Nearly as impressive as Elafonissi is Falassarna Beach. A more manageable 50 minutes from Chania, Falassarna can serve as an excellent and easy-to-access day trip spot if you’re using Chania as your home base.
Even though Falassarna was not quite as beautiful as Elafonissi, it still is worth checking out. As you exit the main roads and head towards the coast, the drive becomes increasingly beautiful. While not as treacherous as the drive to Elafonissi, it is still important to exercise caution driving down the long and winding roads towards the beach.
Falassarna is free to enter (as are most Greek beaches outside of the Athens area…I think it’s only in NJ that you have to pay to go on a beach…but that’s another rant for another day). There is a small charge for renting a chair and umbrella, if you want some shade. However, this is not essential, as if you do a little searching, you can find a nice shaded spot under some trees. While these spots may be sought after, if you go during the week, you should have no problem snagging one of these prime locations. We had no problem getting a parking spot in the small lot and finding a place to set up.
As far as the setting, Falassarna has a soft sand cover and calm waters. It’s ideal for sunbathers, families, and swimmers who prefer calmer waters to float around in. If you are the type who likes to ride waves, you won’t find any here; however, you shouldn’t be too bored with the fantastic scenery around you. The view of the surrounding mountains on the land behind you is quite beautiful. It’s worth taking a few minutes to float in the water and take it all in.
If you walk to the north end of the beach, you can see this sweet abandoned skiff. Seaworthiness is undetermined at this time.
If you make the trip to Falassarna later in the day and don’t have any pressing dinner commitments back in Chania, it is highly recommended to stick around for the sunset. Crete’s sunsets are much like Crete itself – beautiful and highly underrated. While Santorini gets all the love for its sunsets, the Cretan version is nothing to shake a stick at.
At some point in your trip to Falassarna, I recommend taking a quick drive around some of the local roads and making your way over to Ancient Falassarna. During our journey, the road to Ancient Falassarna was closed, so we weren’t able to visit the old harbor and settlement. However, on the approach to the entrance, we could still appreciate the beauty that was surrounding us. Unassuming and unpopulated, the setting sun danced on the mountains around us. It was a truly moving place. Once disembarking from our tiny hatchback, it felt like we were standing in a place that was the exact same 3,000 years ago as it is now. It was intensely quiet and peaceful. I felt like I had been transported to another time. As we were the only ones in the vicinity, we had it all to ourselves.
The profound beauty and serenity of Ancient Falassarna – doesn’t this place just look ancient?
All in all, Falassarna can be a beautiful spot for history lovers and beach-goers alike.
Until next time,
More on the ancient harbor at Falassarna, which flourished during the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.E., can be found at this website, History of Falassarna.