Glyko Nero Beach/Sweet Water Beach in South-West Crete

Almost all beaches in south-west Crete are clothing-optional, except perhaps only central town beaches. Many of them are connected with famous E4 hiking trail, so you can walk between them… or maybe swim?

Well, I’m joking, Anidri and GLyko Nero beaches are quite far from each other. Glyko Nero Beach (Sweet Water Beach), as its name suggests, has some underground freshwater springs. Thus this place is ideal for camping. Just dig a half-meter hole in the send, if there are not any already, and you’ll get fresh cold water. Regardless, you won’t die from hunger or thirst there anyway, as there is also a tavern. As the beach is turned to the south and surrounded by high walls of steep rocks,

view 0000 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

it can get very hot there unless there’s a strong breeze from the sea. But there are some trees providing good shade,
view 0001 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

and also a plenty of umbrellas from the tavern.

We spent most of the time swimming.

 

naturist 0001 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

The sea water is very clean and has intense dark-blue color.

naturist 0000 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

Unless you hit the freshwater spring at the water edge, it is also very warm; and certainly, this beach has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen.

view 0002 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

 
Even late in the evening it was so warm, we couldn’t help laughing about advice that we received on the previous day that we should take warm clothes and gloves for the night.
naturist 0002 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

At night, thanks to the cliffs surrounding the beach, it is very quiet and dark there, because no light comes from neighbouring town. Perfect to watch stars! As there was no moon, they were so bright that Milky Way even reflected in the water! And when we looked in the water, we saw that it was full of flashing “stars” itself. Bioluminescent plankton was so abundant (at least in the end of September, when we were there), that anytime I moved my hand in the water there were flashes around, as these organisms respond to mechanical disturbance with glowing. This is why they also flash a lot, when waves break onto the shore. I would highly recommend to swim at night (with goggles) to see how the water glows around you and your swimming buddy.
However, be careful with the above mentioned cliffs – don’t build you camp to close to them, because once in while some rocks were falling down, sometimes because of the goats jumping. They like coming to this beach to drink fresh water in those man-made holes, and you can see their incredible ability to walk on nearly vertical cliffs. 

naturist 0004 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece
But we had fun climbing those rocks ourselves too

naturist 0006 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

and then were diving from them.

naturist 0007 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

To get to Glyko Nero beach you may use a small former fishing boat which comes from Hora Sfakion directly to the tavern twice per day at about 10:00 and 17:00, or like we and many hikers, come by E4 hiking trail. From Hora Sfakion, you can also first go by car in the direction of Loutro till the sign E4 Glyko Nero/Sweet Water Beach. However you get there, you’ll surely love this beach!

naturist 0005 Glyko Nero beach, Crete, Greece

Samaria Gorge and beach at Agia Roumeli in South-West Crete

Samaria Gorge and beach at Agia Roumeli provide a perfect combo of adventure and secluded relaxation. Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe, 12.4km, so be prepared to walk for several hours. The good news is that you don’t need to carry water with you (maybe just keep half a liter with you), as there are springs at regular distances. It is a very popular national reserve with regular buses departing from Hania and other towns of Crete. It is better to ask in advance if the gorge is open on the day you want to go there, because it may be closed under some weather conditions.

First, you will descend by very well organized hiking trail with magnificent views over the gorge and mountains around.

view 0000 Samaria gorge, Crete, Greece

The second part of the route lies in the river bed (during summer Samaria River comes to the surface only in some parts) between vertical rock walls up to 300m high.
view 0002 Samaria gorge, Crete, Greece
That is especially impressive in several points where the cliffs from both sides get really close to each other, just few meters apart! It can be dangerous as the signs say, and we heard once quite a terrifying noise of falling rocks somewhere aside.

view 0001 Samaria gorge, Crete, Greece

During the first half of our walk, the trail was often overcrowded with tens, if not hundreds, of people literally rushing one by one. Later we realized why they were in such a hurry: the ferries from Agia Roumeli, a village in the end of the gorge, leave to Hora Sfakion and Paleochora at about 16:30. This is why almost all hikers try to walk the whole way in about 6 hours. Luckily we were going to camp in the end, so we spent almost 10 hours in the gorge and could enjoy all astonishing views.

So, during last 3 hours of our walk, after these settlements, our only encounters were feral goats and kri-kri, Cretan subspecies of wild goats, endemic to the island.

view 0003 Samaria gorge, Crete, GreeceAfter eating in a tavern in Agia Roumeli, we went to look for a camping place. A small pinery just left of the isthmus of the Samaria River was already occupied by half a dozen campers, so we continued looking for a place for our tent further on the beach in the dark… and we found it! An entire cave had been waiting for us exclusively 🙂 What was especially pleasing was that the floor in the cave was of fine dry soft sand, whereas the beach itself was mainly covered by pebbles, many of tennis ball size, very inconvenient to walk on. The cave had accumulated the warmth of the day, so not only did we not need to go inside our tent, we even did not need to cover! Watching the starry sky from the cave felt like in a cinema. The only problem was that the noise of waves echoed in the cave and thus doubled, so don’t expect quiet, but the sound of sea is your thing, you’ll be happy.

 

naturist 0000 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece

In the late morning next day, a few people came to the beach, but the cave remained pretty much our own.

naturist 0007 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece
With quite strong waves, the water there gets full of air bubbles, and it gives it incredibly intensive light-blue color… somewhat resembling the Greek flag =)

naturist 0004 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece
Further to the east lies another beach Agios Pavlos with an old church from Byzantine times, but unfortunately we did not have time to go there – it’s good to keep something for the next time, we thought.

