Bali Crete Beaches Image of Karavostasi Beach

Bali Crete Beaches

A Guide To One Of The Prettiest Crete Resorts

Bali, Crete is a great spot for holidays in Greece, a small fishing village that has grown into one of the most picturesque Crete resorts. Discover all five Bali Crete beaches clustered along a gorgeous gulf on the north Crete coast in our detailed guide.

Bali – and Bali’s beaches – are all very easy to reach.  Bali village is just off the main road across the island. Once you’re there, a 2-mile (3 km) walk will take you to all five Bali beaches, with a couple of steep hills along the way.

Much of the appeal of the Bali beaches is that they’re sheltered from the gusty northerly meltemi wind, which means you can swim on days when conditions are too rough on other beaches.

It’s an ideal place for Crete holidays, whether you want to stick to Bali village or explore other places nearby. Which Bali beach in Crete is best?

Where is Bali, Crete ?

Image of Karavostasi Beach Bali Crete
Karavostasi Beach in summer

Bali is located on the main Heraklion – RethymnoChania highway that runs along the north coast of the island. It’s 30 km east of Rethymno and 45 km west of Heraklion. It’s in one of the best areas in Crete for exploring the island, with beautiful beaches like Spilies and Geropotamos less than ten minutes away by car. It’s also a short drive from Arkadi Monastery, one of the most important historic sites in Crete.

Getting to Bali Crete ?

This is very easy – it’s off the main E75 highway, so you can drive there or catch the regular buses that run between the Crete capital Heraklion and Rethymno and Chania. It’s one of many possible day trips from Chania, a straight run along the highway.

It’s also within easy reach of the resorts to the east of Rethymno and Panormos, both by car and bus. The K-Tel buses website has full information – you’ll need to travel on the Chania or Rethymno bus to Heraklion or vice versa.

The bus stops at Bali on request. The stop is on the busy, fast main road. In the daytime the Bali tourist train is parked just off the left of the approach road to the village.

Describe Bali Crete

Image of people sunbathing on Varkotopos beach Bali Crete
Soaking up the rays on Varkotopos Beach in Bali

Bali has been taken over by tourism, no question about it. In peak season every Bali beach Crete is packed with umbrellas and sunbeds. That said, it’s still a relatively quiet place perfect for holidays in Crete. Most Bali Crete hotels are in the mid-range bracket – 2- and 3-star hotels and apartments are what’s on offer here. Most visitors tend to be European. It’s an ideal place for family holidays in Crete, especially because of the sheltered beaches.

Expect some excellent Crete holiday deals, especially towards the end of the October shoulder season. At this time the sea is usually warm enough to swim in, and it’s not nearly as crowded as in August.

Livadi Beach Bali

Image of Livadi Beach Bali Crete Greece
Livadi Beach – a lovely spot, but no room to roam

Livadi beach is the first beach you reach off the main highway. It’s the biggest Bali beach, a few hundred metres long, but it’s pretty narrow, with very little sand between the umbrellas and sunbeds and the waves lapping the shore. There are plenty of beach bars to choose from.

Livadi beach also faces due north, so is the most exposed beach in Bali. When the water is calm and flat in the coves further up the village, the waves are often piling in here.

It’s a pleasant enough spot to linger for a drink or meal, but if your soul yearns for some space on the sand, it’s not ideal.

Varkotopos Beach Bali

Image of Varkotopos Beach Bali Crete
Varkotopos Beach

The next Bali beach you reach is Varkotopos beach. It’s a small beach, 100 metres or so long, in a sheltered cove at the base of a very steep hill. The main road through the village is directly behind the beach, and there are cafes and restaurants along here. Varkotopos is more pleasant than Livadi because it’s much more sheltered. However, it’s also very busy in peak season.

Mythos Beach

Image of Mythos Beach in Bali, Crete
Mythos Beach: wall-to-wall umbrellas, but stunning

Mythos beach is the secret beach of Bali. A small sign – ‘Zum Strand’, German for ‘To the Beach’, directs you to Mythos Apartments. Head down the stairs from there – you emerge outside after a couple of short flights of steps.

Image of Mythos Beach Bali Crete
Another view of Mythos beach, from across the harbour

Once you’re outside, follow the next set of steps down to the beach. It’s very small and narrow – a lovely spot as long as you don’t mind a relative lack of space while you soak up the sun. Perhaps not so secret after all!

Limani Beach (Also known as Harbour Beach )

Image of Limani or Harbour beach in Bali Crete
The main Harbour beach in Bali

This is the town or harbour beach – when guidebooks refer to Bali Beach Crete, this is the one they mean. It has a lovely setting, with the houses of the surrounding steep streets looking down onto it.

There are steps down to the beach from the harbour, or you could paddle around the base of the cliff at Mythos beach (to the immediate right).  The views to the mountains are magnificent, and the water is nearly always very calm. Space is at a premium once again, but somewhere like this would make many people think about holidays in Bali Crete.

Karavostasi Beach Bali

Image of Karavostasi Beach in Bali Crete
Our favourite Bali Crete beach – Karavostasi

We’ve saved the best until last. Karavostasi is the northernmost of the Bali beaches, a short walk from the harbour and down a track to a sublime place.

Image of rocky coastline near Bali Crete
The wave-battered coastline immediately to the north of Karavostasi beach

Again, Karavostasi beach is calm and sheltered, with sometimes fierce waves pounding the other side of the headland to the north. Its location is the most dramatic, tucked away between cliffs either side, with stunning azure water to swim in. Another tiny beach is also hidden away behind the headland to the south.

Image of a secret beach and caves in Bali Crete
This really IS a secret Bali beach, close to Karavostasi

Karavostasi beach is quite small and intimate. As well as the usual range of sunbeds and umbrellas, it’s also the ideal environment for snorkelling. A few cafes and tavernas provide meals and drinks, some sheltered in the shade of the trees just behind the beach. An exquisite place, worthy of a place in our list of the best beaches in Crete.

You can find all our articles on Greece in our Greece travel guide here. Check back regularly as we continue to add amazing places.

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David Angel
David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing Europe for over 25 years.  His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times.