↻ Clockwise: East to West - blue spots on the map above
Accessible from the (main) road between Plakias and Hora Sfakion at a turn off in Kato Rodakinon. This access in GPS WGS-84 coordinates: N35 12' 01.5" E24 19' 03.4".
We found two rather separate sections. The first was a not very attractive shingle beach with a prominent "No nudism" sign; the second a sandy beach with taverna behind. A family beach on our visit, firmly dressed.
(Ροδακινο = peach so this must be Peach beach!)
A visitor in June 2015 found the taverna to be close to the east end, which has sandy and pebbled areas. There seemed little opportunity to strip there, but reverting to the bridge and heading inland 50m found a steep cement road that goes over the headland. This is motorable but not a long walk. Take the sharp right downhill and you'll arrive at a small harbour with a long pebble/shingle/sand beach beyond it. No problem with nudity here.
The title of this entry previously included "F3 3,2", the significance of which is unclear
Agia Marina (Αγια Μαρινα)
A rocky hill marks the west end of Koraka beach. The REAL beauty is located behind this hill. You can either climb it following the path that lies somewhere near the taverna or continue with your car past the Polyrizos Hotel until there is a fork to the right signposted Peristeres Apartments. At this point fork left and park your car, or fork left again and drive down the unmade road (average quality but narrow) to the beach, about 250m away. This is the first section of the beach and the most crowded of all. Once you've reached the beach you can explore to the west, where the next two sections are. The first of them is visible from where you are. It is a 300m sandy beach. Carry on walking and pass the small headland. Now you are at the Aghia Marina beach.
The church of Ag.Marina is at the east end of the bay and has some Byzantine frescoes (although destroyed to some length). In all of these sections of the beach, people go naked although during high season (around 15 August) there are quite a few local people who go dressed. During this period, the first section is the most crowded (max 30 people in a 200m long beach, that is) and dressed of all, but again naked people are 2/3 majority. The next two sections and especially the Ag.Marina beach are the most isolated and give you this "in the middle of nowhere" feeling. You can walk around naked and explore, though you shouldn't go in the church naked, as it would be considered a sign of disrespect. You may see local people roaming around, but it's OK: they are pasturing their sheep and will not disturb you. My correspondent visited this beach 3 times during summer 1998. The beach is very good for camping, the sea is crystal clear and the setting is magnificent. My correspondent gives it a 96%!!
However the sand is coarse and stony in places and the seabed is generally stony and although there are sandy places on the seabed the rocks may be a bit off-putting for swimming.
Correspondents who visited in August 1999 found the second beach to be as good as the actual Aghia Marina beach (with its small church). There were very few bathers on the three beaches. The water was perfect and we enjoyed the setting anyway.
A report from August 1999 indicated that nudity was difficult at the weekend because of the preponderance of Greek families, but at other times it was "quiet and wonderful".
A report from September 1999 said Aghia Marina beach was well attended with a number of families camping under the trees. There was a group of artists sketching near the old church who remained firmly dressed but other visitors were mostly nude.
When the Captain visited in September 1999 nudity would have been possible on any of the three beaches. The Captain stopped on the third, but on reflection thought the second if anything more attractive. Other correspondents seem to agree.
There is vehicle access via an unmade road from the main Rodakino to Hora Sfakion road that was used by both 4 wheel and 2 wheel drive vehicles. My correspondents tried the first stretch in a Fiat Panda but abandoned the attempt when they saw the state of the roadway. Given that hire car insurance does not cover tyres or the underside of the vehicle, the safest (and possibly least expensive) route to take is the one described above.
A report from May 2001 describes all three beaches as being virtually deserted, with nudity possible on all three. A similar report from May 2002 confirms this.
Unfortunately, by the summer of 2004, a report states that these beaches were 100% textile during the week, and that the area was crowded with cars, caravans and tents. This may just have been an isolated phenomenon, as in that autumn even the first beach at the end of the track was deserted, and thoroughly enjoyable for naturism. A visitor in the summer of 2005 noted very few people, but, sadly, all clothed. In September 2005, however, there were several campers, all of whom were naked, and a few other nudists were present also. This is obviously one of those beaches where opportunities for nudism vary according to the taste of those using it.
