This Remote Beach In Southeast Europe Has The Most Crystal Clear Waters And White Sand

Have you ever dreamed of a secluded beach with crystal blue waters, hidden caves, a secret lake, and a fascinating history? It sounds like a fairytale, but it's a real place. As you can see from the picture above, this magical beach in Europe is everything your mind could come up with when you imagine beachy perfection. It's not even full of tourists because you have to take a boat or hike through a stunning gorge to get there. 

This wonderful beach is Agiofarago on the Greek island of Crete, which means "gorge of the saints." The beach is nearly 50 miles south of Heraklion and is just perfect. It comprises tiny pebbles, with incredibly clear water and an arch to swim under. If you're a climber, the views from Agiofarago are spectacular. You can also look for the hidden saltwater lake that connects to the sea. Here's what you need to know about getting to Agiofarago, what you can do and see there, and the people who have lived there for centuries. 

All about Agiofarago Beach in Crete

Agiofarago Beach has an interesting history, and hiking through the gorge to get there will let you see some of it. The hike, which takes about 30 to 50 minutes, is full of caves, which religious entities and personalities have occupied for centuries. Some of them still live in the caves. Right above the beach is Agios Antonios, or the church of St. Anthony. There is a well in front with brackish water and a trough next to it for the local goats. (If you fill it, they may come by to drink.) If you visit, you can see some old murals. South of the church is a Minoan tomb from around 2000 B.C.E. 

You'll also pass the Odigítrias Monastery, which was built in 1393. On your visit, you'll probably see some local kitties wandering around. The Tower of Xopateras is on the property, which was part of the resistance to invading Türkiye forces. You'll also see a wine press, an olive mill, and more. Do note that because of the religious significance of this place, swimming in the nude is frowned upon. You may not have thought of that, but this is a secluded beach

If you decide not to hike through the gorge, you can take a ferry from Agia Galini, Kali Limenes, Matala, or Kokkinos Pirgos. They may also stop at the islet called Papadoplaka, which has holes filled with sea salt; you are welcome to collect some. 

What you need to know before you go

There are a few things that you need to know before you visit Agiofaragos Beach. First, there are places to park before you hike in, but you're going to have to go against everything you know about parking in the heat here. Don't park under a tree. The shade might seem like a good idea, but the local goats want to eat the leaves they can't normally reach, and you may end up with hoof prints on your car. As far as what you should bring with you, first is, as always, sunscreen. Second, you'll need to bring food and water because there are no cafés, showers, or bathrooms. 

If you like, you can take a short hike to the southeast, where you'll find a small saltwater lake called Vourvoulitis. Be careful on the rocks around it (though you can go rock climbing here if you have the skill). The lake is salty because it connects to the ocean through an underwater passage, which you can swim through. If you choose to do so, please make sure you have enough experience.