Anissaras

Just a couple kilometers west of bustling, lively Hersonissos, and 25 km from Heraklion, and close to Analipsi, Anissaras Beach is pleasantly quiet, yet within easy reach of the all-night party scene at Hersonissos. The tamarisk-bordered beach is sandy, with rocks, little coves, and rocky shelves which are great to explore, especially for kids.

It offers decent amenities and many hotels. Anissaras isn't a village, so there aren't a lot of restaurants, bars, or stores. Rather there are a lot of self-contained hotels. You can walk up the beach to Hersonissos and get just about anything you want, however. Be careful, though, because on the way there is a nudist beach, if that's not your sort of thing. There are also good bus connections to Hersonissos. The only problem is that the bus stops on the main highway, a 2 kilometer walk from the beach.

The beach is organized, and the water is about average in depth for Greek beaches. It's a quiet, not too crowded place. Beach facilities include sun beds, umbrellas, water sports, scuba diving, snorkeling, and a lifeguard. The beach is exposed to the summer winds from the north and can get blustery.

Anissaras is not too far from the Cretaquarium, which has a large display of marine plants and animals. Also nearby is the Palace of Malia, a Minoan-era complex of ruins likely devastated, like the rest of the Minoan Civilization, when Santorini, 120 km to the north, blew up around 1600 BC.