A report from 2006 says there is now a taverna on Ag Marina called "Tou Drakou", which sells drinking water.
Early August 2011: a couple of barefooters came twice in the evening during weekday. They kept to the first two beaches. On the second one, nudity was easy, with 20 people and 20% fully nude. On the first beach, just in front of the taverna, there were surprisingly two people nude among the 10 present (most of the people were seated at the taverna) and it was possible to join them without problem. It is worth going to that beach at least for a walk to enjoy the splendid scenery when you look towards the mainland from the beach : special, impressive and romantic.
A Barefooter visiting on a June 2015 weekend arrived by car from the western (main road) access without any difficulty after finding the eastern, Peristeres Apartments, choked with other cars. Otherwise no significant difference from previous reports.
The old fort of Frangokastelli lies on the south coast of Crete, not far from the towns of Chora Sfakion and Plakias. In this part of Crete, the coast is mostly an abrupt boundary for the mountains, but for several miles east of Chora Sfakion there is a gently undulating strip of land anything up to 2 miles wide between the sea and the bases of the mountains (and the ravines and gorges which slice into them). Frangokastelli stands on a slight promontory of this strip, and is visible from miles away. The beaches directly below the fort are textile, but about a mile to the east is a fair-sized naturist beach.
If travelling from Chora Sfakion, follow signs to Frangokastelli, then stop for a wander around the fort. The Venetian outer walls are still in reasonable condition, but the later Turkish constructions inside are mostly ruined.
Leave the fort and head on east. Once out of the town, after about 500m look out for a track off to the right signposted "Sunrise Taverna". The track is level and won't present any problems for an ordinary car. The taverna is around 200m along the track, with plenty of parking space. Concrete steps provide an easy way down the cliff until almost the bottom, where some easy scrambling is required. Then walk about 300m along the firm sand of the textile area to reach the naturist part of the beach - which extends right the way round to the cliff at the far end of the bay.
By 2009 the concrete steps referred to above have now crumbled considerably towards the bottom, and it's certainly no longer "an easy way down the cliff"! Much better to follow the advice in the next paragraph - forget about parking by the Sunrise Taverna - turn sharp left just before it, and park just past the Fata Morgana taverna. The steps from here now do start at the carpark, but still go only 2/3 of the way down to the beach - however, the remaining 1/3 is simple sand dune, and very easily passable. Keep going east from the bottom of the steps. For what a very personal opinion is worth, this is now easily my favourite beach in Crete.
Driving from Rodakino towards Frangokastello you can turn left about 600m before Frangokastello at the sign: VILLAS NOTOS. After about 100m you come on a large parking. This parking is the one closest to the nude beach. However, to get access to the beach you need to turn right and go almost as far as the Fata Morgana taverna, and take the steps there.
This is a lovely beach, with gently shelving fine sand. There seemed to be no significant currents. Unfortunately, the curve of the 25m sand cliff behind the beach, and the rocky cliffs at either end, block off all views of the mountains and coast - unlike spectacular Plakias some 15km east. Directly above the hazy boundary between textile and naturist areas is the Fata Morgana development. If you miss either the Sunrise or Villa Notos turns, you can drive through the Fata Morgana development to the Fata Morgana taverna and turn left to the steps as mentioned above.
Interestingly, Simply Greece wax lyrical about the beach but don't mention that about half of it is naturist. Also, their brochure and Website show the sand as white, when it is a lovely pale gold. GPS waypoints in WGS-84: Turn off for Sunrise taverna N35 11' 02" E24 14' 28" Sunrise Taverna N35 10' 56" E24 14' 30" Naturist beach N35 10' 59" E24 14' 47".
The beach below the castle had sprouted umbrellas since our last visit three years ago but otherwise had not changed much. The undeveloped beach some 500m further east had changed in that it appeared to have lost a large amount of its sand at the Western end.
The last 200m or so is narrow and sandy with excellent swimming and is completely naked. Although some of the sand in the first 100m seems to have disappeared - don't be disheartened - and keep walking as the beach is worth it. This beach seems to offer good sunbathing and safe swimming even when it is blowing a gale on the rest of the South Coast. A report from June 2000 confirms that it is still all nudist. This beach is named "Orthi ammos" on the Explore Crete and Naturism in Crete web sites and was almost deserted. As on the main Frangokastello beach, you need to wade out a long distance to get enough water to swim in. 75% nudist.
