Sweetwater Beach Crete (Glika Nera)
Sweetwater beach, Crete (Glika Nera) : The beach where fresh, spring water meets the sea
Sweetwater beach, Crete, or “Glika Nera” in Greek is one of the hidden gems of South Crete. Its distance from Chania city is about 75 kilometres and it is located in Sfakia region, between the villages of Hora Sfakion and Loutro.
Sweetwater beach is a long, pebbly beach, which has taken its name from the many springs in the area that gush fresh water coming of the Lefka Ori of Crete.
You can get to Sweetwater beach by boat, departing from either the village of Hora Sfakion or the village of Loutro. The boats to the beach leave from the two villages in the morning and return back early in the afternoon.
You can also get to Sweetwater beach on foot from both villages. However, in this case you are advised to start your hike from Hora Sfakion, as the path to the beach is easier and it takes about 30 minutes to get there, in relation to the 60 minutes’ hike from Loutro village.
Sweetwater beach, Crete (Glika Nera) – a unique beach in South Crete
The natural surroundings of Sweetwater beach are fantastic. Set in front of a high, bold cliff, the beach captivated first time visitors. In the beach there is also a small cave with a shrine.
There are no trees in Sweetwater beach, so you are advised to have adequate protection from the sun. It is also a good idea to have some drinking water with you.
Very unique features of Sweetwater beach are the springs surrounding the beach. As the beach lies at the south side of the high Lefka Ori, or White Mountains, of Crete, there are fresh water springs all around. In fact, if you dig into the pebbles of the beach, you will find fresh water gushing out! This is the reason that the water in Sweetwater beach is generally cold: the big amount of cold, fresh water that mixes with the warm sea waters.
Sweetwater beach, Crete (Glika Nera) – amenities, free camping and nudism
As it is a secluded beach with no paved road leading there, you shouldn’t expect to find many amenities in Sweetwater beach. There is a tavern at the west corner of the beach, just behind the docking spot for the boats.
Although free camping is forbidden in Grete and Greece in general, Sweetwater beach is one of those places where there is great tolerance towards free campers, so it would be OK to stay there for a week or more, as many visitors do. After all, Sweetwater beach is one of the places where you can easily get away from it all.
Nudism is also tolerated, if not welcomed, in the beach. Generally, nudists tend to gather at the eastern corner of the beach, at the opposite side of the tavern.
Sweetwater beach, Crete, is one of the most unique beaches in Greece, with an irresistible charm to the visitor. If you find yourself in Sfakia region while exploring Crete, it is a very good idea to visit Sweetwater beach (Glika Nera) and experience yourself one of the finest beaches Crete has to offer.