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Lassithi - A joy to discover

  • Agios Nikolaos Crete
  • Agios Nikolaos Crete Greece
  • Agios Nikolaos Town
  • Sitia Town
  • Vai in Lassithi
  • Vai Crete
  • Ammoudi, Agios Nikolaos
  • Lassithi, Agios Nikolaos

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Lassithi Images

The county of Lassithi lies at the easternmost end of the Crete, home to Agios Nikolaos, the resort of Elounda and the island of Spinalonga. Like everywhere else in Crete, Lassithi has been gifted with long sandy beaches, green valleys with small villages, many remarkable Archaeological and Cultural Treasures.

Elounda, Crete Agios Nikolaos, is the capital of the Lassithi province of Crete. It is built around a picturesque lake.

The Port of Sitia to the east, the cosmopolitan Elounda, with its high level of tourist infrastructure, and the town of Ierapetra, southeast at the narrowest point of the island, are also welcoming you. The beautiful plateau of Lassithi, ornated by its many villages and hundreds of windmills, relics of a not so remote past when Man and Nature coexisted in much more reverent terms, the famous palm-tree forest in Vai, are just some of the beauties that the county of Lassithi has to offer.

Getting There

Crete Lassithi Map By Sea:
From Piraeus (Athens port) and Karpathos, Kassos, Rhodes, Milos, Santorini Islands.

By Air:
There is airport in Sitia Town. There are flights to Rhodes, Karpathos and Kassos Islands.
Sky Express (the airline of Crete) connects Sitia with Heraklion (in Crete), Alexandroupoli and Preveza towns (mainland Greece).

Lassithi Beaches

North Crete
Ammoudi, Crete Sissi - Limani, Small sandy beach
Boufos, Small sandy beach
Plaka, Pebbly beach with tamarisk trees
Driros (in Elounda), Sand and shingle and tamarisk trees
Chavania, Nice sandy beach
Ammoudi (Agios Nikolaos), Beautiful sandy beach, very picturesque
Ammos (Agios Nikolaos), Sandy beach
Almyros (Agios Nikolaos), Beautiful long sandy beach
Ammoudara, Beautiful sandy beach
Istron, Nice sandy beach
Kavousi, Pebbles and sand on side with tamarisk trees
Sitia, Nice long sandy beach

South Crete
Agia Fotia, Beautiful and picturesque, well organised
Ahlia, Wonderful sandy beach
Ferma , small sandy beach
Ierapetra, Long sandy beach (darkish)
Koutsounari , Very long dark shingle beach (in Ierapetra)
Makri Yialos , Lovely beach with shingle, pebbles and sand
Myrtos, Sand and pebbles

East Crete
Kato Zakros , Long pebbly beach
Vai, Beautiful sandy beach with palm forest behind
Xerokambos, Beautiful with sandy coves and turquoise waters

Uninhabitant islets
Hryssi (Gaidouronissi ), Beautiful turquoise waters
Koufonissi, Beautiful golden sand. No facilities and shade

Places to visit in Lassithi

Dikteon Andro cave:
It is the cave where, according to mythology, Zeus was born and it is situated above the village of Psichro, at an altitude of 1,025 m. In this splendid cave, Rea took refuge and with the help of the mother of the Earth, she gave birth to the divine newborn, Zeus, saving him from his father, Cronos, who facing the danger that one of his children may take the power, ate every child that Rea gave birth to. There, Zeus was nursed, according to the mythology, by the goat Amalthia and in order to venerate her he made her horn a universal symbol of abundance. (According to another legend, Zeus was born in Idaean cave in Rethymno county)

Spinalonga: The peninsula of Spinalonga is situated in the North-east bay of Elounda. It is united with the land with an isthmus, the well-known isthmus of Poros. In the northern part of the peninsula the rock-island-fortress of Spinalonga. For the protection of the port of Elounda a fortress was built during antiquity. Because of its strategic importance the Venetians built in 1579 a powerful fortress, which is considered one of the most important of Crete. The fortress passed under the domination of the Turks from 1715 until 1903. Its gates opened again after the decision of the state of Crete, in order to receive the lepers of Crete until 1957.

