The ancient Minoan civilization on Crete was one of the first to create a functional sewer system, but you'll be staying above ground in the fresh air on this eight-day itinerary for the whole family. After a tour of the mythology of Athens, you'll fly to Crete for six days of hiking, beaches, and city tours that will transport you through history.
Depending on your preferences, here are a few beaches to enjoy:
Elafonissi & Falassarna. Perhaps the most famous beach on Crete, you'll enjoy the shallow waters of Elafonissi Beach, perfect for swimming and walking out to a neighboring island. The clear, turquoise waters combine with white and pink sand to create a unique landscape of unmatched beauty. A bit closer to Chania is a close second, Falassarna Beach, which offers the same long stretch of soft, sandy coastline with shallow water. Both are excellent for snorkeling. Read more about our suggested day trip to Elafonissi.
Balos Lagoon. Enjoy a rare combination of crystal clear waters, stunning white sand and a Venetian fortress standing atop a rocky islet. With a boat trip to Balos, you'll get both history and incredible scenery, plus fluffy sand and clear, shallow waters. There are a few hiking trails nearby and some basic amenities.
Kiani & Seitan Limani. Just outside Chania's city center, you'll find a couple of nearby beaches. Enjoy the long and sandy Kiani Beach, which is lined with resorts and amenities. Or head past the airport and visit the small and scenic Seitan Limani Beach, which appears enveloped by rocky cliffs. Read our advice for a self-guided Seitan Limani day trip.
- Loutra Sfakion & Paleochora. Head away from the city and enjoy swimming along Crete's southern coast. Stop in Loutra Sfakion, a beautiful coastal village only accessible by foot or boat. Or head to a special spot beloved by locals, Paleochora Beach. With fluffy sand and trees for shade, you could spend all day here.
- Obros Gialos. This is one of the best beaches on Crete for snorkeling. Thanks to the pebbles keeping the water clear, you can dive right in and observe one of the most beautiful seabeds in the area. Try spotting colorful fish or shellfish species!
Itineraries with Beach Day Trip from Chania
Savor every moment of this relaxed cultural tour of Athens and the islands. Lasting just over two weeks, this itinerary leaves plenty of room for exploration as you roam the food markets of Athens, go wine tasting in the vineyards of Nemea, and learn about the centuries-old marble craft on the island of Tinos. You'll visit both the glamorous and traditional sides of Mykonos, cruise around Santorini's volcanic caldera, and unwind on the fabulous beaches of Crete. End your trip back in Athens with an unforgettable sunset over the ruins.
Spend a week getting in touch with Greek culture alongside your school-aged children on this itinerary. The first half of your trip takes place in Athens, where you'll find inspiration at the Parthenon and the rest of the Acropolis and practice your running form at the Panathenaic Stadium. Then, head to Rethymno on Crete to explore ancient ruins and try your hand at an excavation.