Rethymno Beach trips

Our most recommended Rethymno Beach trips

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

1. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

2. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

3. From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

Visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Elafonissi is truly a heaven on earth, with soft white/pink sand, exotic crystal-clear water and cedar trees that extend down to the coastline. It is located in the easily accessible, south-western side of Crete. Get picked up from your hotel area in the morning. Stop for a short break is the Aghia Sophia cave. Visit the cave, and have coffee or refreshments if you choose. Following this, depart for Elafonissi. On your way, see small traditional villages combined with typical Mediterranean scenery, along with the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge. Once you reach Elafonissi, have 4 hours of free time to soak in the amazing sun and enjoy the spectrum of shades of blue that this beach has to offer. At the end of your tour, return to your accommodation in Crete.

Rethymno Land Rover Safari in Southwest Crete

4. Rethymno Land Rover Safari in Southwest Crete

Get off the road and out into the wilderness of southwest Crete on this 8-hour Land Rover safari of stunning mountains and remote beaches. A professional driver will navigate the difficult terrain, taking you to places inaccessible to other vehicles, while teaching you about Cretan culture. The day starts with a drive through the wilderness, up to high altitudes, where you will get aerial views of the magnificent gorges. Look out for vultures and eagles high above. Pass through small traditional villages full of character, and make a brief stop for coffee at one of the remote mountain villages. Back in the vehicle, drive through the mountains to the village of Spili, famous for its spring water. Located under the shadow of Mount Vorizi, the village has a Venetian fountain with a row of more than 25 lion heads supplying cold mountain water all year round. Stroll around the small shops selling handmade souvenirs and traditional handicrafts. Continue along dirt tracks and bumpy roads through more villages, where time has virtually stood still. Passing Kerame, guests will see panoramic views of the southern Cretan coast and the Libyan Sea. Stop for a swim at Preveli Beach to wash off the dirt and dust. Fringed with tall palm trees and boasting crystal clear water, Preveli is one of the most beautiful beaches on Crete, and was chosen by Bacardi as an ideal location for its TV adverts. It is also the only beach in Crete where you can swim in cold mountain water or ocean water in the same place! Working up an appetite, walk back from the beach and stop for a traditional Cretan meal with unlimited wine. After lunch, drive back into the mountains for more dramatic scenery, and more photos as you climb through the stunning Gorge of Kroustaliotico. As you head back towards the end of the tour, look at a magnificent panorama of the entire city of Rethymno from the top of a mountain that can only be reached by Land Rover.

Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

5. Rethymno: Elafonisi Day Trip with Balos Lagoon Photo-Stop

Start your day at Elafonisi beach, with its shallow water and fine white sand. Relax on the shore for 2 hours or explore your surroundings in one of the most beautiful, remote locations in Crete. Dip your feet in the turquoise lagoon or simply stroll along the shore fringed with pink coral sand. Then, get ready for the wild road to Cape Vouxa. Ride 8 kilometers up a dirt track to the national park in a comfortable 4x4 bus. As you travel, enjoy the beautiful natural scenery around you. Finally, arrive at your destination. Step out and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Balos Bay and Gramvousa.

Rethymno: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

6. Rethymno: Balos and Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

Make your cruise worry-free with a roundtrip transfer from Rethymno to Kissamos port in an air-conditioned bus. Ride in a well-maintained and comfortable bus and leave the navigation to your local driver. Have an onboard guide during your trip.  Be picked up in the morning from your accommodation in Rethymno. Sit back and relax on the drive to the Kissamos port where you can purchase a cruise ticket to swim in crystal-clear water of Balos Lagoon and see the Venetian castle of Gramvousa.  Let your driver worry about traffic and getting to the port on time while you relax. Once you return to the port on the boat, your driver will be waiting to whisk you back to your accommodation in Rethymno. 

Guided Boat Tour to Balos & Gramvousa with Transfer & Lunch

7. Guided Boat Tour to Balos & Gramvousa with Transfer & Lunch

Enjoy a full-day excursion with pick-up and drop-off service from the Rethymnon and Chania areas. Your professional guide will accompany you as you depart from the port and cross the bay of Kissamos, passing through Tarsanas, a cave believed to be an ancient shipyard. You will sail the turquoise water around Agria Gramvousa and Vouxa Cape before arriving at Gramvousa Island, where you can visit the Venetian Castle and have time to sunbathe and cool off in the sea. If you choose to spend your time on the island exploring rather than relaxing, you can admire the spectacular views from the top of the fortress. The next stop is the famous lagoon of Balos, Tigani. Enjoy the incredible beach known as one of the most beautiful locations on all of Crete. You will also enjoy a meal on board and be able to rest in the air-conditioned underdeck of the boat, whenever you feel to. After arriving back at Kastelli the air-conditioned busses are waiting for you to transfer you back to your hotels.

