Kalypso Beach Crete – Staggeringly Beautiful

Image of the view of Kalypso Beach from the cliff path above
A bird’s eye view of the beach from the cliff path

Kalypso Beach Crete is one of the best beaches in Crete, and one of the most unusual. It’s set in its own secret cove a short drive from the beach village of Plakias Crete. It’s also part of the Kalypso Cretan Village Resort & Spa, one of several Plakias resorts close by.

It’s very different to most Crete beaches because of its incredible setting. It’s a long, narrow sea inlet between a soaring sea cliff on one side and a narrow finger of land on the other. There’s no sand, just rock and water.

A bridge links both sides of the inlet – called the ‘Pirate’s Fjord’. This is possibly unique among Greece beaches – you come here to swim, snorkel or soak in the sun from the rocky area above the water.

Kalypso Beach Crete – In a Nutshell

  • The beach is 5 km (3 miles) from Plakias beach and village on the south coast of Crete
  • It’s the focal point of the Kalypso Cretan Village Hotel Resort – the accommodation is a short walk up the hill from the beach
  • It’s also known as Karavos Beach

Image of Kalypso Beach Plakias Crete Greece
Image of Kalypso beach Crete Greece
Image of Kalypso Beach near Plakias Crete, Greece
Kalypso Beach, one of the best places to swim in Crete, Greece.
  • You don’t have to be a guest of the Kalypso Hotel to visit the beach – you’ll just need to pay for use of umbrellas and sunbeds
  • The beach is set in the ‘Pirate’s Fjord’, a narrow inlet with a low narrow peninsula on one side and a spectacular towering cliff on the other
  • This is one of the best places for swimming and snorkeling in Crete, with exceptionally clear water
  • Do not go to Hotel Kalypso expecting sand as there isn’t any – you come here for the water and the spectacular setting

Getting to Kalypso Beach

Image of Kalypso Beach Plakias Crete
Image of the bridge at Kalypso Beach Crete
That water….

The nearest public transport takes you to Kalypso Beach is Plakias village. Plakias beach Crete is a more popular destination, and several buses a day run from the lovely regional capital Rethymno.

The only way to reach the Kalypso Hotel Crete from Plakias is to drive yourself or take a taxi. The latter costs 8 euros each way – the hotel reception will book the return journey for you.

Facilities at Kalypso Beach

Image of the pirate sculpture in the cave at Kalypso Beach Crete
Image of diving suits at Kalypso Beach Crete
Diving suits for hire at Kalypso Dive Center

Hotel staff are available to help you choose your umbrella and sunbeds – a two bed and umbrella set costs 10 euros.

There are two small snack bars – one grilling kebabs by the shore, and another operated by the Kalypso Dive Center.

The toilets are 200 metres up the hill from the beach – head for the pirate ship next to one of the swimming pools, they’re downstairs inside.

Swimming at Kalypso Beach

Image of the bridge at Kalypso Beach Crete
Image of young boy walking across bridge at Kalypso Beach Crete

My wife Faye, the family fish, is the expert on this subject, having swum in five different continents. Her word is good enough for a landlubber like me. She said it’s the best, clearest water she has swum in anywhere in the world. The visibility and clarity from above is astonishing – you can make out every single detail in the sea bed.

A Walk to Damnoni Beach

Image of the view of Kalypso Beach from the cliff path above
A bird’s eye view of the beach from the cliff path

While Faye and our son swim for an hour or two, I often take off for a walk to explore the surrounding coastline. There is a set of concrete steps leading up the sheer cliff to the left of the beach, offering bird’s eye views back down onto Kalypso Beach.

I was aware that a path led from the top around the coast. You gradually descend, cross some empty ground just inland and turn the corner to reach lovely Damnoni Bay, a beautiful crescent of sand surrounded by rocky hills.

I only went as far as Damnoni, but you can continue to Ammoudi beach and eventually to Skinaria beach. There’s plenty of exploring to do on your Plakias holidays, with other beaches like gorgeous Souda just to the west of the main village and beach.

The walk from Kalypso Spa took around 15 minutes each way.

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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.

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