Itanos beach is in the far north east of Crete beyond Sitea. Itanos is actually 3 beaches and is also the same location as the ruins of the ancient town of Itanos. Itanos is just north of the much busier palm beach at Vai.
Itanos usually has a number of people there but it doesn’t get especially busy so it’s perfect for people who like a peaceful beach. The road, and the informal carpark at the end of it, lead to the middle of the 3 beaches which is the smallest, which is barely a beach at all really. The largest beach, also known as Erimoupolis beach is immediately to the north of the central beach and is the most popular. The southern beach is a short 250m walk, past the ruins of the ancient town. Unlike a lot of beaches on Crete, all 3 beaches at Itanos are sandy, and the water is beautifully clear. There are pictures of all 3 in the gallery
I had read in several places that the ruins of the ancient port are visible underwater at Itanos so I took a snorkel and mask and swam around quite a bit looking but failed to find anything much. The only indication of any ancient human presence in the bay are a number of rectangular shaped slabs of stone but you will need to do the rest with your imagination. The ruins on land are however more interesting. Whilst they don’t compare to somewhere like Knossos they have been left alone unaltered unlike Knossos
The overhead maps make it look like the north beach can be easily accessed from the road just north-west of it, but the road there is cut into the side of a hill and is quite a bit higher than the beach so it would be difficult to get to the beach from here, it is much better to drive to the informal carpark by the central beach and do the short walk
There are no facilities at the beach and no watersports or activities on offer so if you need toilets or food you will have to travel to access them. The nearest place with facilities is Vai beach 2.5km to the south.
Gallery for Itanos Beaches & Ruins
Map of walk to Erimoupolis (Itanos north) beach
Itanos south beach is a similar length walk but google maps doesn’t recognise the paths so it isn’t shown below. If you move the map slightly you will see the south beach — the walk is almost a mirror of the walk to the north
I reviewed Itanos on TripAdvisor back in 2014 and there are plenty more informative reviews there.