A report from July 2001 confirms that this is indeed an excellent beach with naturist and textile coexistence, although it must have been nicer still before the development along the cliff top. The sand is perhaps mobile as we did have water deep enough to swim close to the shore. Also, you can see the magnificent hills just by swimming out a little way!
The road to this beach from Plakias is well made and winds through the mountains. The journey is worthwhile for the scenery alone! The castle at Frangokastello is worth a visit although the beach there is textile. There has been a great deal of development here recently.
Contributors who visited in high season in 2000 said that the beach was "mixed" near the Fata Morgana taverna but almost entirely nudist near the cliffs. They thought this one of the best locations in Greece and rated it 90%.
In May 2001 the beach was said to be entirely clothed for the first few hundred metres under the sand cliffs, but then became entirely nudist for the last 200 metres or so.
Some who visit the beach go to the rocks at the end where is a waterfall along the stones. You can find clay stones there and use those to paint your and your partner's body grey!
Some Barefooters have noted that the beach can be prone to sandblasting on a windy day. This is true, but depending on the wind direction it can be more sheltered here than at Plakias or Amoudi, for example.
The Captain paid a return visit in September 2004 and again in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this delightful clothes-optional beach. For me the rating goes up to 95%. Other visitors in 2004 and 2005 agree: it’s lovely, and not crowded even in late July and even on Sundays. The feeling of space was wonderful, and it was good to walk there nude; the water was warm, and the percentage of nudists was always very high. The only criticism was that it could be a bit windswept, and lacks natural shade.
Interestingly, an official-looking sign at one of the paths down to the beach states various rules; among other things, it is forbidden to “Make nudism, apart from the end of the beach”. As the prohibition on “making nudism” specifically does not extend to “the end of the beach”, it follows that that must be an area where “making nudism” is specifically allowed! Do we now really have an officially recognised nudist beach in Crete?
The title of this entry previously included "E3 8,1", the significance of which is unclear
While spending time on Orthi Ammos beach, contributors who visited in October 2016 were intrigued by walkers that occasionally ventured over the rocks at the eastern end of the beach. Most returned within minutes, at first leading them to believe the rocks were impassable. However, on one occasion, a couple walking their dog and obviously having some local knowledge didn’t return. Curious as to what lay beyond they later walked the dirt track on the cliffs above and saw there were two further sandy beaches.
Although deserted and seemingly inaccessible, footprints were clearly visible so they decided to explore.
The climb over the rocks from Orthi Ammos was moderately difficult and they had to wade through some parts but it was well worth the effort.
These two isolated beaches are absolutely fabulous and the view west to Fangokastello is breath-taking.
As the dog walkers did not return it suggests to our contributors that there must be access from the easternmost end. They say it would also entail climbing over rocks but with sunset fast approaching and no obvious eastern exit they didn’t have time to venture that far.
The cliffs are of soft stone which is being eroded by springs that wash sediments down to the beaches making the climb a little slippery in places. No doubt the springs are what are referred to above as a “waterfall” where “clay stones” can be used for body painting. However, in October 2016 it was more of a trickle rather than a waterfall! Also a piece of pipe has been crudely erected to divert the flow from part way up the cliff. A rather ugly Heath-Robinson affair which perhaps is intended to reduce the erosion! The beaches are a little further on.
The sand slopes gently into the sea and is amazingly soft. Beyond the waterline the seabed is also sandy, gently shelving and with no noticeable currents is absolutely perfect for swimming. The sand on the beach seemed to be slightly damp… Perhaps because of the springs but maybe just because it was a little overcast on the day our contributor visited.
The action of the springs and cracks at the top of the cliff may indicate that the cliffs are not stable but our contributors who visited in October 2016 reported no signs of any recent land slip but do suggest some caution would be prudent.
reports since 2004
October We returned to Orthi Ammos for a one stay week at Paradisos Apartments (Next to Fata Morgana). On occasions nudist were evident as far west as the beach below the Paradisos/Fata Morgana Taverna and it didn't seem to bother anyone. We felt more comfortable at the eastern end where it is almost entirely nudist and very friendly. A little busier than our previous visit in April but far from overcrowded and a very friendly mix of all ages (couples, families, singles) and various nationalities.
