Potamos beach belongs to the Municipality of Hersonissos and took its name from the small stream that flows at the west side of the beach, while in walking distance it is the great wetland and the palace of Malia.

The river has a wide coastline with fine sand and shallow waters that deepens smoothly, making it ideal for children and families. It is often waves because of the northern winds that blow in the area. On the back of the beach there are trees offering rich shade. Its length is about 300 m and is bounded to the left and right by rocks. Around the river there are sand dunes, where at Autumn make their appearance white sand lilies.

  • Organized

  • Sandy

  • Parking

  • Life Guard

  • Shower

Photo Gallery

Municipality Agios Nikolaos

The Municipality of Hersonissos is located on the northern coast of the prefecture of Heraklion and few kilometers from the city of Heraklion. From 2010 and when the Kallikratis program was implemented, the New Municipality of Hersonissos now includes the municipalities / former municipalities of Gouves, Episkopi and Malia. The area of ​​the new Municipality is 271 with a population of 26.000 inhabitants according to the 2011 census.

In the coastal areas of Hersonissos, Gouves and ​​Malia is developed the main tourist activity of the municipality. The new municipality is one of the most popular and developed tourist destinations of Crete and also of the country. It is known for its high quality hotel facilities, conference facilities and natural beauty in its coastline. The beautiful beaches, nightlife and mass tourism, however, are not the only face of the coin. The other side of Hersonissos, the less known, is the rich and untouched hinterland, scattered with historical monuments and landscapes of breathtaking natural beauty.

Characteristics of the beach

Potamos beach belongs to the Municipality of Hersonissos and took its name from the small stream that flows at the west side of the beach, while in walking distance it is the great wetland and the palace of Malia.

The river has a wide coastline with fine sand and shallow waters that deepens smoothly, making it ideal for children and families. It is often waves because of the northern winds that blow in the area. On the back of the beach there are trees offering rich shade. Its length is about 300 m and is bounded to the left and right by rocks. Around the river there are sand dunes, where at Autumn make their appearance white sand lilies.

It is well organized, but clearly less crowded than the main beach of Malia. Access is easy as it is just below the street where you can easily find parking. The region around the beach, mainly in the east, has not developed particularly due to the archaeological site and the wetland. Still on the west of the beach, there are several hotels and few taverns.

The distance of the beach:

From the town of Malia 3km and an estimated journey time of about 7 minutes.

From International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis of Heraklion is about 39Km and an estimated journey time of about 33 minutes.

From the Port of Heraklion and the bus station of Heraklion-Lassithi 42.3Km and an estimated journey time of about 40 minutes.

From the Historical Centre of Heraklion (Lions Square) 43.9Km and an estimated journey time of about 45 minutes.

Beach Regulation

General matters:

The management of the beach has the company named "MANAGEMENT OF COASTS OF MALIA BY MUNICIPAL SA" and distinctive title DAMAL SA She is solely responsible for the rental of umbrellas and deck chairs.

The beach equipment (umbrellas, chairs, tables, information signs, changing rooms, beach walkways, toilet Disabled Disabled wheelchair entry into the water, waste bins, ashtrays, etc.) is the property of D.A.MAL. SA.

The operating hours of the beach are daily from 10:00 to 18:00. In these hours the users of umbrellas and sunbeds are obliged to pay their rental fee.

It is forbidden to transfer proof of provision of services for the rental of umbrellas and deck chairs to third parties.

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.

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 lifeguard.

It is forbidden to swim beyond the bathing limits.

It is forbidden to swim when a red flag has been posted in the lifeguard tower.

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 drugs 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 forbidden to drill holes in the sand with a depth of more than 25 cm. After the end of the game, the sand will return to its original state.

It is forbidden to camp on the beach.

It is forbidden to drive all the wheeled vehicles on the beach.

It is prohibited to use shampoo at the showers.

It is prohibited the use of musical devices that produce high noise.

It is forbidden to stay in the tower of the Lifeguards without permission.

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 take sand.

Emergency Cases

In case of a person disappearance, you should immediately contact the beach manager and the lifeguard.

In case of a beach closure, please follow the instructions of the manager and lifeguards.

In case of an accident, you should immediately inform the lifeguard and the beach manager.

If a customer falls sick due to any possible cause, they are to immediately notify the beach manager and the lifeguard, in order for all necessary measures to be taken.


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)
Enterococci Escherichia Coli

 Potamos Beach


 0  0


The archaeological place of Malia is 800 meters from Potamos beach and next to the wetland of the area. The palace is the third largest Minoan palace of Crete (7500m2), after Knossos and Phaistos. The ancient name is unknown today, but maybe was Milatos or Tarmaros, the king was Sarpidona, the son of Zeus and Europe, and younger brother of Minos.

Sarpidon was once expelled from Minos and went to Lycia of Asia Minor, where he was worshiped as a god. Later the worship was transferred to Egypt, where he was identified with the god Sarapi.”

The palace was first built in 1900 BC, during the Middle Ages, and was destroyed in 1700 BC. It was rebuilt fifty years later (around 1650 BC) in the same place, to be destroyed again in 1450 BC, by fire. The archaeological place of Malia was unknown until 1880, when the owner of the area discovered some gold leaves a few meters west of the palace. This event was the reason for the whole area to be excavated by goldsmiths, taking the name Chrysolakkos.

