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Ammoudi Beach in Sfakia

South Crete is full of secrets, every corner seemingly hiding another small, beautiful beach that feels like it was waiting just for you. Ammoudi beach, near Chora Sfakion, is another such place and it does not disappoint.

As it is located less than 2km from the area’s largest settlement, you would think it more popular and well-known, but somehow it manages to avoid detection.


Quiet, isolated and all-natural, Ammoudi might not be a top choice for everyone, but it offers yet another opportunity to discover the wild side of Sfakia. It is a place to consider if you want a more relaxed outing, some quick exploration, or just decide to mix things up a bit.

The beach

Ammoudi beach is a remote cove, one of many formed by the rocky outcroppings and drops of south Crete. As is the case of many places in the Sfakia region, the wild natural beauty of the area is a prime attraction. Seaside caves, steep cliffs, hardy plants with their green tones contrasting the otherwise magnificently barren landscape are the kinds of sights you can expect to encounter.

Even though Ammoudi is derived from the Greek word for sand, the beach itself is not sandy. Instead, it has the fine pebbles found around Chora Sfakion, essentially a trademark of regional geology. The waters are among the cleanest and clearest of a coast already thus renowned. The seafloor continues from the rocky surroundings, the formations making it an interesting choice for snorkeling, and the numerous caves offer shade and privacy. The largest one, the Seal Cave, even has an inner beach of its own and was named for the seals that used to nest there thanks to the safety offered by its two exits. Seals still visit on occasion, though you need to be lucky to see one.

Overall, the place is quiet and usually deserted. Ammoudi lacks amenities as it is not organized and people do not flock to it. That is because it is not well-known nor easily accessible. While its distance from Chora Sfakion is very short, its location at the end of a dirt road that is nearly impassable by vehicles makes it sort of a local secret. You will not stumble upon Ammoudi by accident and you will not get there with your car. You need to know of its existence and be willing to walk for a bit.

Things to do around Ammoudi

Outside of swimming and snorkeling, Ammoudi beach is a good place for sunbathing, with its natural beauty and remoteness allowing for a sublime, undisturbed experience. The aforementioned Seal Cave is a nice local attraction and there is also a small church, only a short walk to the east, dedicated to Saint Haralabos. The saint is venerated as a protector against the plague, with his churches typically built at the entrance of villages to ward off the sickness. For the people of Sfakia, however, their connection to the rest of the world is the sea, thus they built the church in a cave overlooking it. It is quite a sight to behold and unique in tradition.
The naturist hotel Vritomartis is also nearby. In fact, naturists do visit Ammoudi from time to time, though the remoteness and difficulty of access means most prefer the beaches of Agios Haralabos and particularly Filaki instead.
Finally, do not forget that Chora Sfakion is practically right next door. Whether you are staying in the village or are passing by, combining a tour of it with the peace and quiet of a trip to Ammoudi is sure to make for a filling day.

Beaches near Ammoudi

The closest beaches to Ammoudi are Agios Haralabos and Filaki. The latter in particular is a prime destination for naturists and also a lot more crowded, while both are easily accessible from the road. Of the three, Ammoudi beach is the most peaceful but also the hardest to get to. So if you are just looking for a quick dip in a nice local beach and possibly willing to lose some clothes, you can try one of the others instead.
If you decide to stay within the bounds of the village, the nearby Chora Sfakion has its own beach, Vrissi, as well as Iligas right next to it. And no list of beaches in the region would be complete without mentioning one of the most beautiful seasides in Europe, Glyka Nera, a bit further to the west.

Visit Ammoudi Beach in Sfakia

Looking for somewhere to spend some quiet time peacefully sunbathing, away from the noise and worries of the world? Ammoudi beach is just the place. Now that you know about it, make sure you pay a visit. Venture off the beaten path and experience something different and unique.

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