Best time to travel to Crete

Pink Sand Beaches in Crete

Witness the amazing work of Mother Nature while visiting the Elafonissi and Balos pink beaches

Best time: May–October

Pink Sand Beaches
Pink Sand Beaches

There are only a few pink beaches in the whole world and the two most charming are located in Crete. The pink colour comes from small citizens of the sea—oysters named foraminifera. These tiny creatures have red shells, and they are scattered in the sand; as a result, the sand has a stunning and exquisite pink color.

Elafonissi beach sits on the south-east side of Crete. The sea isn't deep, and it's suitable for relaxing family vacations.

The pink beach Balos, located near Chania, is an exotic lagoon with white and pink sand mixed together. What is more, this beach is full of seashells. You can reach Balos by boat, or if you are a big lover of nature, you can have a short hike there.

Swimming season is open from May until October. The peak time is July–August. At that time it can be very crowded and hot outside, but the sea is wonderfully warm. So don't miss a chance to visit paradise on the earth.

Practical info

When is the ideal time to visit the pink beaches of Crete?

It's recommended to visit the pink beaches of Crete from May to October, which marks the swimming season, and the peak season is in the months of July and August. The water temperature is lovely and warm, with temperatures around 25-28 Celsius degrees, making it perfect for swimming. However, these months can be crowded, so if you prefer less crowded beaches, May, June, September, and October are preferable. Show more

What gives the sand on the pink beaches of Crete its pink color?

The pink color of the sand on the pink beaches of Crete is due to the presence of tiny red-shelled sea creatures called foraminifera. When their shells mix with the sand, it gives the sand its pinkish hue. The sand is made up of small fragments of shells, corals, and rocks, and the varying amount of foraminifera in the sand also affects its pink color intensity. Show more

In which location can Balos beach be found?

Balos beach is located in the north-west of Crete, near Chania. It is a stunning lagoon with turquoise waters surrounded by a mix of white and pink sand. Visitors can reach the beach by boat, departing from Kissamos port, and the journey takes about an hour. If you prefer to hike, the beach can also be accessed on foot, and the route will offer fantastic views of the lagoon and Gramvousa fortress. Show more

What can the temperature of the water during peak months of July and August be like?

For swimming purposes during peak months in July and August, the lovely and warm water temperature ranges between 25-28 Celsius degrees, while the outside temperature is hot. However, these months can be crowded. If you would like a less crowded experience, it is better to visit in May, June, September, or October. Show more

Is there any hiking or walking tours worth experiencing near Balos beach?

Hiking enthusiasts can experience amazing trails near Balos beach. Visitors can follow a marked trail that takes about 2 hours to hike, and it offers stunning views of the lagoon and the Gramvousa fortress. Another well-known walking tour is the Kaliviani village tour, where you can enjoy and experience stunning views of the Cretan landscape while immersing yourself in the local culture, traditions and history of the people. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin