Beach Scene...
This particular beach is at Falasarna on the NW coast about 8 kilometres beyond Kastelli.  If you want to get there simply continue on the main road from Kolimbari, through Kastelli and keep right on going until you reach the signs for Falasarna - a right turn off the main road.  The beach here is superb.  The sea inshore is shallow and safe and there enough fish about to keep snorkelers happy.  The northern end of this seemingly endless beach is quite rocky onshore.  There is almost no shade, although you can now hire brolleys and beds in one area.  The temperature of the sand in summer is sufficient to make you walk quickly!
Any decent tourist map will show at least 29 different beaches around the coast of Crete.  There are many more small beaches and coves which require perhaps a little local knowledge.
NW Crete...
Falasarna for example is not shown on all tourist maps as a beach, although it must be one of the best on Crete and as yet is relatively unspoilt and has almost nothing in the way of water sports.  NW Crete has beaches which equal, if not better, any anywhere on the island.  The NW coast roads link some of the best and of course if you are on a sea side package you can almost guarantee a good beach near your accommodation.  The north coast between Chania, which has it's own beach, and Kastelli is an almost, though not quite, a long continuous beach.  There are a couple of pointers to remember when you are booking however.

Some of these beaches are mainly pebble, not sand.  If you want sand say so.
Some apartments and hotels are on the wrong side of busy roads - ask.
The closer to Chania the greater the amount of nearby traffic.

It is worth noting that as development proceeds along this coast many areas having pebble beaches are now dumping sand on them - which seems to work well.
Kato Stalos, Agia Marina and Platanias...
Have good sandy beaches.  Agia Marina and Platanias also have some water sports, the most dramatic of which is maybe parascending - the sight of a parachute over the sea from the coast road is a regular event in this area.  These beaches, particularly Platanias, can become very crowded but they are well served in terms of facilities both on and close to the beach.

Gerani, Meleme, Tavronitis and Kolimbari...
coast between Gerani and Kolimbari changes quickly to pebble, so that by the time you reach Kolimbari pebble is the order of the day.  At various places along this strip, notably at Maleme and Kolimbari there has been considerable addition of sand to make life much more comfortable!  Both have tavernas and a bar or two almost on the beach, although both still have quiet spacious areas away from the bustle.

Between the two villages just west of Maleme at Tavronitis the old airfield of Maleme sits on a strip of headland jutting out into the sea.  It is still a military base and is used for training purposes.  Perhaps the most disconcerting for the unknowing is the weekly rocket/bombing practice by the Greek air force.  Mostly Corsair A7 fighter-bombers streaking across the (usually night) sky for an hour or so, firing practice rockets or dropping bombs onto the airfield range.  The noise nearby is ear-splitting.  But don't let it put you off - it is usually only an hour or so once a week.  There is no danger.  The other spectacles, should you be lucky enough, include troops abseiling from hovering helicopters and paratroops dropping from Hercules aircraft.  Travel companies should charge extra for these.

Norigia and Kastelli...
Beyond Kolimbari the mountainous Rodopos peninsula juts out northwards into the sea, effectively breaking the coastline until the small village of Norigia, where the coastal strip resumes and runs all the way to the Gramvousa peninsula beyond Kastelli.  This strip varies, in some places sandy, in some places pebble, but the two main beach areas are at Norigia and Kastelli.  It is worth noting that the sea at Kastelli can be a little rough with sometimes large breakers which some swimmers actively seek.
Both the Rodopos and Gramvousa peninsula's have a small beach or two worth visiting - the Rodopos beaches of Afrata; Diktynna; and Ravdoucha are included in the respective pages which can be reached by returning to the home page.
Falasarna and Elafonisi...
Both are superb sandy beaches with considerable space and safe swimming.  They are often used by sun-worshippers, though perhaps the more secluded areas of Falasarna beach are preferred by out and out naturists.  Falasarna beach starts this page.

The beach at Elafonisi is a magical area, two shallow bays separated by an isthmus of sand running out to the small off-shore island.  The bridge of the isthmus is more often than not covered with shallow water which has a current though nothing dangerous.  It is only a few yards wide in any case.  The bays are almost too shallow for an adult to swim, though not quite, and there is deeper water around the island for the enthusiastic swimmer or snorkeler.  There are a few beach tavernas and I have seen caravans parked up, but the beach toilets have been known to close for some unstated reason.  Lots of day trippers here and a regular bus service from Chania.  Have a look at our suggestions for day trips - start from the home page.
Paleochora, Sougia Agia Roumeli and Hora Sfakion...
The Village community at Paleochora sits on a promontory jutting into the Libyan sea.  It has two main beaches.  The eastern area is lined with tavernas but is somewhat rocky.  The western beach which is a very large,  sandy and swimmable.  There are a few taverna/cafes over the road but the beach is, to it's benefit, wide and the sea well away from this.

Sougia is somewhat remote, on the south coast traveling eastwards from Paleochora, though to reach it by road you will have to drive northwards towards Chania before picking up the winding and demanding road to Sougia at Kandanos, though in season it should be possible to get a boat from Paleochora.  The beach is a wide expanse of pebble well served by tourist facilities; rooms; hotels; tavernas and bars.  Again the beach is relatively wide and the sea well away from the road in this small village.  Well worth a visit and maybe a stay.

Agia Roumeli is the village at the end of the Samaria Gorge.  You reach it by walking the gorge or by boat from Chora Sfakion or Paleochora.  The beach is a mixture of pebble and sand and to be honest I would only swim here if I was staying; had just completed the gorge; or had done it the lazy way - arriving by boat and walking only to the end of the gorge!

Hora Sfakion has a tiny beach/harbour.  It was from Sweetwater beach here that many allied forces were evacuated from after the Battle of Crete, supported by the renowned Sfakion resistance fighters.
There are several more small beaches in NW Crete which are well worth a visit.  Kalathas beach; Namfi Beach and the beach at Stavros on the Akrotiri peninsula deserve a visit.  Also the beach at Almirida - have a look at the calendar photo gallery for a shot of this one.  There is also plenty of water sport at Almirida.  More photos will be added to this page soon, but if meanwhile you want to visit every beach on Crete, do it by air and land anywhere with 'Interkriti' there a link on the home page here.