Ammoudara Beach - Αμμουδάρα of Heraklion - very close to the west of the capital. As such it is a very developed beach with resorts and hotels all along it. There are unsightly factories in the west, so if you are concerned about peace and quiet and privacy, don't choose this beach.
There are a couple of points of access to the beach, plenty of accommodation, rooms, a few domatia and lots of restaurants. The large Carrefour supermarket is here in Ammoudara.
Αμμουδάρα means 'big sand' in Greek and it is a 7 km long sandy beach. It is easily accessed by local bus services from the city. Some of the most exciting Olympic soccer matches of the were played here as Heraklion was an Olympic city, and the soccer stadium is here.
This is a good location in the centre of the island, so with a car you could explore the rest of the island using this as a hub. it is also close to Knossos, and of course all the cafes, tavernas, shopping and nightlife of Heraklion town. Or explore the whole region of Heraklion from here.
The resorts manage the beach to protect the growth of the beautiful flowers native to Crete named 'Lily of the Beach' (Pancratium maritimum), which some say is the flower depicted in the frescoes at Knossos, however this is in dispute. This pretty white flower is exquisite, also known as Sea Daffodil or Κρίνος της θάλασσας - Krinos tis Thalassas. Look out for it here on this beach, and on beaches and dunes all over Crete. Please don't pick it, admire it in nature... :)
Candia Maris Resort & Spa - Leoforos Andrea Papandreou 72, Ammoudara Beach
This is a large resort with many rooms placed on absolute beachfront, with 5 restaurants and bars, 8 types of accommodation, loads of recreation activities, seawater pools, sauna and fitness centre, tennis squash and a kids club.
The spa offers all types of therapies and beauty treatments, a range of pools and spas, local produce, such as Cretan olive oil, seaweed and grapes, is also used in the treatments offered by the centre.
This resort is only 12 km from Heraklion international airport and close to the variety of attractions in the capital Heraklion, and very close to Knossos Palace ancient Minoan archaeological site.
Yannis Apartments - 1 Kos Street, Ammoudara Beach
For an affordable place to stay, just a little back from the beach, we have selected some self-catering apartments here, simple and ideal for families...Yannis Apartments are within walking distance from the beach.
Locals visit Ammoudara for a drink, to get out of the city rush and
in winter you can still find a restaurant or two open for locals. There are a few tavernas quite close to the beach, however access to the beach is blocked in many places by the larger resorts.
We love Petousis Taverna for its traditional stone Cretan architecture, complete with windmill, wood-fired pizza and choice of restaurant or café. The terrarium attracts visitors to see the huge crocodile!