Gavdos is a stunning little island south of Crete. It is a top destination for nature lovers and those who want to enjoy relaxing holidays by the sea. On Ferryhopper, you can find all the information you need about Gavdos: how to get there, the island’s heavenly beaches and best hikes, ferry schedules and tickets. Planning your trip to Gavdos is fast and easy!
The exotic beach of Trypiti in Gavdos
Vacation in Gavdos
With its breathtaking exotic beauty, Gavdos is a true jewel of the Libyan Sea. It is located only a few kilometers south of Crete and is the southernmost island of Europe.
The so-called “island of Calypso” is an ideal destination if you want to spend tranquil holidays surrounded by a uniquely beautiful landscape.
The island is famous for its sand dunes and cedar forest, both rare on Greek islands.
In Gavdos, you will have the opportunity to swim in crystal-clear waters, sunbathe under the Cretan sun and enjoy spectacular views.
How to get to Gavdos
The easiest way to reach Gavdos is to get to Chania, by ferry or plane, and then to Chora Sfakion (or Sfakia) or Paleochora on the south coast of Crete.
You can either drive from Chania to Chora Sfakion and Paleochora with your own vehicle or take the intercity bus (KTEL).
From Sfakia or Paleochora there are regular ferry crossings to Gavdos, operated by local ferry companies.
Check our relevant section below and find out more information about how to get to Gavdos by ferry.
A hiking trail with amazing view to the sea in Gavdos
What to do in Gavdos
The trademark of Gavdos is, of course, its amazing unspoiled beaches, where you can relax and feel truly carefree.
And when the night falls, you can have a drink and try the local cuisine at the bars and tavernas at Sarakiniko, Agiannis, Vatsiana and Kastri.
The island has a few trails that lead you to some impressive coves and beaches.
One of the must things to do in Gavdos is to take the local bus to the faros (the old lighthouse of the island), marvel at the breathtaking view and watch the beautiful sunset!
Beaches in Gavdos
On this island of barely 30km2, you will find some of the best and most exotic beaches in Greece. Almost all of them are without amenities, so it is advisable that you bring the necessary supplies with you.
Our favorite beaches in Gavdos are:
- Sarakiniko: this is the only beach in Gavdos that is directly accessible by vehicle. It has fantastic turquoise waters, golden sand and cedar trees offering their shade. Sarakiniko is located 1.5km from Karave, the island’s port, and can be reached by local bus. It is also the only beach that has cafés and tavernas, as well as a couple of mini markets.
- Agiannis or Ai Giannis: this is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The landscape is wild, with magnificent sand dunes, a cedar and pine forest, and crystal-clear blue waters. The long beach is a favorite camping spot and is also nude-friendly. To get to Agiannis you have to walk 20 minutes from the nearest bus stop. There, you will also find mini markets, 2 restaurants and a café-bar.
- Lavrakas: this is another idyllic beach with glassy blue waters and golden sand. Lavrakas is backed by a beautiful cedar and pine forest, where you can find plenty of shade during the day. It is also a popular camping spot and clothing on the beach is optional. Lavrakas is quite secluded, as it can only be reached with a 20-minute walk from Agiannis.
- Pyrgos: If you continue walking for another 20 or so minutes from Lavrakas, you will find this beautiful rocky beach. The landscape is breathtaking, with impressive rock formations and an amazing view of the sunset. Keep in mind that when it is windy, it might be difficult to swim in Pyrgos, as the sea can get very rough and the rocks can be dangerous. Moreover, there is no shade on the beach.
- Potamos (“river”): this is one of the most remote and isolated beaches in Gavdos, since it is more than 40 minutes on foot along a relatively difficult trail and the return walk uphill can be tiring. This pristine beach, however, is definitely worth the trouble. Apart from beautiful crystal waters, Potamos also has a natural clay deposit. Rub the clay on your skin and enjoy your own personal spa therapy!
- Trypiti: this is the southernmost beach not only of Gavdos, but all of Europe. It is well-known for its impressive rock arches, on top of which you will find the famous “chair of Gavdos.” To reach Trypiti, you have to walk for around 1 hour, so the beach is secluded and peaceful.
