Kolymbari beach is one of the main reasons to visit this small coastal town west of Chania city. It is one of the most interesting beaches in northern Crete.
The beach of Kolymbari is essentially a big coastal zone of about one and a half kilometers towards the east, up to the nearby village of Tavronitis.
Getting to know Kolymbari beach
The first thing that makes the beach of Kolymbari stand out is its grey sand. At some parts of the beach, there are fine pebbles of the same color. If you are not a fan of fine sand, which tends to find its way into your bags and on your body, then this beach is ideal for you.
The water is very clear and refreshing, and you will hardly want to get out of the sea if the weather is calm. If it is windy, however, there may be some waves, as is the case with all the beaches in northern Crete.
The natural landscape around the beach will carry you away. Kolymbari is located on the base of the long Rodopou peninsula, one of the two characteristic long peninsulas in northwest Chania. The view towards the sea and the – full of wild natural beauty – peninsula, will make you want to stay on the beach for hours.
Another advantage of Kolymbari beach is the absence of too many visitors, due to its distance from Chania city. In fact, the beach of Kolymbari most of the time is less crowded than the popular beaches in south Crete. If you don’t like cosmopolitan beaches, and you prefer seclusion and quiet relaxation instead, you are going to love the beach of Kolymbari. Here, you can still hear the sound of the waves gently flowing over the fine pebbles.
The big beach inside the town, although the most convenient, is not your only option for swimming in Kolymbari. This is particularly handy when there is north wind blowing, and the main beach of Kolymbari is wavy.
Your first alternative are the scenic small beaches in the coves next to the Monastery of Gonia, about one kilometer northwest of Kolymbari. These coves are well protected against the occasional strong winds, and the water is practically always calm. Monastery of Gonia itself is very interesting, too, with a fine collection of rare byzantine icons. Next to the monastery is the Orthodox Academy of Crete, one of the prominent centers of theological studies in the Mediterranean.
Another option, if you are willing to get a little farther away from Kolymbari, is to take the boat from Kolymbari harbor to the secluded beaches of Rodopou peninsula. This is an excursion you will remember, as the natural beauty of the cliffs and the beaches of the peninsula is striking. The most known beach in Rodopou is Menies, a picture-perfect secluded beach with deep blue water.
Apart from its modern beauty, and due to its strategic location, the beach of Kolymbari was the main setting of two great historical events that shaped the future of Crete. The first was the Ottoman invasion of the island in 1645, which started right on this beach. In the same manner, about two and a half centuries later, this was the same location where the Greek army landed on the island in 1897, to finally accomplish the liberation of Crete and its reunion with mainland Greece.
Kolymbari beach is one of the most unknown great beaches in west Crete. Its distance from Chania city prevents the masses of visitors from visiting it. This, however, is good news for you: if calm, quiet holidays is what you are after, the beach of Kolymbari can make your holidays to Crete an experience of pure relaxation.