Thinking of booking a trip to Platanias on Crete? Here’s what to expect from this small but lively beach resort near Chania.
Where is it?
Platanias is on the north coast of Crete not far from Chania, between Agia Marina and Gerani.
What’s the vibe like?
Platanias is a small but busy resort which forms part of the main cluster of beach resorts west of Chania. From here to Kolymbari the beach resorts are linked by road which essentially forms one big long strip between here and Stalos. West of Platanias it becomes much quieter.
The areas on either side of the main road are packed with hotels and apartments and there is a highway further inland. The main strip is packed with businesses and traffic and it can feed a bit crowded in peak summer.
It has a lively and unpretentious atmosphere and the widest selection of amenities in the area. There are plenty of family activities on offer but there’s also more nightlife here than in the neighbouring resorts. It’s a popular ex-pat area thanks to its facilities.
The area around Plaza Platania has a village square feel and from here the roads wind up a small hill to Platanias Old Village where you’ll find some restaurants with excellent sunset views.
Platanias beach is a mix of sand and shingle and it merges into Agia Marina on its east side and Gerani on its west side.
There are lots of hotels located right by the beachfront and or one block back and it’s only a short distance from the beach to the main strip.
What’s the beach like?
Platanias beach is a mix of sand and shingle. It’s densely packed with sunloungers, most belonging to nearby hotels although there are some beach clubs. Facilities are often open to non-guests too. You’ll find watersports available along the length of the beach and there are lifeguards on duty during the summer.
The beach gets narrower at the eastern end, divided from Agia Marina by a breakwater and a small harbour. The beach is sandier at Agia Marina and there are more beach clubs.
Towards the western end, it widens out and becomes quieter with several large resort hotels and tamarisk trees dominating the beachfront. From here it blends into Gerani beach.
Just offshore is the small uninhabited island Theodorou which is a popular destination for snorkelling.
Activities and amenities
Platanias has a wide range of amenities for tourists – along the strip you’ll find souvenir shops, mini-markets, car and ATV rentals, pharmacies, boutiques, and ATMs. There are play areas and mini golf for the kids (and big kids).
There are plenty of watersports at the beach, from inflatables to kayak and paddleboard hire to parasailing.
Restaurants are a mix of Greek, fast food, and international. There’s a good variety of bars, mainly at the western end of the strip where it merges into Agia Marina.
There are several tour agencies that can help you with transfers, rentals, Greek nights, water park trips, activities and excursions around the island. A wide number of excursions are available, some of the most popular excursions are Balos beach, Elafonisi beach, Falassarna beach, Samaria Gorge hike, Knossos tour, and a one-day trip to Santorini.
Free transfers are available for Chania’s hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. And there is a tourist train which connects the main beach resorts with some of the attractions in the wider rural area. Note that it doesn’t run into Chania itself.
There are numerous hiking trails up in the hills and a war shelter where you can visit underground tunnels
Transport and accessibility
From the airport:
Platanias is a 30-minute drive from Chania International Airport.
Prices for a private airport transfer to Platanias are around €45.
Platanias is on the Chania City Bus route to Kolymbari which runs from the city to the beach resorts along the west coast – see the Chania Bus website for timetables.
However, the bus leaves from the main KTEL bus station – not the main city bus stop.
The buses are bendy buses and are frequent throughout the day, especially in July and August, but they do get very busy – especially at the end of the day and early evening.
There are multiple bus stops along the main road in Platanias. You can buy tickets on board but it’s cheaper to buy them before you get on at either the Chania bus station or any kiosk/mini-market near the bus stop.
The regional KTEL coach from Chania to Kissamos (the port for Balos) also passes through Platanias although less frequently.
To reach the airport by bus you’ll have to change at Chania.
The main part of Platanias near the beach is flat but the old village area behind the main road is hilly.
There are one or two side roads where you can drive right up to the beach – there are even a few disabled parking bays – but in general parking spaces are limited unless included in your accommodation.
The pavements here are in good condition for Greece with some tactile paving.
Prices in Platanias are average (or slightly below) for Crete. Accommodation is good value and plenty of competition keeps food prices down.
Where to stay
Where to stay
There’s a big package tourism presence here (some hotels are block-booked by the big tour operators) and plenty of traditional hotels and studios.
If you want to stay right on the beach try:
- Geraniotis Hotel & Resort – 4-star with private plunge pools available
- Aklionides Seaside Hotel – traditional aparthotel
- Indigo Mare – traditional aparthotel
Top luxury hotel 5-star Minoa Palace Resort is located behind the main road but has its own bridge leading to a reserved section of beach with loungers. Private pools are available.
On a budget? Check Booking.com.
Read more about Crete:
Where to Stay in Chania Near the Beach
10 Most Beautiful Beaches Near Chania
Where to Stay on Crete: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide
10 Most Beautiful Beaches on Crete
Image credits: All images © The Mediterranean Traveller