Relaxing at Sarakiniko beach in Gavdos
Hiking and things to do in Gavdos
The best way to discover the wild natural beauty of Gavdos is on foot. The small island is ideal for hiking, with trails that pass through stunning landscapes and lead to gorgeous, isolated beaches. So the bathing suit might be optional, but shoes are a must!
For those looking for adventure, here are some of the best hikes in Gavdos:
- Kastri - Ampelos
- Ampelos - Potamos
- Agiannis - Lavrakas - Pyrgos
- Sarakiniko - Kastri
- Vatsiana - Korfos - Trypiti
- Vatsiana - Trypiti
The “chair of Gavdos” at the beach of Trypiti, the southernmost point of Europe
Useful information and travel tips for Gavdos
Gavdos is a small island with fewer than 100 permanent residents. It has essential amenities for visitors, such as a medical center and some mini markets.
Most bars and cafés are close to Agiannis and Sarakiniko, while there are also some restaurants in Kastri and Vatsiana.
There is only 1 ATM machine close to Sarakiniko beach and no gas station. It is advisable to carry cash with you since you cannot always pay by card (the local bus, for example, only accepts cash).
If you are traveling with your own vehicle, ensure you have enough gas before boarding the ferry to Gavdos.
As for accommodation, there are a number of rooms available, but most travelers prefer to camp, since Gavdos is one of the few Greek islands that allow and encourage free camping.
Tip: Gavdos is a beautiful island that has remained largely unspoiled by tourism. Please help preserve its natural beauty by respecting the local environment.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Gavdos
Here are some useful contacts to keep handy during your stay in Gavdos:
- Sfakia Port Authority: +302825091292
- Gavdos Port Authority: +302823041214
- Paleochora Port Authority: +302823041214
- Gavdos Police Station: +302823041019
- Gavdos Medical Center: +302823042195
- Chania intercity bus station (KTEL Chanion): +302821093306, +302821093052
Transportation in Gavdos
In Gavdos there is a local bus that connects the island’s main villages and beaches. The service runs daily during the summer.
Port in Gavdos
The port of Gavdos is located in Karave, on the east coast of the island.
The impressive sunset from the old lighthouse of Gavdos
Gavdos ferry: schedules and tickets
Wondering how to get to Gavdos by ferry? Since there is no direct service connecting the island to mainland Greece, you will have to take the ferry from Crete.
The easiest way to get to Gavdos is via Chania. There are regular ferry crossings from Athens (port of Piraeus) to the port of Chania, Souda, with the trip Piraeus - Chania taking approximately 8 hours.
From Chania, you then need to travel either to Sfakia or Paleochora and catch the boat to Gavdos.
- The route Sfakia - Gavdos is operated regularly in the summer and the journey takes 2 hours.
- The journey from Paleochora to Gavdos is around 4 hours long, as the ferry passes from the ports of Sougia and Agia Roumeli.
Depending on demand and availability, there might be ferry sailings from the port of Agia Galini to Gavdos during the summer. The village of Agia Galini is a 1-hour drive from Rethymno and a 1.5-hour drive from Heraklion. If opting for this ferry route, we suggest you check ferry schedules from Athens to Rethymno and Heraklion as well as from the Cyclades to Heraklion.
We recommend that you contact the local companies to verify departure days and times before your trip, as schedule changes due to adverse weather are not uncommon.
You can check our useful guide on how to travel to Crete in 2021 and plan your trip to Gavdos.
Where to book ferry tickets online to Gavdos
Looking forward to your relaxing seaside vacation in Gavdos? On Ferryhopper you can find all the information you need about Gavdos, including how to get there, the best beaches and hikes, ferry schedules and tickets.
At the moment ferry tickets to Gavdos can only be issued at departure ports and no online booking is available. However, if you want to take your car or motorcycle on board, you should contact the ferry company in advance to reserve a space for your vehicle.
We recommend that you do this as early as possible, especially if you are planning to visit Gavdos in July or August.
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