Not long ago, Elafonisi Beach was a secret known to very few locals on Crete. Then, in 2014, it was named one of the world’s top 25 beaches on TripAdvisor. That’s when this beach on the southwest coast of Crete came to an end as a slice of paradise. Today, this beautiful sandy beach is the target destination for everyone from young backpackers and svelte sun worshippers to families with buckets and spades. Go in the high season and you’ll find this once empty beach, connected by a sandbar to an island nature reserve, crowded and covered with beach loungers. You can also blame Instagram and Pinterest for that.
If you’re keen on uncovering Balos Beach, you’ll surely be welcomed by one of the most charming landscapes Crete has to offer. Think exotic white-sanded beaches, shallow turquoise waters, and an incredibly picturesque backdrop, formed by Tigani and Gramvousa in the distance. Although situated in the very northwest of Crete, between Kissamos and Gramvousa, Balos Beach feels like a tropical paradise in the midst of the Caribbean sea. For that reason alone, it is considered one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, and therefore an absolute must-see on any Crete trip.