Lasithi South Coast Beaches

The south coast of Lassithi offers organized yet serene sandy or pebbly beaches within an amazing natural environment filled with gorges and caves. There is also the chance to visit the nearby islets of Chrissi and Koufonissi which are famous for their fine sand and wonderful azure waters.

Agia Fotia

Agia Fotia
This sandy beach is some 45 kilometers south of Agios Nikolaos and some 12 kilometers east of Ierapetra, right in front of the homonymous settlement at the exit of a valley, well protected from the winds. The beach offers good accommodation facilities in hotels and rooms to let, also food and drink in the restaurants, taverns and cafes.
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, water sports
Accessible: from Ierapetra by taxi and from Agios Nikolaos by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Chrissi Island

Chrissi Island or Gaidouronissi
The islet of Chrissi ("golden island") or more commonly Gaidouronissi ("donkey island") is 8 nautical miles south of Ierapetra. The island is not inhabited but has magnificent beaches and a long history. Almost flat, its highest point "Kefala" is 31 m. It is 5 km long and 1 km wide. Besides its wonderful beaches, Chrissi also has a large cedar-tree wood with more than 5.000 perennial trees. At the beach of Belegrina in the north you can see the fossilized sea shells, that date back thousands of years. On the western part of the island, the visitor can see the small church of Agios Nikolaos (13th century), pick salt from the old salt-pans, see the Roman carved graves, the ancient breakwater and the old lighthouse. Due to its ecological features, Chrissi is part of the European Program for the Protection of places of natural beauty and importance (NATURA 2000). Some hundreds of meters east of Chrissi is the tiny islet of Mikronissi ("tiny island"). With its 10 acres, this rocky island is a refuge for thousands of seagulls.
Facilities: few umbrellas, sun beds and tavernas
Accessible: from Ierapetra by excursion boats departing daily at 10.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and returning at 17.00 and 18.00 in the afternoon. The trip takes about an hour. Overnight stays and camping are not allowed. Boat service available from May to October.

Ferma

Ferma
This sandy beach is some 10 km east of Ierapetra and some 45 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos, just off the homonymous village. Within a small cove, it's well protected from the winds and well organized. Good accommodation facilities in hotels and rooms to let, restaurants, taverns and cafes are available in the village.
Facilities: sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports
Accessible: from Ierapetra by taxi and from Agios Nikolaos by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Goudouras

Goudouras
This pebbly beach is some 37 km east of Ierapetra and some 73 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos, in front of the homonymous settlement located in the southeasternmost part of Crete. There is a sufficient number of stores, rooms to let and fish taverns. It's a pretty popular resort. Exposed to western winds, the nearby beaches of Atherinolakos and Livari to the east offer a good alternative on a windy day.
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, tavernas
Accessible: from Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos or Sitia by rental or private care and motorbikes.

Ierapetra Beach

Ierapetra Beach
This long sandy beach in front of the town center is some 35 kilometers south of Agios Nikolaos. As the beach is located within town, there are lots of accommodation, food and amusement facilities available. You will find hotels of any category and rooms to let. it is The beach is well protected from the winds and well organized in it's major part.
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, showers, water sports
Accessible: from Ierapetra on foot. From Agios Nikolaos by frequent public bus, by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Kato Zakros

Kato Zakros
This fine pebble beach is some 107 km east of Agios Nikolaos and some 47 km southeast of Sitia, at the scenic port of the homonymous village. Although in a cove, the beach is affected by the winds. Accommodation is possible in a hotel, open all year round and several rooms to let. Good food, especially fresh fish can be found at the port of Kato Zakros. Not fully organized, the beach is quiet enough, without big crowds. The area offers a fascinating natural environment, archaeological sites with ruins of Minoan settlements, the famous "Gorge of the Dead", a spring above the village of Zakros and the cave of Pelekita.
Facilities: few sun beds and umbrellas, tavernas
Accessible: from Sitia by frequent public bus (1,5 hour) and from Agios Nikolaos by frequent public bus, by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Makrigialos