Elafonisi Island: Day Trip by Bus from Chania or Rethymno

8. Elafonisi Island: Day Trip by Bus from Chania or Rethymno

Visit the small island of Elafonisi, south west of Crete, and admire the most beautiful beaches in the area. Follow the green north coast just before Kastelli and finally reach the rock chapel of Agia Sophia through the village of Topolia. This small church is hidden in a dripstone cave, reached by a small uphill climb. Continue through quaint villages to the Chrissoskalitissa Nunnery. Listen to the legend of the Golden Step and try to find it among the 99 steps that lead to the nunnery. Then head towards the water and admire the shimmering pink beach in front of pine and juniper covered dunes. Walk to the opposite island of Elafonisi through the shallow turquoise lagoon and spend the rest of the day on the beach.

From Rethymno: Preveli Palm Forest Hike and Beach Day Trip

9. From Rethymno: Preveli Palm Forest Hike and Beach Day Trip

Swim at the delightful Preveli beach, explore the Preveli palm forest, and be surrounded by beautiful hills, olive groves, and mountains as you hike on this full-day trip. Be picked up from your hotel at 8:30 AM and start a comfortable 40-minute drive towards the south coast. Reach the area of the famous Preveli Monastery and the second-largest palm forest in Crete. Begin your 1.5-hour hike to palm beach. Walk through green fields and close to the walls of the Kourtaliótiko gorge below. Be blown away by amazing scenery and a fresh sea breeze as you arrive at the south coast. Next, swim in the clear, blue Libyan Sea. Walk along the banks of the Preveli river and take in the palm trees surrounding you. Enjoy the natural pools here and choose to take a dip. Leave Preveli beach for another walk of 1-hour. Stroll through lush pastures and use the shepherd tracks for a more adventurous walk. Finally, arrive back to the car and drive to a nearby taverna to enjoy a refreshment or tuck into a well-deserved lunch.

Frequently asked questions about Rethymno

What top attractions are a must-see in Rethymno?

The must-see attractions in Rethymno are:

What are the best indoor activities in Rethymno for rainy days?

What are the best inexpensive tours in Rethymno?

Other Sightseeing Options in Rethymno

Want to discover all there is to do in Rethymno? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rethymno

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 526 reviews

Very nice excursion, we were picked up outside our hotel, nice journey there, despite the narrow and winding roads there, you felt safe with the bus driver who drove very well. A stop in the mountains on the way there, with a long staircase up to a cozy cafe with a fantastic view. Once you arrived at Elafonissi, you were there for four hours, and it was too little, but it's not the organizers' fault, you have to get home the same day. Fantastic beach☀️ Was there in September and there were some people, but not packed, can imagine what it looks like in July/August. On the way home, we stopped in a super cozy little village called Elos. There you could eat or have coffee. We were picked up at 8.35 and got home at about 6pm. Will definitely use Getyourguide in the future!

The most incredible experience I had in Crete. All the way to the Elafonisi beach we were driven through the beautiful mountain scenary and authentic villages. The beach itself was amazing, with the crystal clear water and beautiful pink sand. The water was shallow and warm enough to stay in for a long time. The beach facilities and the cantinas were also present in the area. Our guide Ingrid deserves a special mention, she has provided us with an interesting information about the island and the surrounding areas we went through, she was very nice and polite and paid a special attention to everyone on the bus.

I really wanted to know a little more about the life of the Cretan people, their everyday life. Certainly, the best choice was this Land Rover safari in the central part of Crete from Rethymno to the coast of Preveli. I don't want to reveal all the details ☺️, but you should know that Dionysos, our driver, managed the whole day very professionally, many real stories, and facts about the island, but most importantly; Dionysos has a good sense of humor. The whole day is an unforgettable experience in my life. Thanks Dionysos!

Very good excursion, well organized. The guide and the driver were lovely and provided interesting information all the way. We stopped at nice places where we could taste local food.

Bravo! Well done. Excellent driver and tour guide. Long day so be prepared. Absolutely worth the trip to Balos!!