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Hike to Glyka Nera Beach

Chania, Greece



0.6 miles

Elevation Gain

308.4 ft

Route Type



Added by Andreas Brokalakis

A short hike to an amazing beach

The southern side of the island of Crete has the most beautiful and secluded beaches. The catch is that most of them are not easily accessible and/or may lack facilities. I consider this to be their greatest advantage and really enjoy those beaches that have fewer visitors and not the "pollution" of beach clubs, speed boats and other similar activities that ruin the tranquility of the place. Having to hike to get in a pristine beach is another bonus.

This is the case of Glyka Nera beach. Glyka Nera in greek means Sweet Waters and the beach is named like that because of the numerous sweet water springs at the shore and in the sea. It is one of the most beautiful beaches and it was even declared by London Times one of the 20 most beautiful beaches in Europe. This may be subjective but I personally have it as one of my favourites.

The beach lies at the European Trail E4 connecting Chora Sfakion and Loutro. In order to reach it, you drive for about 4km from Chora Sfakion towards Anopoli until you see a sign that marks the beginning of the trail (the sign to look at is posted in the photos). There is not a designated parking area, so you have to park your car at the side of the road.

The trail is as mentioned part of the E4 hiking trail and therefore it is clearly marked. To reach the beach, it is about 1km distance and a descent of approximately 95m. The trail itself is not difficult, however it is really interesting and offers breathtaking views as you literally walk above the sea. While not being difficult or technical, this is exactly its greatest struggle: you will be walking at the edge, without any protections, ropes or anything, so for people with issues of heights it can be stressful. It also means that you should be careful not to fall.

Another thing that you should have in mind and unfortunately I have met a lot of people making this mistake, is that this is a hiking trail and therefore it does require proper hiking shoes. People think since they are going to a beach they should wear flip-flops or something like that and they end up getting hurt or having issues.

The trail does not offer any shade, so you will be walking under hot sun. Therefore remember to wear a hat and also sunscreen.

You should need about 30 to 45min to reach the beach. Once there, you can find a small taverna at the right most edge of the beach from where you can buy water, drinks and snacks.

Once on the beach be aware of the steep rocks and keep a distance from them as smaller or larger rocks may fall. There is wire that marks the area that you should avoid, so try to respect this for your own safety.

There are trees along the beach and you can use their shade to relax.

In order to return back to your car, you hike the same trail. Since it will uphill now, the ascent is significant and therefore it will take you closer to 45min.

Some extra tips:

- if you feel that you want to visit the beach but want to avoid the hike, you can get a boat from Chora Sfakion to get you there. I have never taken the boat so I dont know the prices, however considering that it is quite close from Chora Sfakion, I believe that the cost will be small.

- as mentioned above, Glyka Nera is crossed by the E4 hiking trail. That means that if you are an avid hiker, after swimming at Glyka Nera, you may choose instead of returning back, to hike the trail towards the village of Loutro. Loutro is a small village by the sea that cannot be reached by car - only from the trail or by boat. The trail from Glyka Nera to Loutro should be no longer than 1 hour, however be prepared and have plenty of water with you. At Loutro you can find all facilities, including restaurants, mini markets, rooms to let etc. There is a boat service to take you back to Chora Sfakion.

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