Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
There is no shortage of nude beaches in Crete and it is actually harder to find a beach where nudity isn’t acceptable on this part of the coastline. Basically any remote beach around here is an invitation to strip off and you’ll see lots of locals doing the same.
With that said there are several well known nude beaches and Sweet Water Beach happens to be at the top of the list. It is a beautiful and secluded beach that has the unusual characteristic of having a cool underwater spring. You’ll see bubbles and freshwater floating up from the bottom of the ocean. If you dig into the on the shore pebbles you can also reach pools of water, which are apparently safe to drink (but we didn’t try).
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Glyka Nera, or Sweet Water Beach, can get a little busy during peak summer periods but given the challenge to get here it never gets too busy. The ferry ride or hot 45min hike ensures that the people on the beach are here for the right reason – you won’t get anyone accidentally stumbling on the nude beach. Given it is popular with the tourist crowd we were surprised to see maybe 60% of the beach swimming au naturale. The area near the ferry dock is the most crowded with textiles but the further you walk up the beach the more relaxed the vibe gets and the more nude people you’ll see. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the end section of the beach is where the water is the coldest and the most cold springs are. Seriously, it was freezing in the water here but very refreshing!
There is an authentic taverna open here during summer from 10am to 5pm daily. We didn’t try it but it looked very popular and not that expensive given the remoteness of the beach. Obviously you need to be clothed when dining but we saw people right next to the taverna who were naked. Bring cash because apparently their card facilities don’t work very well. You can rent umbrellas and sun loungers off them for 6 euros per day if you want. The pebbles can become comfortable after awhile so it might be a worthwhile investment, otherwise bring a blanket with good padding and you should be fine.
Overall, despite the hassle getting here, Sweet Water Beach is worth the effort. Like most of Crete it would be a great spot to experience a nude beach for the first time – everyone is so relaxed and there is no pressure. Just prepare yourself for the cold water and the heat if you’re hiking. The beach here offers a more exclusive alternative to nearby Filaki Beach, which is a mandatory nude beach near the Vritomartis Nudist Resort. If you’re staying at the resort they sometimes visit Sweetwater Beach as part of their east coast boat tours but you will probably only stay here for an hour or so, they prefer to spend most of the time at more remote beaches up the coast.
Questions? Comments? Add your thoughts or photos below!
Getting here is half the adventure and it makes sense to plan a day to spend at the beach.
The most common way to reach Glyka Nera is by taking a beautiful but challenging hike from the nearby town of Chora Sfakion. The trail starts from the east end of the Vrissi beach in Sfakion and follows the coastline. It's approximately a 30-minute to 1-hour walk, depending on your fitness level. You'll traverse rugged terrain and steep cliffs, so be sure to wear good hiking shoes.
If you prefer a less strenuous route, you can take a boat ride from Chora Sfakion. During the summer season, there's usually a taxi boat service that runs from Sfakion to Glyka Nera and Loutro. It's a quick, 10-minute ride, but remember to check the boat schedules as services may not be frequent.
If you're coming by car, you'll have to leave your vehicle in Chora Sfakion as there's no road access to the beach. From there, you can choose between the hiking trail or the boat service.