Lato Etera:
The Dorean town of Lato was built between the 7th and 3rd century BC and it was named Etera in order to be distinguished from Lato to Kamara, the ancient city of Agios Nikolaos, which was its port. From this city, which has been widely excavated, was the Chief Admiral of Alexander the Great, Nearchos, who in 326 BC was in the head of its fleet.

25 kms from Sitia there is the unique forest of palms in a landscape of unusual tropical beauty. According to one version its derivation is owed to the Phoenician merchants who established in the neighboring Itanos, who adored the god Phoenix. According to another version it is supported that the forest has been created by the Egyptian soldiers of Ptolemeos who came as allies of Itanos in its conflict with Pressos and Ierapitna. The third version sustains that the forest was created from the seeds of dates which the Saracens pirates ate as essential food in 824 BC, when they occupied Crete.

Ha Gorge:
In front of the beautiful village of Vassiliki, Ierapetra. Rare morphological phenomenon of nature in all Europe. The bigger gorge of Europe (height 700m., basis opening 8 m.). Behind the gorge a canyon is formatted which is inaccessible from the entry of the gorge, due to the small lakes which are created and which make the canyon a rare aquatic place.

Archaeological Museum in Sitia: Tel: +30 28430 23917
Exhibits from the periods 3500 BC to 500 AD. The oldest artifacts come from the wider region of Sitia. The museum is divided into five chronological parts and displays include a valuable collection of vases, clay tablets in Linear A script that were found in the archives at Zakros, figurines from hill-top sacred sites, a grape press from the neo-palatial period and a Hellenistic wheat mill.

Touring Lassithi

Agios Nikolaos
Aghios Nikolaos, Crete Climbing a series of hills that rise from its picturesque harbour, Agios Nikolaos has numerous vantage points for spectacular views of Mirabello Bay and Kri-Kri island and it is situated just 10 km from Elounda.

This picturesque and busy town is a heaven for anyone seeking a lively, fun filled holiday. Combining considerable local flavour with a good variety of tourist amenities, the resort focuses on its 'bottomless lake' lined with cafe bars and tavemas.

There are sand, shingle and pebble beaches in various bays around -the best of which is Almyros (3 km away), with a range of water sports.

Still retaining its very Cretan character and charm, Elounda centres on a beautiful harbour area and a picturesque town square. Offering a more relaxed holiday than Aghios Nikolaos just 10 kilometres to the North, Elounda still boasts a wide range of Tavernas and clubs. Worldwide recognition of Elounda is due not only to its first class hotels, but also to its beautiful and calm surroundings.

Just along the coast, the village of Plaka has a shingle beach suitable for snorkeling and a spectacular view of the uninhabited island of Spinalonga with its Venetian castle. Visitors can take the boat across from both Elounda and Aghios Nikolaos.

Having the distinction of being the southernmost town facing the African coast, Ierapetra enjoys the smoothest and almost rainless weather in Europe. Ierapetra is builT on the longest beach in Crete, offering an endless choice of golden beaches with deep crystal blue waters, far away from industrial areas and ships passing by. The fortress, Napoleon's house, the Mosque are places to visit.

Ierapetra is the ideal starting point for unlimited excursions to the picturesque mountain and seaside Ierapetra provinces.

From Ierapetra's port are departures to the beautiful, uninhabitant island of Hryssi (or Gaidouronissi - donkey island). The island is located 8 miles away from Ierapetra's coasts, in the Libyan sea. Hryssi, (5 km long by 1 km wide) is almost flat with colorful volcanic rocks covered in gold sand, purple shells and sand dunes.

Istron bay is located along the road to Sitia. The village of Istron (or Istro) is really an extension of the village of Kalo Horio located further inland. There is a choice of three good sand and pebble beaches, shaded by tamarisk trees and protected from wind.

When on the beach, you can see the ruins of an ancient settlement in the sea, which is believed by archaeologists to be the place where ships were built during Minoan times.

Kato Zakros
Kato Zakros is nice small fishing village, hidden away in the southeast corner of Crete behind a beautiful tamarisk-fringed beach. There are several excellent fish tavernas on the beach, ideal for relaxing, long lunches or for romantic evening meals!

