than it is in May or June (around 20°C). And if not, bear in mind that the swimming season here starts in mid April. So while summer seems eons away at the moment; sea and sun bathing shall be actually possible, even for the less courageous, in the beaches in Chania within the space of five months.
Taking into account that is a glorious time for a holiday in Crete, you might as well start planning ahead. To assist you in your choices -and to whet your appetite a little further- we hereby present our Oscar Suites & Village, handpicked suggestions for the best beaches in Chania to match your individual style and disposition:
Agia Marina-Platanias beach
Home to Oscar Suites & Village Hotel, Agia Marina- Platanias, is a quaint coastal region just 9 km from the historic town of Chania, that has something for all: Environmentalists, sports fanatics, families and party goers, included. It features a 20 km long stretch of sand; azure blue, calm and warm, shallow waters; a European Union Blue Flag award indicating a high level of safety, cleanliness and water quality; umbrellas, sun lounges and ample sporting opportunities-water ski, tubes, parasailing etc. Rightfully amongst the most popular beaches in Chania, Agia Marina-Platanias, is also a renowned sea turtle nesting site, with fenced-off areas to protect the species. The beach front is lined up with restaurants and bars for all sorts of tastes, while there is a mini-golf course, numerous playgrounds and a “Magic Train” that travels by the seaside.
80 km south east of Chania town in a small plain in the shadow of the eastern range of the White Mountains, you’ll find Frangokastelo: A very well preserved Venetian castle which is world famous for its… ghosts: Drosoulites, that are appearing at dawn each May. Actually it is a meteorological phenomenon but according to local legend these are the shadows of the warriors who died there in a ferocious battle during the war of independence. Hauntingly romantic, it is a sight that is especially appealing to the tender at heart and history lovers alike.
In front of the castle there is an extensive, sheltered and gently shelving sandy beach with shallow turquoise waters, ideal for children. West of the main beach you will find Vatalos, a long beach which is sandy in parts and pebbly with rocks in others, making it ideal for snorkelling. East from the main beach there is Orthi Ammos, a magnificent beach featuring large sand dunes. Several restaurants, cafes and shops are available in the area, but thanks to its relative remoteness, massive development has been avoided.
Nestled between the flat precipices of Kissamos peninsula, about 22 km from Chania town, Kolimbari, untouched by mass development, is ideal for hiking and exploring.
The beach is clean with shallow blue waters, allowing you to play and sunbathe whilst gazing at the imposing green cliffs. As in the rest of the region, it is a breeding area for the endangered caretta caretta sea turtle species -so tread carefully amongst the turtle nests built for their protection.
Rising above the pebbly strip there is a pavement lined up with fish taverns and traditional cafés. Get a taste of the local cuisine, take a stroll through the scenic fishing village, admire the rare icons collection at the 17th century monastery of Gonia; and then drive a little to reach the Rodopou Peninsula. Listed as a Natura 2000 protected area, it shall give you a good idea of the spectacular Cretan wild scenery.
Stretching for 1200 splendid meters, Sougia it is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Chania, but also, it seldom gets crowded. Boasting colourful smooth pebbles and deep clear waters, it is furthermore a popular nudist spot. The quaint homonymous village hosts various restaurants, cafes, bars and tavernas, frequented by young and trendy locals. Located 70 km south west of Chania town between the villages of Paleochora and Agia Roumeli, it requires a bit of extra driving, but it is totally worth the effort.
Seitan Limania beach
Northeast of Akrotiri Cape, 20 kilometers from the city of Chania, you’ll find the dramatically christened (its name translates to Devil’s ports) and spectacularly appointed Seitan Limania. Nestled in a narrow canyon leading out to the sea, it boasts white sand and turquoise waters. It is completely unorganised -make sure you bring on with you all the essentials: water, sunscreen, headphones or a good book, and something to eat- and it requires a bit of a hike in order to reach it (your best bet is to wear sneakers). But it’s one of a kind, unspoiled beauty-complete with wild goats roaming around the rocks -will aptly recompense you.