For you, we regularly explore Crete’s most beautiful beaches, the Greek island’s most beautiful hotels, the most beautiful towns, kitesurfing spots… Today we invite you to don your best diving mask and discover Crete’s 13 best snorkeling spots!
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1. El Greco cave: the splendour of stalactites and stalagmites
Located nearAgia Pelagia, the El Greco cave is an underwater wonder. This 30-metre-long cave, whose entrance is 17 metres deep, 8 metres high and 5 metres wide, is home to impressive stalactites and stalagmites that form an enchanting decor. You’ll come across lobsters, moray eels, groupers and even tuna in the crystal-clear waters.
2. Snorkeling around the wreck of the Messerschmitt: a witness to the Second World War
The wreckage of a German aircraft dating from the Second World War lies in several fragments at a depth of 24 meters, but the cockpit remains intact. This dive at Analipsi offers a unique experience for lovers of history and marine life.
3. Snorkeling in Agia Pelagia Bay: discover Blue Cave!
The bay of Agia Pelagia is renowned for its varied marine life, with octopus, barracuda, moray eels, scorpion fish, dolphins and stingrays. Diving is accessible to beginners, and you can explore a reef, canyons and underwater caves.
Above all, the “Blue Cave” snorkelling spot is one of the craziest in Crete!
The Blue Grotto near Agia Pelagia in Crete is a fascinating cave dive, suitable for certified divers of level 2 or higher. It offers a maximum depth of 31 metres. The dive begins at the entrance to the cave, characterized by an imposing rock face descending to a depth of 100 meters. The cave is surrounded by rocks, a reef and a wealth of marine life. Inside the cave, divers can observe a variety of marine organisms and stalagmite and stalactite formations. Experienced divers can take a siphon to another room offering spectacular sea views. This is an impressive dive for all divers, but the siphon is for experienced divers only.
4. The Hersonissos shrimp cave: a challenge for experienced divers
Located near Hersonissos, the Shrimp Cave is reserved for experienced divers. At a depth of 40 meters, thousands of shrimp evolve in this superb cave, offering a unique experience for underwater adventurers.
5. Snorkeling in Plakias: a popular destination for swimming and snorkeling
Sougia, on the south coast of the regional unit of Chania, is one of the most popular beaches for swimming and snorkeling. In the regional unit of Rethymnon, you’ll find Plakias beach, also popular with free divers.
6. Snorkeling near the historic castle of Frangokastello
Frangokastello is another popular beach on the south coast, 12 km from the town of Sfakia, near the castle from which it takes its name. There are three beaches to choose from, including a pebble beach ideal for snorkelling.
7. The pink beach of Elafonissi: a legendary snorkeling destination
Elafonissi is one of Europe’s legendary beaches. This island is covered in rare wildflowers and boasts a magnificent lagoon with pink sandy shores. It’s a fantastic destination to explore on a snorkeling trip.
It’s a vast expanse of shallow basins and beach fronts lined with sand partly made up of broken shells dating from the Jurassic period. It’s also lined with peachy-pink sand, due to the chalk that was swept along the coast and turned pink as a result of a chemical reaction with the iodine in the seawater.
Venture deeper than 50 metres and you’ll discover fascinating patches of volcanic rock, home to a wide variety of small and medium-sized fish. The water is not too deep and is very safe. The temperature is pleasant and there are plenty of places on the rock to grab if you want to dive for static and watch the wildlife go about their daily business for as long as you can hold your breath.
8. Snorkeling at Matala Beach: underwater caves and Roman port
Matala is famous for its cliffside caves, once home to a generation of hippies. Along this rocky coastline, you can snorkel and admire the ancient Roman port under the sea.
9. Almyrida in Crete: a prime snorkelling destination
Almyrida, between Rethymnon and Heraklion, is another popular snorkelling destination along Crete’s north coast.
On site, rely on Omega Divers | Crete Diving Center for magnificent, perfectly guided excursions!
10. Elephant Cave: Crete’s most famous snorkelling spot!
Not far from Almyrida, a 15-minute drive away, is Crete’s best snorkeling spot: Elephant Cave!
The grandeur of nature and the hidden secrets of Crete are rare treasures, accessible to those who take the time to be inspired. Among these wonders is an extraordinary experience, hidden beneath the village of Kokkino Chorio, in the Drepano region of Akrotiri, in the prefecture of Chania, just off Souda Bay. It’s a unique underground grotto, the only one of its kind on the island, offering a dazzling beauty from another world, still unknown to many, waiting to be discovered.
The cave was found by accident in 1999 by a diver and named after elephant bones belonging to a new species, elephas chaniensis. This particular elephant does not correspond to any known species, not even those discovered elsewhere on Crete, Cyprus or the Greek mainland! Another fascinating aspect is the presence of deer bones in the cave, belonging to standard-sized deer as well as a small variety of deer measuring just 30 centimetres in height.
The cave extends over a length of 160 meters, with the entrance some 10 meters below sea level. The bottom is covered in water, with shallow areas and deeper ones up to four meters deep. The cave’s main chamber is adorned with magnificent reddish stalactites, due to the presence of aluminum and iron. Stalagmites also rise from the cave floor, indicating that it was once dry.
Once home to rare elephants and deer, this cave is full of surprises, as well as breathtaking beauty. Visitors can admire the impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, while discovering fossilized elephant and deer bones that have become an integral part of the cave walls. To explore this exceptional place, you need to dive, an unforgettable experience that takes place under the guidance of a specialized diving center.
11. Mirabello Bay in Elounda: spectacular underwater topography
Mirabello Bay in Elounda offers a discreet and spectacular snorkeling experience. There are many small coves, which you can approach by swimming or by boat, booking an excursion from the town ofAgios Nikolaos or from Elounda.
The bay consists of two parts:
- On the left-hand side is a stone reef with several slabs between which you’ll see numerous species of fish. Between the submerged rocks, under the water, small gorges appear. Large sea turtles can regularly be seen at the end of these rocks. These large sea turtles are called Caretta Caretta, and some of them reach a size of 80 to 100 centimetres.
- On the right-hand side of this reef, there’s a large section with sea grass. When you snorkel over this area, you’ll see many species of fish living between the sea grasses. On the right-hand side of the bay, it’s wonderful and relaxing to snorkel along the lava formations. Between the cracks in the rocks, octopuses can often be seen, always hiding in small caves. Along the rock formations, you’ll see many small, beautifully colored fish.
12. Snorkeling on the island of Dia: one of Crete’s most popular activities!
Crete has its own islands, including Dia, located 9 miles off the coast of Heraklion. This small island is an extremely popular snorkeling destination, even for famous underwater explorers like Jacques Cousteau.
It looks like a crocodile from a distance, but you won’t find one on site!
A wild, uninhabited island, there are plenty of boat trips to Dia from towns like Heraklion and Hersonissos!
13. Island of Chrissi: an exotic destination in southern Crete
Off the south coast of Crete, the island of Chrissi is one of Europe’s southernmost islands. The golden sands and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal snorkeling destination.
Snorkeling on Chrissi Island is a must! The island itself is rather rough and rocky, with gnarled, dry trees. But the sea water is indescribably clear and turquoise-blue – it’s like being in another world. It’s even possible to spot lionfish!