The beach of Karteros - "Akti" belongs to the Municipality of Heraklion and is named after the little river Karteros, which flows to the west of the beach, forming a small pond - a very important wetland with plenty of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the particular wetland due to the intense and uncontrolled anthropogenic interventions has been seriously degraded.

  • Disabled Friendly

  • Organized

  • Sandy

  • WC

  • Parking

  • Life Guard

  • Shower

  • WiFi

  • WC (Private)

  • Shower (Private)

  • Canteen

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Municipality of Malevizi

The Municipality of Heraklion is located on the northern coast of the prefecture of Heraklion and is the largest Municipality of Crete and one of the largest cities in Greece. Since 2010 and after the implementation of the Kallikratis program, the new Municipality of Heraklion now includes the municipalities / former municipalities of Heraklion, Paliani, Temenos, Nea Alikarnassos and Gorgolaini. The area of ​​the new Municipality is 245.12 sq. Km. and the population of 173,450 residents, according to the latest census of 2011.

The municipality of Heraklion is one of the most famous travel destinations of both Crete and Greek territory. It is well-known both for the archaeological site of Knossos (it accepts millions of tourists a year) as well as for high-quality hotel facilities, conference facilities, but also for natural beauties throughout the municipality.

Characteristics of the beach of Karteros Beach - AKTI

The beach of Karteros - "Akti" belongs to the Municipality of Heraklion and is named after the little river Karteros, which flows to the west of the beach, forming a small pond - a very important wetland with plenty of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the particular wetland due to the intense and uncontrolled anthropogenic interventions has been seriously degraded.

The beach of Karteros - Akti has a wide coastline with fine sand and shallow waters that smooth out, making it ideal for children and families. However due to the northern winds that blow in the area it have very often waves. Along the entire beach there are various restaurants and entertainment places, while the part that is managed by the Municipality of Heraklion through DEPTAI SA is one of the most organized parts of the beach with a lifeguard and infrastructure for the whole family. The total length of the beach is about 2.5 to 3 km, while opposite the beach there is a small rocky island, which in antiquity was connected to the land, forming two small coves, since the sea level was about 3 meters lower than that is today.

The Karteros River, according to the writer Stergios Spanakis, was named after Byzantine General Krateros, who landed on the beach for the recovery of Crete by the Saracens.

In ancient times, the name of the Karteros River was called "Kairatos" or "Amnisos", while the particular beach was suitable for the picking up of ships and a suitable shelter for the fleet of Minoan Crete according to Strabo.

East of Akti beach and about 500 meters away is a small, mainly rocky hill, the hill of Paleohora in which around of it has been discovered ruins of the ancient settlement of Amnissos.

The Lilies Mansion, located on the eastern part of the hill, which was named after the white lilies of sand found in frescoes in the ruins of the villa and which suffered major damage during the Second World War.

The mansion was located on the northern part of the hill and it is covered with rocks. This building consisted of two rooms, separated by a wall, and there was a well that was collecting groundwater and water from a source that rocked from the rock.

To the west of the hill there are the ruins of the sanctuary of Zeus Thenata, while on the west side of the hill there are ruins of a settlement of the Late Minoan era, part of which is covered by the sea.

Southeast of the Amnissos area, on the eastern sides of the Karteros River valley lays the cave of the goddess Elythethias, the goddess of birth.

Access to the beach of Karteros and more specifically to Akti is easy because it is located just below the old Heraklion - Agios Nikolaos National Road, and has a large parking area. On the old national highway there is also a bus stop of Public Transportation, with the result that access to the beach is even easier. The wider area has been particularly developed and there are hotels, apartments and restaurants.

The distance of the beach:

  • From International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis of Heraklion is about 6.1Km and an estimated journey time of about 11 minutes
  • From the Port of Heraklion 7Km and an estimated journey time of about 13 minutes.

From the Historical Centre of Heraklion (Lions Square) 11.4Km and an estimated journey time of about 21 minutes.

