Beach Weddings in Crete (Part 2)
From saltwater, freshwater, sandy and pebble beaches to urban, organised, secluded and remote, Crete has a vast range of glorious beaches to suit each and every couple for their wedding. The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently stated that Greece is in the top five European countries, in terms of the cleanliness of its oceans, with 95% of its waters declared as being in excellent condition. No wonder couples choose the Cretan coastline to throw their wedding parties from.
The breath-taking setting of the coast with its astounding views is the main reason couples choose to have a beach wedding. The laid back atmosphere and outdoors space that beach venues offer is another big motive. An additional perk for couples who opt for a beach wedding is the opportunity to host an extended celebration in one venue. A holiday, ceremony, reception and honeymoon can be had in one spectacular beach location. This takes away the stress of booking multiple venues and the hassle of arranging transportation between them. One wedding venue agreement contract, signed to include a multi-day celebration, a one- off payment, and there you have it, time saved to kick back relax and enjoy your wedding. Is a wedding in a luxurious Cretan beach resort the perfect wedding venue for you? Or perhaps you want to have a quiet ceremony in a secluded and quiet coastal village. Would you like swim in the shallow waters of lagoon or take a romantic boat to a secluded islet during your holiday? All of these options are possible in Crete.
Following is a taste of what beaches the island offers south of Chania and Rethymnon as well as in and around the Heraklion and Lasithi regions.
The South Coast
The beauty of the South Coast of Crete, quite literally, takes your breath away. This majestic coastline has stayed as it should, wild and beautiful, thanks to the fact that it is less populated than the North Coast of Crete. Its rugged headland and coastline have protected the area from extreme concentrations of people and pollution. In contrast to the North Coast, the South Coast landscape is iconic with dramatic sheer cliffs, lonely gorges and rivers leading towards a deep blue sea. This coastline shelters many beautiful bays and coves.
South Coast Beaches in the Chania Perfecture
Paleochora is a village of considerable size in the South West of Crete, approximately 75 km away from Chania. Paleochora is situated on a peninsula with two beaches sprawling out on each of its sides. The beach on the north-western side is long and sandy and in a sheltered bay which helps protect visitors from the wind. The beach on the south-eastern side of the peninsula extends even further and is a bit more exposed, with a pebble shoreline. The village has a good range of accommodation venues that can entertain wedding parties, from budget friendly to luxury venues. Although popular, Paleochora remains to be one of southern Crete’s quieter beach resorts.
On the South Coast and in the Sfakia area of Chania is Frangokastello village. It is a small fishing village that derived its name from the Venetian fortress built there, between 1371 and 1374, to ward of invaders. The fortress, long sandy beach and shallow clear sea make Frangokastello a stunning location for a beach wedding. There is a small range of accommodation, mostly in the form of small pensions and apartments, as well as several places to eat and drink. Many couples who have young children in their wedding party choose Frangokastello as their wedding venue, because the sea is shallow far from the shore. If natural beauty, peace and tranquillity is what you are looking for then it might be the place for you.
South Coast Beaches in the Rethymnon Perfecture
On the South coast of the Rethymnon region, you will find the village of Aghia Galini, a picturesque fishing village. Aghia Galini, meaning “Holy Serenity”, is a traditional Cretan village built on a hill leading towards the sea. This resort is ideal for couples looking for an authentic village atmosphere with great beaches. It has a small fishing port, a river and beautiful shingle and pebble beaches. Couples will have many things to see and do here leading up to their wedding day. There are plenty of tavernas, bars and jewellery shops along the narrow cobblestone alleys of the village and many boats in its port offer day trips to nearby beaches and islands.
Plakias village, approximately 30 km from Rethymnon, is a lively yet small beach resort situated on a dramatic coastline of cliffs. Its main beach is a beautiful wide bay with clear waters and many tavernas, cafes, bars and shops are nearby it. Plakias is a vibrant yet relaxing place, with many entertainment facilities such as cocktail bars, scuba diving centres and accommodation facilities in the form of rent rooms, hotels and villas. Kalypso Cretan Village Resort is a stunning venue in Plakias for those looking for luxury accommodation, high quality services and stunning ocean views. Short distances from Plakias, there are numerous beaches that you can visit. Damnoni, Ammoudi and Schinaria are among many incredible and more secluded beaches nearby, all with crystal clear waters. If you are looking for a quiet but not too quiet holiday experience then Plakias may be suited to you.
North Coast Beaches in the Heraklion/Lasithi Perfecture
Matala village can be found 66 km from Heraklion. It was a small fishing village that attracted hippies during the sixties, a number of whom made homes in the ancient Roman caves of the Matala cliffs. Matala is now a vibrant coastal resort, full of hotels, shops, cafes and restaurants. The main beach of Matala is a sheltered bay with deep clear waters and sections of it are organised with beach amenities. Visitors enjoy taking tours of the caves, strolling around the vibrant hippie village of Matala and its long and wide main beach.
Elounda & Spinaloga Islet
Elounda is a small town, approximately 60 km east of Heraklion and near Aghios Nikolaos in the Lasithi prefecture. Elounda area has been developed into a luxury beach resort with a variety of high-end accommodation venues. There are many small, clean and attractive beaches in Elounda. The beach of Plaka is situated in a sheltered bay called Mirabello Bay about 5 km from Elounda. It has beautiful deep blue waters and the view from its harbour is spectacular. The small island of Spinalonga, where lepers were quarantined until 1957, is directly in its view. Spinalonga is popular for its historical and cultural tours of its old ruined buildings and for its beautiful small shingle beaches and shallow waters. Elounda has many other beaches in shady coves and turquoise waters. The area’s peaceful atmosphere and its large choice of luxury accommodation, attract thousands of visitors each year.
The beaches mentioned in Part One and Two of Beach Weddings in Crete are among many other iconic beaches on the island. There is a huge variety of beaches to choose from to throw your wedding from and the chances are that you will need the assistance of a local, expert, and wedding planning team to plan, organise and execute the beach wedding of your dreams. Are you drawn to the idea of a beach wedding on the island of Crete? Do not hesitate to book a consultation with us, so we can discuss your wedding vision and design your bespoke wedding.