chrissi island


famous for its tropical blue water
ideal for a day excursion from Makry Gialos
From the moment a visitor comes to Chrissi island, he magnetized by the exotic natural landscape dominated by cedar, the golden sand and the light aquamarine water. Chrissi island is protected by Natura 2000 Networking Programme, as an “area of intense natural beauty”, and also has been designated as a wildlife refuge. The island hosts the largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe. You can enjoy a long & relaxing day under the sun in Chrissi island!



one of the most beautiful and special places in the whole Mediterranean
Vai draws thousands of visitors each year. They come not only for its wonderful palm forest, but also for the large sandy beach spread out at its foot. Vai was “discovered” by hippies who were turned out of Matala in the early 70s. Today it is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Crete and the beach has been awarded a Blue Flag by the European Union. The beach is 200m from the parking area and is fenced, as is the forest, in an attempt to protect the area. The beach is fully organised, with sun loungers, straw umbrellas and wooden walkways for easy access. The palm trees offer free shade to anyone quick enough to spread their towel underneath.


vai beach crete
agios nikolaos crete


the lovely serene little town 55km away from Makry Gialos
Different to all other towns in Crete, Agios Nikolaos manages to mix – upon the three hills which support its girth – an arty, leisurely, sleepy and yet also bustling place. Built partly atop ancient remains of bygone residents’ homes. Agios Nikolaos is a medium-size town with a small-town feel, one that has lots to offer. You can walk and enjoy walking here, you have several distinct waterfronts – you can get to know it quickly and feel familiar with the place, like an old friend. The town has three faces to the sea: The Lake and port, Kitroplatia beach and the Marina. Its unique features, start with the lake (“Voulismeni”), a folklore-inspiringly deep body of water which is connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. It is surrounded and overlooked by cafes and restaurants – a busy gathering place for local residents and visitors alike.



ideal area for exploration just 30km from Makry Gialos
One of the least “touristy” parts of Crete, Sitia as a town, was built up in Venetian times, destroyed and later rebuilt by the Turks, with just a few signs of this history remaining. The region however, still provides numerous clues and monuments to the area’s early history. Today, its long sandy beach (equipped by this caring town with showers) offers the pleasures of sand, sea, swimming and all the windsurfing opportunities in the world. Sitia has the most cheerful and friendly Cretans you could hope to meet, people who love their town and keep it clean and tidy, not so much to attract tourists but more because they themselves take pleasure in it and are proud of it.


sitia crete
ierapetra crete


one of the most productive farming towns in Greece, only 25km away from Makry Gialos
Ierapetra is built on the longest beach in Crete and it has the reputation of been the southernmost town in Europe. It has the largest population in Lasithi and is the fourth largest town in Crete. The temperature rarely drops below 13 C all year long,and it has the most hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Greece. Our town offers a large choice of sandy beaches with clean blue waters, which are awarded each single year with the Blue Flags by the European Community. Favoured both by position and by nature, Ierapetra has always been an important centre of the island. It has grown into the largest town in south Crete and a major tourist destination. When you visit it you will find a lively, active town – much more so than Agios Nikolaos or Sitia.



one of the most important cult places of Minoan Crete is only 10km away from Makry Gialos
The Dikteon Cave (or Dikteon Andron or Dictaean Cave) is one of the most important and famous of the 3,000 caves in Crete and the 8,500 in Greece. It is in the impressive Dikteon Cave, rich in stalagmites and stalactites, that Zeus was born according to legend. This is why the Dikteon Cave was already famous in antiquity, dedicated to the worship of the greatest of the gods, as the many offerings found there indicate. In our days the Dikteon Cave continues to receive many visitors, no longer worshippers, of course, but travellers from all over the world. On entering the Dikteon Cave, you find yourself in the antechamber and immediately notice the difference in temperature. The sun’s rays cannot penetrate into the cave and the humidity, as in all caves, can reach 85%, while absolute silence prevails. These ideal conditions make the Dikteon Cave an important habitat, rich in animal life. Don’t miss it!


diktaian cave crete
toplou monastery


an exceptionally interesting Cretan monastery 10km away from Makry Gialos
Toplou Monastery or Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani (Our Lady of Akrotiri) is one of the most important and beautiful monasteries in Crete. The monastery with its imposing belfry, 33 metres high, stands in a harsh, almost desert landscape with giant wind turbines turning in the background; this is one of the first wind farms in Crete. Toplou Monastery is impressive from afar, looking like a small fortress surrounded by a 10-metre-high wall. It is the only surviving example of the many monasteries, large and small, that once stood in the Sitia area – all eventually destroyed by war and pirate raids. Toplou Monastery houses 15th-century icons which, along with other, later examples, are of great artistic interest as they show the stages of development of the Constantinople School of art, which influenced Cretan art.

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