gefyri beach image of gefyri beach hersonissos crete

Gefyri Beach Crete: A stunning scenic beach near Hersonissos

Welcome to our guide to Gefyri Beach, a wonderful beach and series of coves just north of the popular town of Hersonissos.

Gefyri Beach – along with its neighbour Sarantari Beach – is very different to the jam-packed beaches around Hersonissos town. There are still plenty of people around. But Gefyri Beach is a bit special, with its scenic coves and cliffs and spectacular mountain views.

We were drawn back to Gefyri Beach several times during our week in Hersonissos, and have compiled this guide to help you enjoy it. As well as our description of the beach, we show you how to get there and cover all practicalities including sunbeds, umbrellas and when to visit. We love the place – and hope you enjoy it too.

Why Visit Gefyri Beach

image of gefyri beach crete greece
Gefyri Beach

Gefyri Beach is one of the best beaches in the Hersonissos Crete area.

The beaches to the north of Hersonissos Port, including Gefyri and nearby Sarantari Beach, are a better bet than the crowded beaches along Hersonissos seafront.

Gefyri Beach is beautiful, with several small coves just south of the main beach. There are also some picturesque rock formations, including the two white outcrops just south of the beach.

image of cove at gefyri beach hersonissos crete
The cove at the southern end of Gefyri Beach

Gefyri Beach is also sheltered from the common blustery north-westerly winds. These sometimes make bathing and swimming on north Crete beaches difficult. The beach faces east, so if there are sizeable waves at nearby Anissaras or Analipsi beaches, conditions at Gefyri will still be calm.

These conditions make Gefyri an ideal beach for families and kids – and Our Little Man adored every moment in the water.

Things To See And Do At Gefyri Beach Hersonissos

image of gefyri beach crete
Gefyri Beach near Hersonissos
image of gefyri beach crete
Gefyri Beach
image of cliff and cove at gefyri beach crete
Another cove at the end of the beach

Gefyri Beach is an ideal place to take the family for a few hours on the beach.

It’s perfect for a mixture of sunbed time, paddling and swimming.

There is plenty of fine sand at the southern end of the beach, with more coarse, larger rice-like particles of sand as you head further up the beach.

image of gefyri beach crete greece
Sunshades and sunbeds for rent at Gefyri Beach
image of cafe at gefyri beach hersonissos crete
The cafe at Gefyri Beach
image of rock formations at gefyri beach crete
Rock formations at Gefyri Beach

Gefyri Beach, like many in the area, is an ‘organised’ beach, with packages including an umbrella and two sunbeds for €10 for the whole day.

Some sections of the beach are not ‘organised’, so you can rest on parts of the beach, including the coves at the southern end, for free.  

There is also a small café and snack bar across the road from the beach. We only bought water and other drinks from there, but prices were considerably less than you would pay for

Gefyri Beach Tips

image of gefyri beach crete
Late evening with shade on Gefyri Beach

The sunbed operators tend to leave by the evening, so you can help yourself to free beds after around 7pm at the height of summer.  The cliffs at the northern end of the beach – including the mural – also offer natural shade from 5-6pm onwards.

There is a hidden reef of small rocks a few metres offshore towards the northern end of the beach. Faye endured an awkward landing on this, and we also saw some other unsuspecting swimmers ‘beached’ on the same rocks.

Faye – our family fish – also recommends water shoes for the same section of beach. There are several jagged patches of rock around, and she sustained a couple of nasty cuts to her feet without them.

Where Is Gefyri Beach Crete

image of gefyri beach and hersonissos town crete
Gefyri Beach is very close to Hersonissos

Gefyri Beach is 1.5 km (just under a mile) north of the north Crete coastal town of Hersonissos.

The coastal part of Hersonissos – known in Greek as Limanaki Hersonisou – is 27 km (17 miles) east of Heraklion, the capital of Crete.

How To Get To Gefyri Beach

image of gefyri beach crete
The beach road passes next to Gefyri Beach

Gefyri Beach is a 10-15-minute walk north of Hersonissos town centre.