Beach Regulation

The beach regulation must exist at the entrance of the beach (reception) and in plastic leaflets which will be on small tables or hanging at the umbrellas.

General matters:
  • The opening hours of the beach are from 10:30 to 17:30.
  • If you have any questions ask the beach staff
  • For any complaints complete the special form at the entrance
  • To help us increase the quality of the services provided please complete the relevant questionnaire which you can find at the reception or in our website or by downloading the relevant application Costa Nostrum.
  • The ashtrays, the beach chairs and the umbrellas are property of the Beach Management Body.
  • Only the guests – owners of valuable objects that may be lost, are responsible for the loss.
  • Hygiene and Safety, Environmental Protection and Cleanliness of the Beach
    • You should always follow the advice of the lifeguards.
    • Swim parallel to the coastline and if possible never alone.
    • It is prohibited to block the lifeguard’s corridor and the range of vision of the lifeguard.
    • The consumption of alcohol or drug is prohibited.
    • It is prohibited to throw cigarettes into the sea or on the beach.
    • It is prohibited to throw glass objects or packaging on the beach or into the sea.
    • It is prohibited to throw any object on the beach or into the sea.
    • It is prohibited to light a fire.
    • It is prohibited to use shampoo at the showers.
    • It is prohibited to use music devices that produce loud noise.
    • All your rubbish should be placed with your own responsibility into the special waste containers.
    • It is prohibited to destroy any kind of vegetation.
    • It is prohibited to walk in areas where swimmers are not allowed to enter, according to the existing prohibition signs.
    • It is prohibited to stay on the lifeguard’s tower without a relevant permission.
    • The beach staff has the right to remove from the beach persons who are in a drunken condition or under the influence of drugs or behave violently/improperly to other visitors.
    • It is prohibited to take sand.
    • Pets should be tied, wearing a muzzle and their owners should have the relevant veterinary certificates. Free circulation of pets on the beach is strictly prohibited. If the dog annoys or the owner receives any remark, it should be immediately removed.

Results of the Quality of the Sea Waters Evaluation

This paragraph includes all the measurements done by the administrator of the beach.

With the responsibility of the administrator measurements are done 5-6 times throughout the tourist season.

The quality of the sea waters also has to be measured in case of complaints about polluted water or after an accident at the beach or near the beach.

The measurements will be done by an independent certification authority.

a/a Sample Test Examination Date Sample Results (cfu/100 ml) Measurement Institution Certificate number
Enterococci Escherichia Coli
1 Karteros Beach - AKTI 25-05-15 1 1 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 12413/95422
2 Karteros Beach - AKTI 22-06-15 4 4 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 12559/97166
3 Karteros Beach - AKTI 20-07-15 1 18 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 12687/98043
4 Karteros Beach - AKTI 20-08-15 9 27 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 12862/99578
5 Karteros Beach - AKTI 04-09-15 1 67 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 12957/100450
6 Karteros Beach - AKTI 01-10-15 10 14 Bioereunitika Labor S.A. 13083/101227

The “Myth” of the Beach

It is rumored that the wider area of Karteros beach, Amnissos, was connected with the Minoan Palace of Knossos via a path that was discovered only in 1985. The beginning of this path was within the beach of Karteros - Akti, but unfortunately nowadays the beginning of the path has been destroyed and all that remains ism an old olive tree from which the starting point of the particular path was.

