a VirtualTourist member
I am not keen on staying in the city center for the one day that I can spend in Heraklion.
As per what I could search, I found the following beaches around heraklion. Could someone tell me how far they are from heraklion city center and if they have a public transport to and fro?
2. Agia Pelagia
WHich one is one of the better ones?
I don't like Amudara beach. It is close to the power plant and the water is not so clean.
I would do one of three:
1. Take a bus to Matala. Matala is located south of Heraklio on the other side of the island. Town beach is quite, crowded but small and nice. Plenty of restaurants with good food next to the beach. Great caves to casually climb right of the beach. I go to Matala each time I am on Creta at least for one day.
See my tips for details (under Crete)
2. Take a bus to Bali. It is a resort town close to Heraklio (30 min west). Plenty of children, volcanic sand on the beach that will form dust in the air each time the kid runs next to your blanket,.... but the water is nice, even on the windy day, you can see in the water since the beach is sheltered from wind. Restaurants are OK, but keep in mind....looooots of little kids.
3. Take a bus to Rethymno. It is so much better than staying in Heraklio and only 1 hour away. City beach is not that nice, but doable. Plenty to do, museums, Fortezza to climb, small fishing port to chill and watch the boats. There are great beaches just 5-10 min west of Rethymno, but you would have to switch the bus in Rethymno I think. Get off at any point you see beach with restaurant close to the highway. In 2007 we went to two fabulous beaches there (see my tips)
The best way to spend a day on Crete is to rent a car. They are really cheap and Crete is easy to drive. This way you just hit the road, go south or west (don't go east, no beaches for good few hours, lots of drunk students, etc) and find your perfect spot for the day.
1. Paleokastro - west of Amoudara, forget it, nothing worthwhile.
2. and 3, Ag Pelagia/Lygaria these are fairly close OK, but not very large. Buses to Ag. Pelagia not sure about Lygia but walkable.
4. Malia - There is a local bus from Heraklion to all the beaches starting with Amnissos just east of the airport to Stalis and Malia, dozens of them. These are all reasonable beaches, all north facing and windy.
These two are the closest to Iraklion with frequent buses:
Amnissos beach which is just East of Heraklion airport.
Amoudara beach west of Heraklion has an oil terminal at the west end. The bus I believe goes from Eleftherias not the bus station by the port.
Ignore - Phillyjan is just having yet another swipe at Brits - never stayed in Malia. Anyway nightlife antics won't affect a day on the baech in the malia or nearby areas.
From all these beaches indeed Ag.Pelagia is far the best.
But as all the famous beaches in Crete it would be crowded.
Bali and Matala are also very good choices(full of people too).
From the central bus station (ktel) near the port you can find buses for all the destinations and beaches.
Ag.Pelagia is apr.30min.Bali apr. 1 hour.
Matala 1 hour and a half.
Malia 45 min.
Another beach I personally like as a local is Analipsi, 30 min by bus.
If you don't care about the distance really nice is Georgoupolis, 2 hours by bus.
The ticket prices varies according the journey, from 4 to 15 euro both ways.