August: Eastern part of the beach down the sand dunes (not the one at the kastello!) still in use of nudists, western part (250m apart) crowded by textiles! Very relaxed place, very few people (couples, families, singles) even in August, fine sand, clear water, really good place! Bring your own parasol, there is no shadow during the mid day!
April Discovered Orthi Ammos close to the end of our two week holiday. Amazing beach which we virtually had to ourselves. The sea is a little cooler at this time of the year but warm enough for a swim. Definitely the best time of year to visit Crete and will be coming back to Orthi Ammos again.
See on Google Maps
No land access now
Alternative route found in 2016
Reports reach me of another suitable beach further east of Frangokastello. From Frangokastello, drive east towards Rodakino. Beyond the sign for Fata Morgana, fork off at the signpost to Lakki Beach: the asphalt road turns into progressively coarser gravel, but is still negotiable in a regular 2-wheel drive car. Pass the sign for Mary Beach apartments and continue straight past the final sign for Zorbas Tavern. Keep driving past the first dirt track with an irrigation spigot, to the second dirt track on the right with an irrigation spigot: take this second track to the beach. Also driveable - with care! - as far as the third irrigation spigot, after which it's a five-minute walk and clamber through trees opening onto a small, very secluded cove, maybe 100 metres end to end. The beach is immaculately clean and mostly extremely fine gravel: comfortable for walking barefoot, yet the stuff doesn't lodge everywhere like sand does. It slopes quite gently, so it's also safe for paddling, though both the beach and the entry to the water are a bit rocky in places. We met several naturist couples on our numerous visits there; they had also found the beach by persistent trial and error.
In September 2004 there were textile campers here, and signs of camping in July 2005 too; but no one was around on that July day, and the beach is described as lovely.
Unfortunately the farmer has now (2009) erected a fence at the top of the road and there is no longer access to this beach.
In October 2016 contributors report being able to access this beach by walking over the small rocky peninsula separating it from the next cove to the west. They cycled from Frangokastello taking the road to Mary Beach and then following the road going eastwards past Zorbas Skaloti. This road is a dead end and at the very end there are two apartment blocks on the right. It is possible to get as far as this point in a regular 2-wheel drive car but from here onwards it is necessary to walk. Immediately before the apartment blocks there is a right turn into a rough dirt track which leads around the back of the apartments and then bares right down to the cove on the western side of the peninsula. It is not very far, no more than five minutes on foot.
This westernmost cove has coarse sand and pebble beach and our contributors report that it was deserted when they visited in October 2016. Most of the beach is hidden from the view of the apartments above the beach and although they didn’t put it to the test, our contributors felt nudism might be possible on this beach at that time of year.
Along the side of the peninsula on the left (east) of this beach a steel mesh fence has been erected. A lightly trodden path is discernible crossing the fence, leading eastwards up and over the peninsula. Our correspondents discovered at the point where the path crosses the fence a mesh panel is loosely secured with a piece of rope - a typical “Greek farmer’s gate” (indicated by arrow on panorama photo). A short walk, again no more than five minutes will get you to the beach on the east side of the peninsula.
Our contributors report that in October 2016 around four or five people were camping on the beach, one being nude. Unfortunately they had dogs, one of which was aggressive, continuously barking and straining at a rather inadequately secured lead. Its’ owner was unable to keep it under control and our contributors felt neither comfortable or safe and promptly left. A pity really as otherwise it seemed to them like a good location.
They exited the beach by scrambling through the trees mentioned above and reached the dirt track. A 2-wheel drive car, presumably belonging to the campers was parked there suggesting that access to this track may no longer be obstructed as was indicated in 2009. However, our contributors decided to turn back and return the way they came so this isn’t confirmed.
Vritomartis hotel, Chora Sfakion (Χώρα Σφακιά)
A naturist hotel has been established: the Vritomartis Hotel.