Marine Fauna and Flora of Karteros Beach - AKTI:

The coastal sea zone of AKTH Beach consists of deep-watering waters with a soft sandy bottom. At a short distance from the coast and towards the east side, there is an extensive reef - which is developed on the small island of Karteros. On the small island, the swimmer can browse and discover the little secrets of it. Small fishes roam the landscape looking for food in the seaweed that grows on the rocks. Larger, like the Germans and the little scribes, form flocks that swell swiftly. The sea urchins, hard-boiled, walk slowly by scraping the rock and eating the micro-algae. Crabs are circulating in the slits of the rocks. Although they are big in size, they fear the presence of the human, whom they just notice, disappearing. Using a mask, a snorkel and a pair of flippers, a small lens and a small underwater camera, the visitor can see the life of the reef that is near the island and capture it with the camera. You can start from the shallows and see the small tongues in the sandy bottom and the mummies look for food in the sand. Starfish sprout from the sand and start their afternoon sherry. Then you will meet rocks from the reef. Their first image gives you a splendor but also a challenge to find its secrets. Swim slowly and with your eyes nailed to him you will see plenty of life. Arriving in the shallow waters of the reef to the island, you will see at depths of 5-6 meters an underwater landscape with Posidonia meadows. A unique marine plant, endemic to the Mediterranean Sea, that forms vast meadows and hosts a large number of species. Posidonia Posidonia is responsible for the protection of sandy beaches from erosion and an indicator of water purity and good status of the marine environment.

Land Fauna and Flora of Karteros Beach - AKTI:

Dunes are the result of sea and wind action. These are sensitive and dynamic ecosystems that harbor plenty of plants and animals. Their ecological significance is great and is attributed to the dune vegetation, which has a primary structural role in their creation and preservation, as this vegetation retains the sand, stabilizes the coastline and the soil from the corrosive action of the sea and the wind and works protective as a natural barrier (seawater and watering of the aquifer, wind intensity) for the hinterland. In addition, dams are fragile and fragile ecosystems adapted to changes caused by natural causes (wind, wave), and regardless of sandy deposits (extent, thickness, height), they play an important role in the underground hydrology of the wider region and this is due to the fact that they have considerable storage capacity with respect to the underground waters that they harbor in their mass. Organisms living in dun-dwelling ecosystems are adapted to live in the hostile environment of dunes characterized by lack of fresh water and high salinity values ​​of the air. At the same time dunes protect the soil from the corrosive action of the sea. In the sand dunes we will find precursor plants close to the wave and first in the range of sand dunes that have adapted to this dry and hostile environment, having developed particular features such as small size, light green colors, thorns, hard leaves and hairy leaves as well as a deep powerful root system. Then we will find the sandy species. Plants needed to stabilize the newer dunes thanks to their powerful and extensive root system. They thus prepare the ground for its colonization by other species such as the sea lily (Pancratium maritimum). This is a characteristic and emblematic type of sand dunes, as it blooms, the beaches acquire a unique beauty. It forms bulbs at great depth and dense clusters in the sand.

Calculation of the load-bearing capacity of the Beach

For the term “load-bearing capacity” there is a large number of definitions in international literature. However, all these definitions involve two central opinions: Firstly, the biophysical element related to the maintenance of the integrity of the natural resource, in this case, the beach. So, there is a maximum limit which must not be exceeded or else the natural ecosystem will suffer strong pressures. And, secondly, behavioral element which reflects the ability of the leisure experience.

Althoughuntiltodaytherehasnotbeenawidelyaccepteddefinitionoracommonlyacceptedprocedureforthecalculationoftheload-bearing capacity of the beach, the calculation of the load-bearing capacity of each beach is done with the combination of different procedures found in international literature, the main goal being the best protection and conservation of the natural resource and the environment.

For the calculation of the load-bearing capacity of this beach, the following data – information were considered;

  • Calculation practices of the load-bearing capacity of the beach, mentioned in international literature.
  • Legislation in force.
  • Geographical position of the beach.
  • Existence of endangered species inside the coastal zone.
  • Fauna and Flora of the area.
  • Environmental stress of the beach.
  • The best service of the guests – swimmers of the beach.
  • The protection of the environment and the preservation of the natural resources of the beach.
  • Existence of protection rules for the safety and easy access of the guests to the beach.
  • Existence of stable infrastructures and the prospect of placing new infrastructures like WC.

The number of umbrellas that the beach management body gives to its guests is about 250 umbrellas, that is, 500 beach chairs which correspond to 500 swimmers. This number is much smaller than the bearing capacity of the beach.


