Beaches

The southeastern part of the island hides some of the nicest surprises.

The southeastern part of the island hides some of the nicest surprises. Two exotic beaches at the Islands of Chrissi and Lefki, are a must to be visited and can be explored by taking a boat from Ierapetra and Makrigialos.

East of Ierapetra the coastline is pinched with small coves, formed at the output of ravines, with azure, shallow waters and sand or small pebbles. Most of them are so small you have the feeling you are at your private beach. Tamarisk and pine trees as well dramatic drops of rocks form the distinct scenery of these beaches. On the west side of Ierapetra the Myrtos beach of this “cosmopolitan” village, is one of the largest in its kind, with the same characteristics of the others, while a little further the Tserta Beach is more peaceful with a few taverns. On a day trip to the northeastern part of Crete, visiting Zakros palace and the Gorge of the Dead, the protected palm forest at Vai and Itanos strongly reminds of an African landscape, while the secluded beaches of Karoumes and Xerokambos a little bit further down are a must-see for nature lovers.


SOUTHEASTERN PART OF LASSITHI / IERAPETRA DISTRICT


Chrissi beach

Renowned for its azure blue sea water is an almost never-ending paradise. Bright blue water, white sand with pink shades from the thousands of broken shells, the junipers that hold the sand with their huge roots is the backdrop that makes anyone fall in love with this place.

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chrissi beach
Chrissi beach

Myrtos Beach

Myrtos is located 13km west of Ierapetra, in the output of a wide valley filled with greenhouses and citrus groves, crossed by the River Kryos. It is a small seaside village, which has experienced a mild form of development in recent years, which fortunately has not altered its traditional style. The village is built on the exit of the imposing Sarakina Gorge, which is worth visiting.

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myrtos beach
Myrtos beach

Galini Beach

One of the nicest beaches is that of Galini, located between Ahlia and Agia Fotia. It has fine pebbles, calm clear water and the seabed in some areas is rocky. The beach is protected by towering conglomerate rocks that hide it from the main road and is not easily accessed. Thus, it is usually quiet and is suitable for isolation. It is not organized, but the hotels and the taverns of the settlement are close by. To reach the beach, you must follow a short path that starts from Galini main road.

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galini beach
Galini beach

Achlia Beach

Ahlia (or Achlia) is located 15km east of Ierapetra, in the territory of the village Schinokapsala. It is a small settlement in a small cove, surrounded by pine trees and steep slopes of Thrypti Range. In front of the cove stretches a beautiful beach with coarse sand and vivid blue water. There are many tamarisk trees around offering shade to the visitors and the sea is almost always flat. The area is ideal for peaceful holidays, especially for families.

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Achlia Beach
Achlia Beach

Koutsounari Long Beach

Koutsounari is a small sea side village located 6km east of Ierapetra near the picturesque village Agios Ioannis at Thripti Range. It is situated in a lush green hill with many olive groves and pine trees. Very close to the picturesque village of Agios Ioannis it has a length of 5km, being one of the longest in Crete. This wide quiet beach has the characteristic wonderful coarse grayish sand of southern Crete. In many places there are several tamarisk trees and its great length makes it seem empty. At the east end of the beach (close to the Kakkos Bay Hotel), is another entrance to the beach, with signs towards “Psaropoula” tavern, recommended for its excellent seafood.

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Koutsounari Long Beach
Koutsounari Long Beach

Ferma Beach

Ferma is located 10km east of Ierapetra It is a small seaside settlement that is built next to the steep shores, 4km south of the village Agios Ioannis. Along the coastline of the region there are several small bays, the longest of which in the beach Livadi, widely known as Ferma beach or Xerokamara. It is a beautiful beach with fine pebbles and crystal clear deep water, surrounded by dense vegetation in a magical landscape of towering conglomerate rocks and steep cliffs. On the beach, which is not organized, heads a path that starts from the nearby hotels (80-100m long - there are signs on the main road of Ferma settlement).The next beach after Xerokamara is called Pigadi (i.e. well in Greek) There is another small bay just next to it. Pigadi beaches are accessed via a staired path from the main road.The last beach of the area is Giorgakis and is similarly accessed through a steep path with iron stairs from the main road.

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Ferma Beach
Ferma Beach

Agia Fotia Beach

Agia Fotia beach is located 12 km east Ierapetra. It is a small bay formed at the mouth of a stream that descends from the mountain of Thripti. The stream is hidden in huge plane trees, while the bay is surrounded by conglomerate cliffs that create a magic scenery.The beach has coarse grayish sand and crystal clear calm water. It's well organized and there are, beach bars, taverns and hotels around. You can find shade under the tamarisk trees of the beach.