Makrigialos
This sandy beach is some 58 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and some 23 km east of Ierapetra, right in front of the homonymous tourist resort. It's well protected from the winds and the sea is shallow, making it ideal for families with small children. There are good accommodation facilities of all categories and the food is excellent; fresh fish and seafood is abundant and delicious. The beach is well organized and can get rather crowded. There are, however, quieter alternatives nearby; the beach in front of the archaeological site of the Minoan villa in Plakakia some 2 km to the east, Diaskari (4 km) and Langada (5 km). You can also take one the excursion boats going to Koufonissi with its wonderful beaches. There is also the gorge of Pefki (10 km) and the cave of Apoloustres (2 km north of Pefki).
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, showers, water sports
Accessible: from Ierapetra by public bus or taxi and from Agios Nikolaos by frequent public bus, by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Makrigialos – Koutsounari

Makrigialos – Koutsounari
This long sandy beach is some 42 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 7 km east of Ierapetra. The beach is really very long and starts from the camping of Koutsounari and continues for several kilometers eastwards, almost up to Agia Fotia. Open to the South, it is affected by the winds. There are plenty of accommodation, food and amusement facilities available in Koutsounari and in nearby Ierapetra, where you can also enjoy the exciting nightlife. The beach is very well organized and attracts hundreds of people, however, due to its length it never gets too crowded. The eastern part is not organized and thus much more peaceful.
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, showers, water sports, tavernas
Accessible: from Ierapetra by public bus or taxi and from Agios Nikolaos by frequent public bus, by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Myrtos

Myrtos
This sandy and partly pebbly beach is in front of the homonymous village, some 51 km south of Agios Nikolaos and some 14 km west of Ierapetra. The beach is rather quiet but well organized. There are a few hotels and rooms to let in the peaceful village. The food in the fish taverns is excellent with always fresh fish. Some 2 km to the west there is a long nudist beach which is ideal for snorkeling. Also nearby are the ruins of an important Early Minoan settlement at Fournou Korfi (3,5 km east), the Middle Minoan farmhouse at the site of "Pyrgos" to the west and the ruins of the Roman baths of Agios Antonios with the interesting mosaic pavements, also to the west. Also interesting is a visit to the mountain village of Males at 600 m altitude (14 km to the north) with its numerous old churches. Some 9 km to the west from there in the village of Selekano is a holm-oak and pine wood of breathtaking natural beauty, offering cool shades on hot summer days.
Facilities: sun beds, umbrellas, water sports
Accessible: from Ierapetra by taxi and from Agios Nikolaos by frequent public bus, by rental or private car and motorbikes.

Xerokampos

Xerokampos
This sandy beach in front of the homonymous coastal settlement is some 103 kilometers southeast of Agios Nikolaos and some 20 kilometers east of the village of Ziro. The beach is not protected from the winds, but really unique on a calm day. Not very organized, the beach offers a few rooms to let and a good fish tavern. You will enjoy the solitude here and in the nearby small coves of Krinaki, Ambelos and Farangi which can be accessed via a dirt track. If you feel like exploring the area you can drive up to the hill of Kefala and see the Minoan peak sanctuary or visit the site of Farmakokefalo with its ruins of a Hellenistic settlement which is very close to the village of Xerokambos. Nature lovers might want to hike down the small gorge starting from the village of Chamaitoulo (12 km to the North) and leading to Xerokambos (a 2-3 hour hike). The village of Ziros (20 km to the West) has Byzantine churches with interesting wall paintings and a traditional local winery. Another longer trip would be to the villages of Chandras and Armeni which are on the plateau. There are the ruins of the Venetian Villa De Mezzo, beautiful fountains and a tower at the site of Voila. The area is the perfect place for lunch; the local food and wine are really superb.
Facilities: few sun beds and umbrellas, taverna
Accessible: from Agios Nikolaos or Sitia by rental or private car and motorbikes.

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