0Achlia Bay Beach

Achlia Bay is a beach in the south east of Crete approx­im­ately half way between Iera­petra and Makrys Gia­los. It is one of the best beaches on the south coast, espe­cially on windy days when the shape of the bay provides shel­ter on the beach and in the water.

It is pos­sible to stay in the vil­lage of Achlia but it is small and has lim­ited res­taur­ants and shops so inde­pend­ent trans­port (e.g. a hire car) is recom­men­ded. To vis­it from Iera­petra or Makrys Gia­los will also require trans­port. The beach is accessed on a blue and red brick-paved road imme­di­ately off the main road along the south coast. There is a small grey sign when com­ing from Iera­petra but it is easy to miss. There is also a blue sign for “Kantina”. Google Maps does have the beach accur­ately loc­ated as “Paralia Achlia”.

There is a bar/taverna that serves a range of food and drink and has toi­let facil­it­ies, and there are also showers on the beach so you can wash the salt off after swim­ming. There are also sun­beds and para­sols on the east­ern half of the beach for those that want them but there is also plenty of empty sand for those that prefer the free option. The sand is soft enough if not quite fine and golden and the water is usu­ally very clear and ideal for snor­kelling. It is easy to get in as the coarse sand con­tin­ues well into the water so there are no rocks or large pebbles to hurt your feet. The sides of the bay are rocky which provides hab­it­at for more sea life than many beaches so snor­kelling is very good.

One thing to watch for out of the peak of sum­mer are annoy­ing insects (e.g. flies). The sheltered bay offers shel­ter for them too and if the tem­per­at­ures are only in the high 20’s (e.g. in Spring and Autumn) they can be quite a nuis­ance.

There are water sports options that go out bey­ond the bay, leav­ing the bay itself safe for swim­ming. There are also some beach-sports set up that are often in use by loc­als that I believe are free to use if you bring a ball.

There is park­ing on the side of the brick road but it is best to get the pas­sen­gers to get out first and then park quite tightly to the wall. As the slope is quite steep I recom­mend leav­ing the car in gear rather than just rely­ing on the hand­brake. When you are ready to leave you can fol­low the road down to the bot­tom and then back up where it will rejoin the main road.

Gallery for Achlia Beach

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