Istro beaches

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Istro(n) is located 12km east of Agios Nikolaos and 22km north of Ierapetra, very close to Kalo Chorio. It is a quiet village, situated in a lush valley full with olive groves and springs, which has been developed during the last decades. However, the development was fortunately mild, mainly due to the regional building restrictions because of the archaeological discoveries. The main growth driver of Istron is undoubtedly the emerald beaches which are scattered in three adjacent bays.

Istro is built on the site of the archaic city Istrona. Ruins of a Minoan city with unknown name have been revealed on the Vrokastro hill, south of Kalo Chorio. During the Venetian Era, the barren plain was turned to a vast olive grove and several water mills were built, ruins of which still exist. Today, locals organize cultural events and the local Folk Museum reminds of their glorious past.

The first beach on the west, 1km west of the village, is the most quiet beach of the area called Karavostasi. It's a great beach with sand, well organized. It is formed in the western part of the largest gulf of Istro and is ideal for relaxing moments. All around there are many tamarisk, carob and olive trees. In the same bay, east of Karavostasi you’ll see a big rock, behind which unfolds the second beach of Saint Panteleimon. Saint Panteleimon gets its name from the homonym picturesque church built on the beach. The beach is sandy and well organized with umbrellas, showers, water sports, etc. It is regarded as a good spot for windsurfing. The second bay of Istron is located 500m east of the village. Here is one of the most beautiful beaches of Greece, which is featured in many card postals of Crete. Voulisma or Golden Beach is a beautiful beach with white sand and amazing turquoise waters. The beach is very well organized, although we would like to see that secluded. The only drawback is that when it is wavy, the streams move rubbish here. Then you can move to the smaller beach in the west part of the bay, which is very well protected from winds and less organized. Another beach is located 1km east of Istron and is well hidden in a steep bay. The beach is called Pilos, but is widely known as Istron Bay, after the homonym hotel that is built on the steep slopes of the Gulf. While it seems as private, there is a path leading to the beach starting from the west of the hotel. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that there are no private beaches in Greece. The beach is sandy and has calm blue waters. It is well organized with umbrellas and pool bars (from the hotel) and there is a small jetty for boats. Between Voulisma and Pilos beach, there is a small peninsula, where you can visit the small pebbly beach of Hartalami Kolimbos, unknown to most people. Lastly, east of Istron bay there is a very small cove with three remote beaches, accessed only on foot via a short path. The beaches are named Vryonisi (or Prasonisi), after the small Vryonisi (or Prasonisi) islet that is formed just opposite the small bay.

Pilos bay

Karavostasi beach, Istron, CreteKaravostasiAgios Panteleimon beach, Istron, CreteAgios PanteleimonVoulisma beach, Istron, CreteVoulismaPilos beach, Istron bay, Istron, CretePilos (Istron bay)Vryonisi beaches, Istron, CreteVryonisiHartalami Kolimbos beach, Istron, CreteHartalami Kolibos

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Saint Panteleimon


Hartalami Kolimbos

Istron Bay (Pilos) beach


If you cannot see the photos, click here to see Istron Bay, Voulisma, Agios Panteleimonas, Karavostasis, Hartalami Kolimbos and Vryonisi beaches.

Istron Bay / Pilos
Agios Panteleimonas

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Symbol Explanation

Water Color

 Turquoise Water Color

 Deep Blue Water Color

 Normal Blue Water Color

 Green-Blue Water Color


Beach Style

 White Sand

 Normal Sand

 Coarse Sand



Wave Style

 Flat Surface

 Small Waves

 Normal Waves

 Large Waves


Water Depth

 Shallow Beach

 Normal Depth

 Deep Water


Crowd Information

 Secluded / Quiet Beach

 Normal Crowds

 Crowded Beach


Water Temperature

 Very Cool





 Accommodation nearby

 Food / Water nearby

 Umbrellas / Sunbeds

 Water Sports



 Blue Flag


 Nudism Friendly Beach

 Palm Trees

 Camping Friendly Beach

 Suggested for Snorkelling

 Natural shade (cave, trees, etc.)

 Sea Turtle nesting



 Public Transport

 Car Access

 Dirt Track

 Access by boat

 Trekking required

 Handicap friendly