The Captain finally made it here during the late summer of 2014. It's a proper, international standard hotel, with plentiful, attentive staff, very comfortable bedrooms, excellent breakfast and evening buffet (and only half board appeared to be available when the Captain booked). And the very pleasant pool is naturist. The rule is that during daylight hours you can be nude anywhere outside, but you have to cover up inside (even if that's only with your beach towel on the way to the pool). The fact that it's not 24-hour naturism might not appeal to purists, but the formula seems to work. The hotel was fully booked in September, and the indications are that the demand is such that they have been turning people away. As well as the main hotel building there are rooms in "bungalows" - not actually single storey buildings, but that's what they are called - in the grounds.
There are lots of excursions and other activities designed for the naturist, including nude boat trips taking in Sweetwater Bay, among others, nude walks in the mountains, and day trips to Gavdos. Around the hotel, you can learn Greek, practise archery, learn to play boule, to mention only three such activities.
The rule about being dressed inside gave rise to a degree of ambiguity - it wasn't wholly clear whether that included the partially external pool bar (a good place for lunch, although busy), so some customers covered up and others just sat on a towel.
A minibus provides regular transport to Chora Sfakion and to nearby Filaki beach - you are given a timetable when you check in.
… Which brings me to the beach itself. You could walk, though I wouldn't recommend it - it would lead to a hot and exposed uphill return trek on a public road. There are some parking spaces so, if you have a hire car, that's the best way to get there. The beach is 100% nude, but it is rocky and shingly, and access to the water is very difficult in bare feet. At one end of the beach there's a cave, which you can sit in to enjoy the shade it offers - otherwise you will need a sun umbrella. Umbrellas and sunbeds must be hired - they are not included in your hotel booking. There is a beach bar - as usual, cover up with a towel.
The Captain found the beach a bit of a disappointment and tended to stick with the delightful pool. But this was more than compensated for by the hotel itself. It was very comfortable and the service and general ambience was commensurate to that you would find in a decent hotel in a Western European capital. It was a very positive experience and the Captain will try to make a return visit soon.
A correspondent visited with his wife in early June 1999, booked through Dune. They stayed in a bungalow room adjacent to the pool. The pool area is fully nudist, has a snack bar facility and a very laid back feel of calm and quiet (May be different in school holidays). Guests are required to dress in the main hotel building and a white towelling robe is part of the provisions in the room.
Evening meals are taken on the terrace and offer a reasonable buffet choice but all of a high standard. The waiters will serve you with your choice of drinks. Alternate nights a musical duo plays on the bar terrace but there is no disco or more lively affair. On the Saturday evening there was a Cretan song and dance evening which was top class. Breakfast is again a buffet affair, adequate but not exciting with cold meat and cheeses.
The "working day" usually started by walking to the beach. Fylaki beach is owned and run by the hotel and is nominally 900 metres away along a winding tarmac road. The beach itself is pebble and rock, around 100 metres long, backed by high cliffs. Sea bottom slope is shallow enough to provide security for the poor swimmer but soon gives onto deeper water, clean and clear. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available for hire. The beach bar provides drinks and snacks all day long and there is no requirement to dress for service. A much smaller beach is accessible to the east at sea-level if you are prepared to get your feet wet or up the road and across the cliffs. The bus makes several trips each day and is definitely the best way to go back to the hotel. You can walk but it is an uphill trudge and you are advised to dress when using the road.
A walk into Chora Sfakion took about half an hour, mostly downhill. Again, the bus is the easiest way back. It runs every hour and a half.
The clientele is primarily German and Dutch (there were 4 English couples there during our week) but most of the staff speak adequate English. The hotel has an events organiser who arranges guided walks and boat trips (boat from Hora Sfakion harbour). Staff were cheerful and helpful, cleanliness and maintenance were first class.
If you want peace and quiet, a good standard of accommodation and food and are happy with pebble beaches and pool then Vritomartis may suit. If you want long, sandy beaches and lots of nightlife then go elsewhere. Vritomartis is no busier in the school holidays. In fact according to the hotel this is a quieter time than May - June and September.
Another contributor who stayed here in September 2000 says the hotel was high class. The cost is now included on the hotel's web site. The cost includes a very nice breakfast but the dinner is extra. Everyone was nude at the pool and at the beach and mostly nude at the snack bar. No nudity is allowed in the common areas inside the hotel. The dinner was offered on an outdoor terrace and nudity was not allowed there either. The clientele was almost all German. The pool is large enough to swim laps in.