Sustainable Waste Management

The main goal of the suggested management plan aim sat the optimal sustainable management of the waste produced by visitors of the beach during their stay in the coastal zone.

The administrators of each beach must place appropriate bin for recycling where possible and to cover the needs of the beach at the same time.

It is suggested that in every beach – whether it is organized or not and taking in to account the number of visitors – there are at least blue bins for the recycling of packaging, brown bins (compost bins) for the recycling of organic waste and green bins for mixed waste.

An important issue that the administrators have to deal with, whether they are public or private is the collection of the cigarettes which are thrown by the swimmers on the beach. It is suggested the placement of ashtrays next to each chair which will be cleaned by the beach staff, after the guests leave the beach. This waste should not be thrown in the bin with the mixed rubbish because they can cause fire. They should be put in a special metal bucket, soaked with water and then thrown into the common bins, as no management plan for this kind of waste has been found until now.

At the point where the bins are placed there should be explanatory signs in many languages and the waste should be carried to the recycling centers regularly.

Moreover it should be mentioned that these weeds that are washed out at the beach are not an attractive view, but there is a processing method by a Greek company producing compost from seaweeds.

In general, it is suggested the following bins are placed:

  • At least  1 Green bin for mixed rubbish
  • At least 1 Blue bin for recyclable package materials
  • At least  1 Brown bin for organic waste
  • At least  1 Metal bucket for cigarettes from the ashtrays placed under the umbrellas
  • Clay ashtray at each beach chair set.
  • 1 butterfly net so that the staff can collect rubbish from the beach without bending.
  • One-use gloves in case the worker has to collect rubbish with the hands.

All the bins should always be closed and the administrator of the beach is responsible to make sure the bins are closed.

Any other waste like batteries, electrical and electronic equipment should be given at the reception and the administrator of the beach has the responsibility to put them in the right bin, or inform the guest where the nearest container is.

In any case no rubbish should be thrown in to the wrong containers and of course nothing should be thrown into the beach or the sea.

Measures for the Protection of Endangered Species

If the nest is in danger beacause of the pedestrians or the vehicles, surround it with a “fence” you can make from wooden sticks placed around it and tied with some rope.  
CAREFUL: Do not dig the nest. If there are stones or other things that may prevent the baby turtles from finding their way to the sea, then remove those obstacles.
If it is in the shade (e.g. under an umbrella), try to remove it.

If you find an injured turtle

You put the turtle in a SAFE PLACE away from people and noise. YOU ALWAYS RAISE IT FROM THE SHELL (never from the wings or the head).
If the animal is big it must be carried by 2 persons by catching the shell from behind the neck and over the tail. 
YOU PLACE THE ANIMAL CAREFULLY making sure the wings do not remain under its body.

We put the animal in a place which is PROTECTED AND QUIET, AWAY FROM STREAMS AND WIND. In the summer months you should cover the would with a piece of WET CLOTH. The temperature of the place should not fall under 15 degrees Celcius. The turtle does not have to be put in sea water and if it is wounded at the head or exhausted, it MUST NOT BE PUT IN WATER BECAUSE IT MY DROWN.

If it is trapped in nets or fishing hook, you remove them carefully. In no circumstances should you TRY TO PULL A HOOK FROM THE MOUTH OR TAIL.

You control all wings and if you find RECOGNITION TAGS call the Rescue Network (210 8944444). You will be sent a special form which you have to COMPLETE carefully to help the turtle you found and also other turtles.

If you find a dead sea turtle

If the turtle is dead it should be CARRIED TO THE LAND and the Coast Guard as well as Archelon should be contacted. BE CAREFUL, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE TURTLES LOOKS DEAD BUT IT MAY BE IN DEEP SLEEP, ESPECIALLY IN THE COLD MONTHS.

If you find a tag it should be removed and sent to ARCHELON.  
ATTENTION, THIS IS ONLY FOR DEAD ANIMALS. It would be very helpful for ARCHELON if you take a photograph of the animal and especially its wounds.