Right next to the cave, there were some interesting rock formations.naturist 0002 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece

While swimming around, we found some rocks offshore with sort of bathtubs on them.

naturist 0006 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece

How cool, after a bathtub, you can dive into the sea!

naturist 0003 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece
And getting back to our cave I couldn’t resist imagining myself as a caveman.

naturist 0000 Agia Roumeli, Crete, Greece

Though it was also nice to just lie down and relax there…

naturist 0001 Agia Roumeli beach, Crete, Greece

Hopefully this place will remain as beautiful and unspoiled as we found it!

Anidri/ Giliaskari Beaches east of Paleochora (South-West Crete).

A pretty long stretch of the seashore east of Paleochora has three pebbly beaches known as Anidri or Giliaskari. 

view 0001 Anidri beach, Crete, Greece
Pebbles of the third, easternmost, beach are very small, which make it very convenient to walk on in contrast to big pebbles on other two beaches. In any case, probably thanks to the pebble floor, the water there is incredibly transparent.

view 0002 Anidri beach, Crete, Greece

We were there on a very quiet day with almost no wind, so we also played frisbee (there was enough space to not bother anyone with that).

Then we had a few pleasant swims without any waves, so we could easily practice different styles, mostly breaststroke

and front crawl.


Giliaskari beaches are well organized, with cafes, small taverns and outdoor showers – all well integrated with natural surroundings.

view 0000 Anidri beach, Crete, Greece
And we really enjoyed those outdoor showers in the sun 😎

naturist 0001 Anidri beach, Crete, Greece

As it’s a pretty long walk back to the town of Paleochora, it’s not a bad idea to wash the salt off you skin.

By the way, this is one of few naturist places in Greece where we’ve seen an “official” warning board about nudism.

naturist 0003 Anidri beach, Crete, Greece
As if you couldn’t guess without it 🙂

flat rock beach in Athens (Limanakia)

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Nudist beach at Limanakia is a popular place to enjoy the heat of summer in Athens instead of suffering from it in the city. It has a lot of convenient open flat rocks, as well as hidden corners to get some more intimate atmosphere even when it is pretty crowded. view 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

The crowd is quite diverse and international, a lot of gays, sometimes textile though. The water is warm from April to October, and feels nice even when it rains. naturist 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

The underwater life is pretty interesting by the way. You’ll see lots of different fishes,

fish 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

schools of young fish fish 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

and some parrotfish of rainbow colors.

fish 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greecefish 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Another beautiful encounter, which we saw only once there, was this jelly fish. jellyfish 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greecejellyfish 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Thus, Limanakia proved to be great for snorkeling and swimming.

naturist 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

However, while getting out of the water beware of sea urchins,sea urchin 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

although not all rocks are covered with sea urchins – some have only pretty moss animals and algae.

moss animals 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greecemoss animals 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

In any case, goggles are highly recommended both for enjoying underwater scenery and safety!

naturist 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

This place is obviously great to take some good photos,

naturist 0009 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

just make sure to have good equipment;-)

naturist 0010 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Well, this pigeon thought it was all about him and tried to get in the shot all thetime!

naturist 0011 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

But the crab turned out to be more photogenic and cooperative.

crab 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Late october, with more rain, brings some blossom to the rocks of Limanakia.

flowers 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

But not only flowers can be pink there, the rocks themselves may turn pink too!

view 0001 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

This is what happened one evening with unusually bright pink clouds at sunset, which reflected their color on the rocks and the sea.

view 0002 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

In the cove which is closer to the city, view 0000 Limanakia, Athens, Greece you can also do cliff-diving. Does it look high enough?

naturist 0003 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Well, look from above!

naturist 0004 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

By coincidence, on the day when we finally dared to jump from those cliffs, there was a contest of 12 top cliff-divers at the neighboring lake Vouliagmeni. Well, we couldn’t compete with them in terms of height of our dives, but at least we dived in a more natural way – from the cliffs, not from a platform (I don’t know why they call it cliff-diving then), and without swimsuits 😉

So, ready?!

naturist 0005 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Wait, there is a swimmer below.

naturist 0006 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Steady!

naturist 0007 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Go!

naturist 0008 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

And here is a video.

I think you’re convinced now to visit this place, if you’re in Athens. To get to Limanakia from the center of Athens use express bus E22 (from Panepistimiou (Πανεπιστιμίου) or Syntagma (Σύνταγμα)) or from Glyfada by buses 115 or 116 to B’ Limanakia (B’ Λιμανάκια). On my frequent visits to Athens, this was often the first place I wanted to go, granted that I also saw it from the airplane on approach to the airport; too bad I couldn’t just jump down with a parachute!

view 0004 Limanakia, Athens, Greece

Naturist campsite in Western Peloponnese, Greece

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Kaiafas (or Kayafas) is an immensely long beach with very pleasant soft sand, which makes it perfect for jogging at the waterfront,
beach sports, capoeira or whatever you can think of is good on sand.
Proximity to ancient Olympia (Ολύμπια) probably may give some additional inspiration for practicing sports in the nude and combining it with some music and dancing, as ancient Greek athletes did. There is also a lake and nice pine forest, 
and enough space for camping.