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Agia Fotia Beach
Agia Fotia Beach

Mavros Kolimbos

Mavros Kolimbos or Agios Panteleimon beach is located 16km east of Ierapetra. It is a nice beach with dark gray pebbles and usually calm water. The seabed is rocky in some places, making it ideal for snorkeling. It is totally unorganised, but there are some tamarisk trees around offering natural shade and some small taverns.

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Mavros Kolimbos
Mavros Kolimbos

Mahairidia Beach

The beaches of Maheridia by Koutsouras village is a series of three different beaches with high cliffs. These beaches are all beautiful with crystal clear water and are only accessible by boat. The only one that can be accessed from coast is the last beach to the east, accessed through two different trails hidden in the dense piney wood. The beach is only a few meters east of the well-known woods Apiganias at Koutsouras, in an area with many pine trees.From the main road, a very short dirt road descends to the parking area where we meet a cluster of high pine trees. From here we have beautiful panoramic views of the eastern bay of Maheridia. Maheridia is a favorite destination for locals and you will very rarely see tourists. The picturesque bays are sandy and pebbly with some scattered rocks in places. The east bay at Maheridi is calm and windless almost all the time, being ideal for families with children.

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Mahairidia Beach
Mahairidia Beach

Kalamokanias Beach

Kalamokanias is located 22km east of Ierapetra, at the west side of Makrigialos settlement. It is located on the west side of the hill Katovigli that rises behind the harbor area..The beach is very quiet and has coarse black sand that does not stick to the body. Here you will meet mostly locals enjoying the sea, away from the tourist beach of Makrigialos.

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Kalamokanias Beach
Kalamokanias Beach

Diaskari Beach

Diaskari is located 27km east of Ierapetra quite close to Makrigialos (4km). It is a long beach with coarse light sand and crystal clear water, but you should be careful when entering the sea because there are smooth slippery rocks at some points. Diaskari is a quiet beach where you can stay remote. On the west there is a small place with tamarisk trees, a tavern and a few umbrellas. At this point stops the road that starts right at the eastern exit of Makrigialos. Here, is the most “crowded” part of Diaskari. If you like seclusion, then walk eastwards and you will surely find a place to be alone.Right after Diaskari you’ll meet the long beach of Lagada, which is more secluded.

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Diaskari Beach
Diaskari Beach

Koufonissia Beach (Lefki Island)

In the central part of the southern coast of Koufonisi, you come across beach Asprougas, completely secluded and untouched. The area of Asprougas could easily be described as an open-air geological museum, full of fossils (one slope of the area is fully covered with fossils from a extinct species of snail). Besides the rich fossils, the morphology of the whole area with the white and stripped rocks scattered everywhere is amazing. The waters are shallow and the sand has a pale reddish color.

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Koufonissia Beach
Koufonissia Beach

Agriomandra Beach

Agriomandra is located 24km east of Agios Nikolaos and 3km west of Kavousi village and Tholos beach. It is a genarally unknown beach, formed at the exit of the short gorge of Agriomandra. Crossing the canyon on foot is also the only way of access. To get there you should follow the dirt road that crosses the green meadows west of Kavoussi, known as Lakos Ambelion, till the entrance to the gorge. From here begins a short path, not particularly difficult, leading after 10 minutes on the beach of Agriomandra. Just before you reach the beach you will see several small caves in the rocks. One of them is built with stone and is used as a church. It was built in the Byzantine period by a hermit and was dedicated to St. John the Theologian. Walking a few more steps, you will find the beautiful pebbly beach with crystal clear green waters. It is very well protected in the hug of the gorge walls.

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Agriomandra Beach
Agriomandra Beach

NORTHEASTERN PART OF LASSITHI/AGIOS NICOLAOS AND SEITIA DISTRICT


Zakros Beach (secluded)

At the far east of the Lassithi region lies the magical Minoan Palace of Zakros. The magnificent beach cove of Kato Zakros is simply beautiful, with clean, deep blue waters. The beach is left natural and is without the full swimming and sunbathing facilities of the well-organised beaches of the northern or southern coast. The beach is uncrowded and consists of fine pebbles and is very picturesque. So if you really want to get away from it all this is one of the best secluded beaches you'll find.

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Zakros Beach
Zakros Beach

Itanos Beach

The name is taken after the ancient city Itanos, sited in the area. Next to the archaeological site of Itanos there are the three consecutive bays of Erimoupolis (a second name of the region). Thus, you can combine your visit to the archaeological site with a dip in the cool waters. It is noteworthy to tell that part of the ancient Itanos is under water. Thus, a unique experience is to snorkel above the ruins, which now house only fish!

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Itanos Beach
Itanos Beach

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