The first excavation in the area of the palace was made by Joseph Hadjidakis in 1915, who due to lack of money had to stop his investigations. The discovery of the palace and a large part of the city is mainly due to the French Archaeological School (headed by F. Chapouthier). Excavations continue until today.



The coastal marine zone of the Potamos beach is consisted of waters that deepens slowly, with a soft sandy bottom. Just a short distance from the shore is a large, extensive reef- an ancient Minoan shipyard that hosts a large number of fish at a shallow depth, which has been naturally formed by sandstone rocks. In the reef, the swimmer can safely navigate and discover his little secrets. Maybe with difficulty, you will be able to distinguish traces from Minoan civilization, as in antiquity this place was used as a small port. Small fishes roam the landscape looking for food on the seaweed that grows on the reef. Larger, like the Germans and Scallops, form flops that swim lazy. The sea urchins, firmly hooked, walk slowly by scraping the rocks and eating the algae. Crabs are circulating in the slits of the rocks.

Although large in size, they are afraid of the presence of the man, whom they have just become aware of and they are disappearing. With the use of a mask, a snorkel and a pair of flippers, small lens and a small underwater camera, the visitor can observe the sea life of the reef and capture it with his camera. If you want, you can start from the shallows and see the sandy bottom the murmuria and the tongue fishes, looking for their food in the sea bottom. Then, where the sandy bottom begins again, you will see at depths of 5-6 meters an underwater landscape with posidonia meadows. A unique marine plant, endemic to the Mediterranean that forms vast meadows and hosts a large number of species. Responsible for the protection of sandy beaches from erosion and an indicator of water purity and good status of the marine environment.


The sand dunes are a result of the action of the sea and the wind. 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. This vegetation holds the sand, stabilizes the coastline and the soil, the corrosive action of the sea and the wind and it also works as a natural barrier (from sea water and watering the aquifer and the wind intensity) to the hinterland. The dune systems are sensitive and fragile ecosystems that have been adapted to the changes that been caused from natural causes like the wind and the waves, while regardless of the sandy deposits like (area, thickness and height), they play an important role in the underground hydrology of the wider region. This is due to their considerable storage capacity with regard to underground waters, that they inhabit their mass.

The organisms that live in these ecosystems are adapted to live in the hostile environment of dunes that is characterized by the lack of fresh water and the high salinity values of the air. At the same time dunes are protecting the ground 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, which have adapted to this dry and hostile environment, having developed special 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 younger dunes thanks to their powerful and extensive root system. They prepare the soil for its colonization by other species such as Pancratium maritimum. This is a characteristic and emblematic type of sand dunes, as it blossoms, the beaches acquire a unique beauty. It forms bulbs in the deep depth and dense clusters in the sand.

Calculation of carrying capacity of a 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 at the beach is about 200 umbrellas, that is, 400 beach chairs which correspond to 400 swimmers. This number is much smaller than the 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

At the beach of Potamos no existence of endangered species has been mentioned. In any case, if endangered species appear, then measures for their protection have to be taken.

For example, some measures are mentioned below but in any case if you find an endangered species you should immediately contact the competent authorities of the state.

If you find a nest

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

The wetland "Potamos Malia" is the largest stretch of reeds in Crete. The existence of the wetland dates back to 6400 BC. It is a system that is mostly covered by a brackish water marsh with reeds. Its supply is made from karstic springs and the water ends at sea through a nod from the northern part. In the wetland there are drainage channels and the area was cultivated until 1945.

Since then the crops abandoned and the wetland has recovered. At the center of the wetland there are the ruins of Early Christian Basilica and a Roman tomb, while the Minoan palace of Malia is at a short distance to the east. Until today, 77 species of birds have been recorded, while the number of plants and other animals living on it or its perimeter is significant. In the channel of extinction of the wetland in the sea, occasionally appears the "barred" turtle, Mauremysrivulata.


General Characteristics of Potamos Beach
Beach Name Potamos Beach - Hersonissos
Beach Code Number GRCR201707
Beach Kind Organized Beach
Municipality Hersonissos - Crete
Beach Administrator DAMAL - Municipality of Hersonissos


Certification 2017

# 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
3 Existence of appropriate bins for the regular garbage disposal M/4
4 Application of a management plan for sustainable development of the beach M/4
5 Cleaning of the beach regularly – at least 3 times a year. M/4
6 Existence of a questionnaire in a printed form or in electronic form at . M/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
8 Existence of a lifeguard. M/4
9 Existence of a person in charge at the beach. M/4
10 Obeying the rules and demands, according to the legislation in force. M/4
11 Existence of a prize for the beach by the program Blue Flag 3  3
12 Existence of measures to protect endangered species. 3  3
13 Methods and equipment to save water. 3  1.5
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  3
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  1.5
17 Cleaning of the sea near the beach at least 3 times a year. 3  0
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  2
23 Eco – friendly beach equipment that is in harmony with the natural beauty of the beach. 2  0
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  1
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  0
29 All signs around the beach should be in harmony with the landscape. 2  1
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  1
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  1
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  74



Final Rating - Initial Classification & Certification of Beach

Day of Evaluation




Number of Sea Horses of the Beach