The Greek Island of Crete has so many traits that make it a truly enchanting place to visit. Aside from a splendid landscape and captivating natural sites, it also has a wonderful culinary heritage and lovely seaside villages.
Crete’s beaches is also one of the reasons why people try to make their way to the island’s shores. Because there are many beautiful sandy stretches you can find here, it is really hard to determine which ones the best. Despite this claim, the Red Beach in Crete manages to come out as one of the most distinct and sought after beaches on the island.
Red Beach got its name from its unique red sand, believed to have been formed from the rocks in the region. This trait alone separates Red Beach from its fellow beaches. The red sand provides a striking contrast to the sparkling blue-green color of the sea. But the reddish hue is not the only thing that is special about it; as it is also a highly recognized nudist beach. In fact, Red Beach is considered to be one of the best nudist beaches in the world by established news agencies like Yahoo Travel.
One thing that makes Red Beach a truly successful nude beach is its secluded location. Rather than just accidentally stumbling upon it, people intentionally make their way to this beach to take off their clothes and their worries, and enjoy all of what the beach has to offer.
You can find Red Beach on the southern coast of Crete. To reach it, you can choose to take boat from Matala harbor or hike from Matala village. The hiking route is clearly marked by a trail, which starts on the northern part of Matala and takes you across a hill. Take a moment to enjoy the coastal view from the hill, as it promises to be spectacular! Also note that the beginning of the trail requires you to climb over some rocks so watch your step. On the final stretch of the journey, you will need to descend a steep cliff. The whole hike can take approximately 25 minutes.
Red Beach is usually breezy because of the western winds blowing to this part of Crete. This red sandy stretch started to become a popular spot for hippies during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The nudists tend to hang out more on its northern section, which is protected from plain sight by a long rocky limestone. Around this limestone are carved rocks, which represent ancient Minoan and Egyptian sea creatures. These sculptures were created by a Belgian traveler named Gerard. Since then, these works of art have become sort of iconic figures for the beach.
Do not expect a structured tourist site when you come to Red Beach. There is not much infrastructure or natural shade offered here. There is a rustic coffee shop where you can get some refreshments but it is not always open. If you want to have a picnic and be comfortable on the beach; bring your own snacks, umbrellas and mats. If you are the adventurous kind, look for the marine cave called Kouroupi, also situated on the northern side of Red Beach. You can go swimming inside the cave, or get a canoe and explore its length.