Barefoot reporters stayed at Vritomartis during September 2006. The hotel was completely full during their stay. It continues a tradition of superb cleanliness and friendliness. There was a very wide range of clientele in terms of couples (mixed and same sex), singles and age groups. It makes for a great eclectic mix. There were plenty of people around the beautiful pool and down at Filaki beach. Interestingly the hotel owners are improving the old hotel beach for opening in spring 2007. This should give a choice of two hotel naturist beaches in the future.
A barefooter and his wife had a very enjoyable 4 night stay at Vritomartis in September 2010. The hotel seemed packed out, the swimming pool and the FKK Filaki Beach were always busy. There was a decent breakfast and excellent buffet in the evening. The evening entertainment was average but helped create a romantic setting. You are required to be clad inside the hotel and for breakfast and dinner.
July 2011 - beach was very nice and 100% nude- 20 people, all couples. There is a little tavern there for refreshments and lunch - the people are nice.
Of all the naturist beaches I visited last summer in this area, this was the least attractive: although the tavern was handy, the water didn't seem too clean and there was no sand, mainly large pebbles.
Vritomartis has a new website with lots of information about where you can swim nude around the region. For more information check the "discover Vritomartis region" section.
Sweetwater bay, Chora Sfakion (Χώρα Σφακιά)
Sweetwater bay is located between Loutro and Chora Sfakion. Glikanera is the Greek word for sweetwater. It is well worth visiting. From Chora Sfakion you take the road to Anopolis. You pass Ilingas beach and after only a few bends, the way takes a right hand turn where you can park the car. This access point in GPS coordinates: N35 12' 07.0" E24 07' 02.7".
At the bend in the Anopolis road there is a sign saying, "E4 Sweetwater Beach." This sign, like many other road signs and rubbish bins, is riddled with bullet holes! From there the foot path down to Glikanera begins (see the picture). This 30 minutes walk is an adventure since the path leads you 50 m above rocks and water without fences, but if you are an experienced hiker it should be no problem to you. The beach itself is of pebble stones which are a rather difficult walk in bare feet. However, it is entirely naturist. There are several sweetwater holes, but these are for drinking, NOT washing:
You will upset the campers a good deal if you wash in them. At the western end of the beach there was a taverna, for which you need to dress, and there were a few clothed bathers near the taverna in 2004. The beach can also be reached by a 1 hour walk from Loutro, or you can go by canoe from Loutro.
From Loutro, Sweetwater can be reached either by an approx 1.25 hour walk along the E4 path or by a small ferry (converted fishing boat). The boat leaves at 11.00 am each day and takes about 15 minutes, returning at 5.00 pm. The ferryman doesn't wait! The walk can be very hot! My correspondents walked it once and left at about 9.30 am. Good shoes are needed as the path can be a bit rough with quite steep drops to the sea. The exercise was welcome after just sunbathing for 4 days. The sea was quite cold when my contributors were there in late May early June. The mentioned fishing boat also commutes from Chora Sfakion. It departs there at 10:30 and goes back from the beach at 4.30 pm. The boat from Loutro now costs 3.5 Euros. The captain of the boat from Chora Sfakion to Sweetwater Beach waits for customers at Hotel Xenia in Chora Sfakion. It is the last hotel on the left of Chora Sfakion as you face the town from the sea. That is the side farthest from the bus stop. Ask for him at that hotel. The boat leaves at 10:30 am.
Sweetwater is famous for its goats. Apparently, if you feed them, they will lie down next to you and spend the day just like a loyal dog. They also accept petting. They can be a nuisance, however.
One of the campers has installed a faucet so it is now possible to get goat-free spring water.
A report from June 1999 describes this as a very special beach. It is still completely nude except at the taverna on the western end. More people here now than last year, including several campers. A great experience.
Shade is hard to find, so be sure to bring a good sun block. This is especially true because the boats that are the only easy way of leaving only go in late afternoon. The beach can get very hot because of its situation between rock walls.
A report from June 2000 confirms the impressions above. My contributor gave the beach a 100% rating! Relaxed atmosphere and not too crowded. 90% nudist away from the taverna.
