With crystal waters on the north, west and south coast, Chania beaches offer a choice of destinations for those who want to enjoy the sun and sea. Rent a car in Chania to make the most of your day at the beach, staying outside the busy hours for views of western Crete sunsets and nights away from town.
Rent a car in Chania and drive to our 5 top Chania beaches:
Paleochora, 80 km south of Chania
Out of all Chania beaches Paleochora stands out as it offers the widest variety of options. The central sandy beach, the nearby beaches of Grammeno and Gialiskari, and many smaller beaches along the coastline where you can stop, will offer you different views of the Libyan sea, whether you are looking for a busier place or for some quiet time. If you rent a car from Chania, it will only take you around one hour and a half to drive to Paleochora, thanks to the new road. From Chania take the national road to the west and exit at Tavronitis interchange following the signs to Paleochora.
Balos, 56 km northwest of Chania
56 km northwest of Chania, between cape Gramvousa and cape Tigani lies the famous Balos lagoon. It’s turquoise water and white sand, a rare scenery for Crete, attracts thousands of visitors each year. Shallow and warm waters make Balos ideal for young children. If you are planning to rent a car to visit Balos make sure you inform the car rental company, as they will only allow you to drive on the rough dirt road with suitable cars. Once there leave your car at the public parking area next to the taverna and follow the steps down to the beach. Make sure to stop and enjoy the view!
Elafonissi beach, 82 km south west of Chania
82 km southwest of Chania, Elafonissi is a famous and very impressive beach with a tiny island and a lagoon in between. It belongs in the Nature 2000 network of protected areas due to the sand dune ecosystem with the cedar trees and the beach lilies. More organized than Balos, there is a variety of restaurants where you can go after your swim.
The sandy beach of Falassarna, 58 km west of Chania
58 km west of Chania and 16 from Kissamos, at the western side of Cape Gramvoussa, Falassarna is famous for its white sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. In Falassarna you can find hotels and restaurants by the sea as well as mini markets covering all needs, from food to swimming gear. During the summer different groups organize beach parties and live concerts. Pachia Ammos, the main beach is also the busiest one, with water sports and beach volley fans in the summertime. The beaches north and south of Pachia Ammos are more quiet. There is room for everyone in Falassarna!
Kalyves, around 20 km east of Chania
Kalyves is a coastal village in a fertile valley of Cape Drapanos at the north coast of Chania. The crystal water of the two rivers, Kiliaris and Xidas reach the sea at a long sandy beach, mostly organized but also with more quiet parts at the western side, where tamarisk trees provide natural shade.
Post featured photo by Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho, licensed.
Want to discover more of Crete?
Rent a car in Chania and go on a road trip on the Grand Tour of Crete