Complete the special FORM sent to you by ARCHELON AND finally call the LOCAL AUTHORITIES for the burial of the animal.

For more information .


General Characteristics of Karteros - Akti Beach
Beach Name Karteros - Akti Beach
Beach Code Number GRCR201811
Beach Kind Organized Beach
Municipality Malevizi - Crete
Beach Administrator ΔΕΠΤΑΗ


Certification 2018

# INDEX TYPE - CRITERIA Importance Rate
1 Recording and information of the public through signs and through the website about: The marine and land fauna and flora, as well as the water biotopes inside the coastal zone Issues of waste management, environment protection etc. M/4  4
2 Publication of a management plan, indices and all the relevant information. M/4  4
3 Existence of appropriate bins for the regular garbage disposal M/4  4
4 Application of a management plan for sustainable development of the beach M/4  4
5 Cleaning of the beach regularly – at least 3 times a year. M/4  4
6 Existence of a questionnaire in a printed form or in electronic form at . M/4  4
7 Yearly recording of the quality of the waters by the administrative authority and publication of the measurements to the general public through the website and through signs. M/4 4
8 Existence of a lifeguard. M/4  4
9 Existence of a person in charge at the beach. M/4  4
10 Obeying the rules and demands, according to the legislation in force. M/4  4
11 Existence of a prize for the beach by the program Blue Flag 3  0
12 Existence of measures to protect endangered species. 3  3
13 Methods and equipment to save water. 3  0
14 The quality of the sand should be the best possible, that is, free of cigarette ends, rubbish and waste that come from the sea. 3  2
15 Appropriate infrastructures like changing rooms, showers and WC. 3  3
16 Existence of bus routes to and from the beach, at least 4 times daily. 3  3
17 Cleaning of the sea near the beach at least 3 times a year. 3  3
18 Existence of an emergency plan. 3  0
19 Local – traditional products sold at the restaurants and bars inside the coastal zone. 3  3
20 50% and more of the guests visit the beach by bus or motorbike or on foot or with an electric vehicle. 2  1
21 CD players and other portable music devices not allowed at the beach. 2  2
22 The noise produced should not exceed 50 decibel. 2  1
23 Eco – friendly beach equipment that is in harmony with the natural beauty of the beach. 2  1
24 Eco - friendly infrastructures in harmony with the natural beauty of the beach. 2  0
25 Environmental education – sensitization of the public at least once a year by the administrative authorities of the beach. 2  2
26 Infrastructures for persons with special needs, like parking spaces, easy access etc. 2  2
27 Proper infrastructure for pregnant women and babies (like easy access, baby room etc.) 2  0
28 Equipment like benches so that the beach can also be used in winter, for example for picnics 2  2
29 All signs around the beach should be in harmony with the landscape. 2  0
30 Actions for the preservation of the local vegetation in healthy ecotopes and actions for the increase of the local vegetation in destroyed beaches – ecotopes. 2  2
31 The sea waters are evaluated as of good or excellent quality according to the framework directive 2006/7/EC of 15/02/2006. 2  2
32 No anchoring and traffic of tourist motorboats near the beach. 2  2
33 Availability of local products > 51%. 1  0
34 Use of alternative energy sources for electricity production for the needs of the business of the coastal zone. 1  0
35 Application of an ISO 9001 or ISO 13009 management system by the administrator of the beach. 1  0
36 Application of the system ISO 14001 or EMAS or TRAVELIFE or Green Key by the administrator of the beach. 1  0
37 Environment friendly water activities. 1  0
38 WIFI available at the beach 1  1
39 On-line recording and availability of beach chairs and umbrellas as well as of the weather conditions at any moment, the results are shown in the site and the application. 1  0
  Total Rate for Organized Beach 100  75


Final Rating - Initial Classification & Certification of Beach

Day of Evaluation




Number of Sea Horses of the Beach