Another way to get to the beach is to take a boat tour that is organized by Vritomartis hotel. You can stay nude during all the trip:
The goats are still there. Be careful of small landslides caused by the goats walking up the very steep cliff behind the beach. My contributor saw such a landslide send a 2 foot diameter boulder close by a sunbathing couple. Another contributor from 2004 recommends keeping well away from the cliffs, because of constantly falling stones.
Not everyone enjoys the beach. One report described a continuous stream of walkers on the footpath which disturb the serenity. But reports from 2004 and 2005 confirm the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, and the good snorkelling.
In September 2006 the beach was completely nude, bar for one couple. Approximately 40 people a day were using the beach. Also the beach bar remains a favourite haunt and provides excellent food and ice cold drinks - keep it going!
Loutro is a very pretty and not expensive village. My contributor recommends staying there, at least in September. The main town beach has stern signs saying "no topless bathing" but my contributors saw people swimming naked from the rocks at the western end of the bay. Likewise, they themselves swam naked from a small stony beach about 1km west of Loutro. A report from September 2002 says this beach was fantastic, with almost all of the people nude.
Barefoot reporters who visited in September 2006 thought Sweetwater offered the best combination of benefits – water transport to & from Loutro & Chora Sfakion, a limited taverna, lovely water and plenty of room. The tale about the goats is still true!
And other Barefooters who visited in 2007 found Sweetwater amongst the most beautiful beaches on Crete. You can find almost only naturist people on the beach, and there is a small floating summer cafe at the west end of the beach. Just lovely. Another visitor found only around 30% nudism in August 2007, and felt that while the beach and scenery was spectacular, it had too many textiles for a top rating.
July 2014 and 2015 : there are sunbeds near the taverne with a sign: from this point be properly dressed. There is no sign near a group of sunbeds on the east side, so naturism is possible there. It is also the place where people camp, and nudists and textiles go together very well. Relaxed atmosphere.
May 2016 eastern third of the beach completely nude, about 60% walkers, many of whom give up at this point and take the water taxi back.
The boat to Sweetwater leaves from the new harbour at Sfakia at 10.15 am, and goes back at 17.30 pm, and it costs 4 euro. It leaves Loutro at 11.00 am and goes back at 17.00 pm.
My contributor spent four days in Loutro in April 2000. One day they walked the 45 minute walk westwards to Marmara Beach. This is a beautiful little beach of fine pebbles surrounded by marble cliffs situated where the Aradena Gorge reaches the sea. When they got there, there was just one other person there, nude, so they took the chance and stripped off. In the following hours more and more people came, among them many families with children.
Many kept their swimsuits on at first, but as the day wore on more and more people stripped off, and in the early afternoon the beach must have been almost 50% nude. The presence of many children made the atmosphere very innocent and pleasant, despite the fact that some of the textiles obviously disliked the nudity.
The swimming is great, there was a nice breeze coming down from the gorge, and there is a taverna on the cliff to the western side of the beach. All in all a very pleasant beach experience!
A report from June 2001 speaks of the possibility of hiring kayaks in Loutro and kayaking to Marmara or even Sweetwater Bay. My contributor says kayaking naked through the clear blue water is a religious experience!
This is a very small beach. The entire coast south of the beach consists of a series of rock coves and caves. They seem to be accessible only from the water. The water was warmer here, and swimming was OK with rocks to look at.
Some guide books list this as a naturist beach, however there is now a taverna sitting above the beach accompanied by spray painted "no nudism" signs. The signs are also painted on the adjoining rock cove/cave. One couple was in this adjoining cove and were nude. The boat from Loutro showed up, and a half dozen people scrambled up the rocks (above the beach) presumably to strip.
A less encouraging report from summer 2002 suggests, however, that naturists were being asked by taverna man to move to the nearby rocks when he took money for the umbrellas. The rocks were full of naked people.
A Barefoot reporter who visited in 2007 was disappointed by this beach and the signs saying "no nudism". It is a small beach and, he thought, not worth visiting compared with some other lovely beaches mentioned in the Guide. Other reports would be welcome.
The beach at Marmara was very crowded with textiles early May 2016 and overlooked by the café. There is really no possibility of nude sunbathing or swimming here. Similarly at Finix there has been so much development that there are no un-overlooked sections of beach. Sweetwater is the best bet.