The Minoan palace of Zakros near the beautiful beach was built around 1600 BC and it was ruined at the same time with the other Minoan palaces of Crete, probably because of the explosion of the volcano in Thira - Santorini today, in 1450. The floor plan of the palace is similar with the other palaces in Crete and it was not found despoiled.

It is a beautiful traditional village, approximately 11 km west of the town of Agios Nikolaos and sited on an altitude of 375 m. Its inhabitants are descends of the ancient city "Lato Etera", whose ruins are discovered 3 km northwest of the village. Kritsa has many Byzantine churches with wonderful frescoes of the 24th and 15th century. The most remarkable is the famous "Panagia Kera", with its dome and steep sides, surrounded by cypress trees offering an astonishing sight.

Lassithi Plateau
It is an area located on the east part of Crete and consisting from 16 villages; 16 villages: Pinakiano, Lagou, Tzermiadon, Marmaketo, Mesa Lassithi, Mesa Lassithaki, Agios Konstantinos, Agios Georgios, Kouthoumalia, Avrakonte, Kaminaki, Magoulas, Psychro, Plati, Agios Haralampos, Kato Metohi. The Lassithi Plateau became famous for its marvellous windmills and flourmills, which offered a unique sight to the visitor.

In the village of Agios Georgios there is a folklore museum containing a large amount of exhibits, which are of cultural interest. A few meters away from the Folklore Museum operates the commemorative museum of Eleftherios Venizelos. It exhibits photographic materials and other historical documents relating to Eleftherios Venizelos, from the period of his birth through his involvement in politics as Minister for the State of Crete and later as Prime Minister of Greece, until the time of his death.

Makri Yialos (30 Km east of Ierapetra)
Makri Gialos was once a tiny fishing village, but has now become popular resort due to the friendly local hospitality. It is a choice for those seeking quiet holidays,and visitors returning year after year. The name Makri Gialos means "long beach", which indeed it is the long sandy beach with crystal clear and shallow waters. The beach is lined with a wide range of taverns.

Milatos is a traditional village situated on the eastern wider tourist area of Malia - Hersonisos. It is 40 km far from the international airport in Heraklion. It is a beautiful fishermen village with lots of traditional little tavernas offering visitors fresh fish.

Places to visit include the natural underground cave with rare stalactite combinations and the historical cave on the eastern part of the village where you can enjoy the unique view of the gorge underneath it.

Pachia Ammos
is a coastal village with a small harbour and a long sandy beach. Within a few distance from Pahia Ammos there is the famous archaeological site of Gournia (2 Km from Pahia Ammos) The location owes its name to the numerous small antique basins, its ancient name is not known.

Palekastro is situated at the most eastern part of Crete, about 19 km away from Sitia You cannot get bored in the area of Palekastro. The area has been gifted with a rare wild beauty, bare rocks and mountains full of herbs and spices, with unspoiled golden sandy beaches, with canyons and caves, with archeological sites marked by history and glory, with the lost civilizations that passed the myth and made the history.

In recent years, Palekastro became the center for wind surfing at the beach of Kouremenos. With the north winds often blowing, the naturally clean beach and surrounding waters make the Beach of Palekastro one of the most popular beach in Greece.

8km away from Palekastro is situated the aesthetic palm tree forest Vai (picture above). It is a unique biosphere that is surrounded by the endemic, Phoenix of Theophrastos palm tree. It is the largest and most beautiful palm groove in Europe.

Only 30 minutes from Agios Nikolaos and situated between Malia and Milatos, this small resort offers an excellent choice for a slow relaxing paced holiday with its pretty harbour and narrow streets. Sissi has shingle and sandy beach.

Sitia (or Siteia)
Siteia Sitia is a picturesque town, amphitheatrically built into the sheltered corner of the bay of Sitia. It is located at the far north eastern end of Crete, it has an airport and a port in direct contact with Piraeus and the islands of the South East Aegean (Karpathos). Sitia is famous for the long beaches with fine sand and for its mild climate, its hospitable fun loving sociable people and for its fine wines.

A beautiful place, a valley of green olive trees, fig trees, almond trees, tamarisks, and Mediterranean plants which have been completed by a variety of sub-tropical species, due to the mildness of the climate and the under earth springs which ensure the ideal surrounding for their growth.

It is a quiet place, beautiful with sandy coves and turquoise waters.

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