Gavdos is the southernmost part of the whole European continent – the small island in the south of Chania with the famous name and dreamy beaches. Can a barren island between Europe and Africa be so beautiful, as to attract the interest of the whole world? Although it is better if you visit it yourself and make up an opinion, everyone agrees that… yes it can!
The atmosphere of the island, the sense that it is only “you and the sea”, create the legend that makes its sandy beaches – with the blonde, golden sand, fine and soft as powder, the century-old cedar trees and the crystal clear, turquoise waters – unique. There are no commitments in this “sacred place”: man here is free, in the pristine nature, sea, life…
The good thing about Gavdos is of course its climate which is warm during most of the year, making it a perfect destination even for September. The multitude of visitors flooding the island during the summer, leave for the towns and the island of Calypso, as many believe, becomes the ideal beautiful setting for your holiday!
A beach that you will never forget in a landscape that you would never expect to find in Greece. Ai Giannis (Saint John) or Agiannis, as the locals call it, is a vast expanse of sand, junipers, sand dunes and blue wavy sea…
Words are not enough to convey the feelings of the visitor encountering the magic of nature: which is why this beach of Gavdos has been designated as the second best in the world by the Discovery Channel, certainly not for the facilities and the services provided, which are of course non-existent in this virgin landscape, but for its environmental value.
The cedar forest, with the small and large trees which springing up from the sand, is protected and it is forbidden to cut even the smallest twig. Respect for the environment is self-evident for the hundreds of campers who you will meet there, most of whom come for the nudism, as Agiannis is a reference point for nudists.
The beach can be reached by suburban bus from the port, which will leave you at a distance from the beach, on the asphalted road, where you will find everything you need at the restaurants and the mini market that provides all the necessities. Then you will have to proceed for about fifteen minutes on the hot sand, climbing and descending sand dunes until you reach the exotic beach.
Many compare the beauty of the beach of Sarakiniko of Gavdos with that of Agianni, as it is certainly one of the top beaches of the island. It got its name from the Saracen pirates that used the bay as a base and you will find it just one and a half kilometer from the port of Gavdos, Karave.
The golden sand that stretches for dozens of meters from the shore, crystal blue waters, the rugged landscape with dunes and cedars, all these compose a painting that will force you to admire it from afar, even before you reach it.
Next to the beach are some rooms for rent, while the area is suitable for campers, since nearby you will find restaurants and mini markets. Sarakiniko beach can be reached either by bus from Karave or on foot within 30 minutes.
Who wouldn’t want to see the beauty that lies in the southernmost tip of Europe? Trypiti beach on the island of Gavdos is the southernmost coast of the continent and this alone makes it interesting. Though it is situated just seven kilometers from the port Karave, you will always find peace and quiet on this beach.
In its eastern part it is sandy, while the western, known as the “miti (nose)” has large stones and pebbles. At the eastern end of the beach, at the edge of the island you will see Kamarelles, ie the three large natural arches, above which stands a huge chair, known as “Ulysses’ throne”.
Since you got this far, you can climb and admire from there the vastness of the Libyan Sea, as did once Odysseus – since according to some Gavdos is the Homeric Ogygia, Calypso’s island, where Odysseus spent seven years on his journey back to Ithaca.
The salt lake you see at the edge of Trypiti, as well as the bed of an ancient dried river are two other elements that make this beach unique, while during winter it is a stopping point for many birds migrating from Europe to Africa. Trypiti can be reached by boat or on foot by a path that begins from Korfos. The distance is about three kilometers and the route goes through pine trees.
Pyrgos of Gavdos “conceals” two beautiful sandy beaches one next to the other and quite isolated which is why they are frequented by campers who want their privacy.
The large bay with dunes and cedars that surrounds them, shelters them with steep cliffs, so that although the beaches are just six kilometres from the port of Karave, the easiest way to get to this unique wilderness with the emerald waters is by sea with a boat.
If you cannot use a boat, you will need to walk the path that starts from Ampelos for about two and a half hours.
It is one of the beaches of Gavdos that face towards Crete and Gavdopoula, as it is located on the northeast side of the island. The red and clay rocks, combined with the green landscape and the morphology of the end of the gorge give the landscape a special touch, not one easily found on Gavdos.
The rich in clay, reddish sand, is perfectly suitable for mud therapy: mix with water, apply it onto your body and let yourself relax under the sun, before washing it off in the cool water of the sea. The few trees will offer you their shade and will be your refuge if you decide to camp here. You can reach Potamos from Ambelos, either by following the dirt road (which stops about 500 meters shy of the beach) or by the footpath.
The hike takes about two hours, but you will get the chance to pass through the abandoned settlements of Ambelos and Neveli, while the view that you will enjoy at Potamos will reward you for your trouble!
Walking from Agianni beach to the west and for about two kilometres (or 30 minutes), you will find the beach Lavrakas, with golden sand and blue waters. The only way to reach it is on foot, unless of course you have a boat, so it is considered the most isolated beach of Gavdos. Many believe that the name Lavrakas (sea bass) comes from the bass fish that perhaps were once plenty in the region.
However, it seems that the name comes from the Minoan word “lavrys” which means ax – the famous Minoan double ax. If you feel like exploring, south of the beach you’ll see the stream of Kedre, relics of ancient buildings and the Church of Agios Nikolaos.
If you arrive to Gavdos at noon and the first thing you want to do is to take a dip in the blue, cool Libyan waters, do not hesitate: adjacent to the port of Gavdos is the Karave beach, which is small, covered with pebbles and has deep waters.
Near the beach and the harbor you will find plenty of taverns and rooms to let, while the suggestion for a cool dip still stands on your journey back, if you want to take with you the best “last memory”!
Two kilometers from the port of Gavdos is Korfos, a calm beach with deep blue waters and a pebbled shore. As the name suggests (korifi means top in greek), the beach has formed at the “top” of the small bay where you will find the picturesque church of Agios Georgios, as well as a fresh water source which flows at the beach – one of the few on the island, since Gavdos is extremely arid.