The quiet and secluded Xerokambos in the south-east of the island presents itself with its turquoise blue bay as a popular destination for those seeking peace and quiet and a real insider's tip for swimming holidays on Crete.
Contrary to every cliché of mass tourism, there are still a few secluded spots on the popular holiday island of Crete that are populated almost exclusively by locals, even in high season. Xerokambos is one of them and is nevertheless (or precisely because of this) on our list of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Crete. Its remoteness has also earned Xerokambos a place among our top 10 tips for individual holidays in Crete.
100 kilometres from Agios Nikolaos, 70 kilometres from Ierapetra and 50 kilometres from Sitia, the little village is far enough away not to appear on most tourist itineraries. Party animals are wrong here, those looking for a quiet relaxing holiday by the sea will love Xerokambos!
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Directions to Xerokambos
Xerokambos is located in the extreme south-east of Crete and is the furthest of the island's two international airports. Xerokambos is not accessible by public transport.
The turnoff to Xerokambos is on the connecting road between Sitia and Ziros, and the drive from Heraklion takes three hours by car. On the way to Xerokambos, the traveller passes green plateaus and abandoned villages as if from the Middle Ages. As soon as the road turns towards the sea, the view falls spectacularly over Crete's lonely rugged coast. Rock and sand form dreamlike bathing bays here.
Holiday in Xerokambos
The scenery in Xerokambos can almost be described as eerie, so little is going on here. The village's 100 or so houses are not grouped along the coast as usual, but are spread over a large area of the hills, which gives the turquoise blue bay an even more deserted impression.
Bare stone and steep rocks characterise the barren landscape, with a few low bushes and gnarled olive trees growing in between, which are able to survive despite the low rainfall.
Guesthouses with Wi-Fi, tavernas and mini-markets are available, but if you need a pharmacy or petrol station, you have to go to Zakros, 15 minutes away by car.
Tip: Since the road to Xerokambos has been asphalted, the number of visitors has increased steadily and there is also a lot of construction work going on. If you want to experience this unusual village in its original idyll, you should hurry.
For bathing holidays in Crete, Xerokambos is the right place, because its area is considered the driest and warmest region of Crete. Even in winter, the sea has a bearable 17°C, and in summer, temperatures of 35°C and higher are ideal for relaxing days by the sea.
In the bay and along the coast you will find all kinds of beaches: Gravel, rock, sand and even clay! The water shimmers emerald green to turquoise blue, depending on the substrate, and invites you to swim, swim and snorkel. You have to bring your own shade.
Tip: On the hike from Xerokambos to Agia Eirini, one lonely beach follows the next - be sure to bring a swimsuit.