3 amazing Heraklion beaches for Autumn

  • September 30, 2022
  • 4 minutes
Heraklion beaches for Autumn

Here are three beaches in the Heraklion prefecture that are definitely worth visiting for a late summer swim.

We may now be in the first month of autumn and we are all slowly returning to the rhythms of normality and routine, but in Crete the summer mood remains. The temperatures are still high, which makes a trip to the beach a must. Here are three beaches in the Heraklion prefecture that are definitely worth visiting for a "last" swim before the end of summer.

Aspes beach

Made out of a fairy tale, the black beach of Aspes is located about 58 km south of Heraklion, in one of the most isolated and rugged areas of the Asterousia Mountains. It is located 4 km east of the settlement of Three Churches, which is the nearest harbour for boat launching. Access to the beach is very difficult as you can only get there by boat. Due to its isolated location, it is always ready to welcome its "boat people", who tie their boats high up on the rocks of the beach, thus creating a characteristic "grid" of ropes.

Aspes has dark black coarse sand, surrounded by high cliffs on which large caves are formed, which have rectangular sides, as if someone has chiselled them. The colours of the sea are a bright blue-green, while the beach changes its appearance and size from year to year, depending on the weather conditions. When there is a small wave the beach almost disappears.

Kaminaki Beach

Kaminaki or White Beach is located 58 km south of Heraklion city, at the exit of the Pervolianos Gorge on the southeastern edge of the Asterousia Mountains. The surrounding mountains create a wild Cretan scenery, with rugged gorges, bare rocks, steep cliffs and beautiful secluded beaches.  Access is possible mainly by sea, as the area and the gorge are very inaccessible and far from any road network. The beach has pebbles and is ideal for seclusion and fishing, while a walk through the gorge with its high waterfalls is a very nice experience.

The pebbles on the beach are not white, but the usual light grey. However, it has been given the name White Beach to differentiate it from the nearby black beach in Aspes with dark pebbles, located 1 km to the east. Here you will usually find (if you find) groups of residents of the Three Churches, strolling by boat. 400m further west in the area of Agio Pneuma there is a second gravel beach, not as beautiful as Kaminaki.

Koudoumas Beach

Koudoumas Monastery is located 74km south of Heraklion, on the west side of Cape Martelos and south of Mount Kofina (the highest peak of the Asterousia Mountains). The whole area is full of caves, where hermits used to live. To get to the monastery you have to drive a 20 km passable dirt road from the village of Sternes, which takes you down from an altitude of 1000m to sea level. The view during the descent to the sea and the Koudoumas gorge is breathtaking and can even cause vertigo!

In front of the monastery there is a wonderful beach with fine pebbles and crystal clear cool waters. It is ideal for swimming and for very calm moments. Apart from the monastery, there is absolutely no infrastructure within a radius of several kilometres, so make sure you have the essentials with you. Camping on the beach is allowed, provided that your presence is discreet and does not offend the monks. On the eastern side of the beach there are several caves where you can stay at night and find shade during the day.

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