Stroll Along Pink Sand Beaches At This European Destination

A quintessential trip to Greece would not be complete without visiting the luminous island of Crete. The largest of the Greek islands, dazzling turquoise waters and colorful fishing villages dapple its shores, making it an idyllic hot spot for a leisurely getaway. Limestone and dolomite gorges, white sand beaches, and vegetative mountain slopes comprise Crete's diverse topography. But the star of the show is the island's unusual beach coated with a layer of pink-tinted sand.

Beauty is not all that encompasses the essence of Crete. According to Ancient World Magazine, Crete was the birthplace of Zeus, and the island still pays homage to the ancient Greek god through several historical sites. After exploring the island's pink sandy shores, get lost in the idyllic Cretan town of Chania. Just a short distance away, this town is full of historic as well as modern charm. From authentic Greek cuisine to captivating vistas, this Mediterranean jewel will have you in your dancing queen era!

This unusual beach is pretty in pink

What was once an undisclosed secret tucked beyond Topolia Gorge is now a coveted destination on every Greece traveler's bucket list. Located on the southwestern edge of Crete, Elafonisi Beach is a picturesque coastal haven. The sand bank retains its pink hue from the foraminifera shellfish that leave behind their red-colored shells. After blending with the white sand granules, they produce pink-pigmented grains. 

Sun beds and tiki shacks on the waterfront are backed by ancient cedars, a delicate and centuries-old heritage. Rocky alcoves line the main stretch of sand, forming shallow, hidden inlets along the shore. The Mediterranean's crystal clear water and gentle waves lapping the sand make this beach the ultimate coastal getaway. From May to September, peak season draws in large crowds of tourists striving for the perfect spot boasting sun and shade. A visit during the off-season from late October to April holds the promise of a barren stretch of sand, offering leisurely peace.

Explore the storybook town of Chania

Not far from the pink sandy shores of Elafonisi Beach, Chania is a town gleaming with splendid perfection. Many of its quarters still bear evidence of its Venetian, Ottoman, and Egyptian roots from the 14th century. Stroll along Chania's Venetian Harbor, the main promenade of this town. Cretan tavernas, local bars, and Greek-style cafes line the storybook streets of the old port. This small Greek city blends old with new, with many of its quarters containing excavated pieces from ancient Kydonia. Today, the streets are home to brightly colored market stands and resurrected architecture that give the community a modern ambiance.

Food is a common gateway into the heart of a community's culture, and the cuisine on this Greek island is no exception. Chania's creative culinary scene is rich with traditional Cretan dishes like pastitsio (Cretan lasagna) and marinated chicken souvlaki. Theodosi is an authentic local gem with al fresco dining and ocean views, sharing their native cuisine with travelers from around the globe. After indulging in too much tzatziki and pita bread, watch the sunset while strolling along the white sands of Balos Beach, Crete's most photographed beach on the island!