Crete Beach trips

Our most recommended Crete Beach trips

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

1. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

2. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

3. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Enjoy a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, the cave of Zeus, and the beautiful scenery of the plateau. Start with pickup from your accommodation. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional local farm. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Enjoy the views of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. Take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Follow the trails of the gods and after that take a tour around the plateau to get a sense of local life. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

4. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

5. From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Elafonissi is truly a heaven on earth, with soft white/pink sand, exotic crystal-clear water and cedar trees that extend down to the coastline. It is located in the easily accessible, south-western side of Crete. Get picked up from your hotel area in the morning. Stop for a short break is the Aghia Sophia cave. Visit the cave, and have coffee or refreshments if you choose. Following this, depart for Elafonissi. On your way, see small traditional villages combined with typical Mediterranean scenery, along with the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge. Once you reach Elafonissi, have 4 hours of free time to soak in the amazing sun and enjoy the spectrum of shades of blue that this beach has to offer. At the end of your tour, return to your accommodation in Crete.

Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

6. Balos Gramvousa Cruise with Transfer and Boat Ticket

Experience a full-day boat trip to the westernmost part of Crete and visit two of the most famous landmarks, Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa island. Spend time paddling and enjoying the sun at Balos Lagoon and have the chance to hike up to the castle on Gramvousa on this day cruise. Be picked up by an air-conditioned bus at a pickup point close to your hotel and you be driven to Kissamos port in Kasteli. There you will board a large comfortable boat with an open deck and a bar-restaurant. Begin your cruise along the coast and see the dramatic rockface from the water. Reach the well-known Balos Lagoon and be fascinated by the white sand which covers the area and the shallow clear waters. Relax here for a couple of hours and enjoy the divine nature. Sunbathe, swim, snorkel or even hike to the hills surrounding the beach and take memorable photos. Next, float over to Gramvousa island which used to be a pirate's cove. Enjoy at least 90 minutes of free time to explore. Choose to hike for 20 minutes to the Venetian castle which is built on a steep 137m high rock. Enjoy panoramic views over the Aegean sea and unique landscape from here. Finally, return to the beach, and take a quick dip before hopping back on the boat to Kissamos port. From here the bus will be waiting to take you back to your hotel area. Trip Itinerary 10:40 – departure from Kissamos port 11:20 – arrival at Balos Lagoon (or Gramvousa island depending on the captain's decision based on weather conditions) 13:30 – departure from Balos for Gramvousa island (or vice versa) 13:50 – arrival to Balos lagoon 16:30 – departure from Balos 17:45 – Arrival to Kissamos port

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

7. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

8. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Chania: Elafonisi and Milia Mountain Retreat Tour with Lunch

9. Chania: Elafonisi and Milia Mountain Retreat Tour with Lunch

Join a semi-private tour to explore a part of southwest Crete. Get plenty of time to admire the clear blue waters, pink sand, and unique landscape of Elafonisi beach. For lunch, relax at Milia Mountain Retreat. Start early in the morning to avoid the crowds at Elafonisi beach. A part of the Natura 2000 nature reserve, this beach is famous for its pink sand that was created from seashells over thousands of years. As you walk around the beach, get an insight into life in Cretan villages, olive oil production, local wine, honey-making, and the distillation of Cretan grappa. Learn about the regional culture, cuisine, history, and traditions from your guide. Then, tucked away in the lush mountains of western Crete, visit the eco-friendly paradise of Milia Mountain Retreat. Once a deserted 17th-century settlement, this restored property is your stop for a delicious local lunch paired with wine or beer.

Agios Nikolaos: Fun Cruise Around Elounda Bay

10. Agios Nikolaos: Fun Cruise Around Elounda Bay

Experience a boat trip on the bright blue Mirabello Bay with this unforgettable cruise from Agios Nikolaos. Begin your cruise from Agios Nikolaos harbor. It takes about an hour of a slow cruise along Mirabello gulf to arrive at Kolokytha beach. The boat will anchor there and you will be able to enjoy the turquoise, crystal clear waters for about one hour and fifteen minutes. Relax on the boat, and explore these isolated beaches. Then, head to Spinalonga, the famous lepers’ island. Take a cruise around the waters of the Island and then head to the second hidden paradise, the Skistra gulf. Revel in a perfect place for snorkeling and relaxing. Stop there for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. Enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and more. Access many “sea toys” to enjoy your time there. The romantic atmosphere of the island along with the extraordinary landscapes makes the cruise ideal for unforgettable memories surrounded by your family and closest friends.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 2,235 reviews

Great day out! Michael, our tour guide, was brilliant and knew a lot about the local areas. As it was the national Independence Day of Greece , we had our schedule moved around a little so we were able to experience the parades that were happening - a really lovely consideration for the team to have made! Our pick up was very smooth and the bus journey was a beautiful route that allowed us to see the Cretan scenery. Elounda and Agios Nikolaos are stunning places and definitely worth a visit!! We had a good amount of free time in each place - the best part, jumping off our boat into the sea on our way back from Spinalonga Island! Bucket list check! Highly recommend this day out to everyone!

The tour was great - our guide was very knowledgeable and funny. We got to Elafonissi before the crowds which was nice, and left for Elos at the warmest part of the day. We had just enough time for a late lunch in Elos (~1hr-15min). The food was really good - some of the best I had in Crete. I wish we had a bit more time there so we could eat and see the village (e.g. extend by 30-40 min).

George, our guide was absolutely wonderful, kept us engaged with facts about Crete, the whole journey to the beach and to the Milia Mountain retreat. The time we went was quiet so we had free reign of were to sit by the beach. The food in Milia Mountain was delicious, plates were all sparkling clean after and the view was amazing. Would definitely go again.

Excellent day, our guide was so knowledgeable and elafonisi was just beautiful. Even in October we were able to go swimming in the sea.

Brilliant day out, lots to see and enough of time to explore each stop.