If you’re staying at the Creta Maris Resort, it’s only a 5-minute walk away, along the narrow coastal road, past a few coves and tavernas.

If you’re not staying at Creta Maris, you need to follow the road around the back of the complex, continue past the coves and tavernas before reaching the southern end of Gefyri Beach.

No buses run along this route, so if you’re not up to the walk in the heat, you’ll either have to drive there or take a taxi. Hersonisos Taxis are expensive – a flat fare of €8 takes you anywhere within the centre, and to the hill villages of Piskopiano and Koutouloufari nearby.

There are a few entrance points to the beach, all at the southern end.

Places to Visit Near Gefyri Beach

image of sarantari beach hersonissos crete
Sarantari Beach

Gefyri Beach is a 5-10 minute walk from the superb Sarantari Beach. We also frequented this beach during our stay in Hersonissos. It’s smaller than Gefyri Beach and its greater distance from Hersonissos means that it tends to be a bit quieter.  It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Heraklion region, indeed perhaps one of the best beaches in Crete.

image of sarantari cape beach hersonissos crete
Sarantari Cape Beach

There is another great beach just north of Sarantari Beach, which is sometimes called Sarandaris Cape Beach. The names of the Sarantari beaches can be a little confusing, and this arises from different transliterations from the original Greek.  So Sarantari Beach and the nearby headland are variously called Sarantari, Sarantaris, Sarandari, Saradari and Sarandaris. We stick to the most commonly used English version in each case.

Cape Sarandaris Beach is another beauty, differentiated from its neighbour by its white cliffs. It’s also sheltered from winds by the headland, and its clear turquoise waters are incredibly inviting.

image of watersports area near Sarandaris Cape Crete
The watersports area below Sarandaris Cape

There is a small watersports centre below Cape Sarandaris which is very popular with snorkelers. The waters there are crystal-clear, and people also stand-up paddleboard or kayak from there. In the evenings, several sunset cruise boats stop nearby before rounding the headland to watch the sun go down.

image of st george's chapel sarandaris cape crete
St George’s Chapel

If you walk up to the headland, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of the lovely whitewashed Church of St George. It’s in an idyllic spot, with a few trees providing shade, and there are great views back to Gefyri Beach, Hersonissos and the mountains behind.

The Hersonissos town beaches are much busier than around Gefyri and Sarantari. The likes of Star Beach Resort are hugely popular, and have the added attraction of water slides and a go-kart circuit. They also offer bungee jumps from high above a small harbour.  Check out our Hersonissos Beaches article for information on all of the beaches in and around the town.    

image of coves near gefyri beach
Hersonissos Coves

The town’s slightly more sedate charms include some beautifully set restaurants, like Cretan Blue, with tables right above the shoreline. The views along the harbour at sunset are fantastic.

Beyond there, the small but superb Lychnostatis Open Air Museum is one of the best in Crete. My son and I also loved the Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Centre in Hersonissos. Our Little Man greatly enjoyed the opportunity to pat turtles and hold a bearded dragon. And we also liked the homely, homespun feel of the place. My son actually prefers it to the much larger (and also recommended) CretAquarium in Gournes, west towards Heraklion.

Gefyri Beach – Final Thoughts

image of gefyri beach crete
Sunset on Gefyri Beach

All three of us are big fans of Gefyri Beach. I went there several times, and Faye and Our Little Man also love the place. This and nearby Sarantari Beach are a bit special, and beat the central Hersonissos beaches hands down.

And for something a little different, don’t miss the hillside villages of Old Hersonissos, Piskopiano and Koutouloufari. They’re quite touristed, but much closer to traditional Crete than Hersonissos town is!

Image of David Angel found of Delve into Europe Travel Blog / Website

David Angel is a British photographer, writer and historian. He is a European travel expert with over 30 years’ experience exploring Europe. He has a degree in History from Manchester University, and his work is regularly featured in global media including the BBC, Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, The Times, and The Sunday Times.  David is fluent in French and Welsh, and can also converse in Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech and Polish.

Check out more of our articles on Crete here: