Far from the cities, close to the heaven
The Prefecture of Lassithi covers the Eastern part of Crete; the coast line 400 kilometers approximately. It is washed by the Cretan Sea at the North, by the Carpathian Sea at the East and by the Libyan sea at the South, whereas at the West it borders the Heraklion prefecture. Aghios Nkolaos is the capital city of the prefecture, but there are two more cities of similar population in the prefecture: Ierapetra and Sitia.
The coastal partition is deep, with several bays and small coves, capes and peninsulas. The western part of the inland is covered by the Mount Dikti, the place where, according to Mythology, had Zeus was born, the king of gods. No considerable rivers are found in the prefecture’s territory, only several small torrents.
It has a Mediterranean climate, very favorable for cultivation. Vineyards, olive trees, industrial and cattle breeding plants, citrus trees and wheat are the main agricultural products cultivated in the area. People are also occupied with fishing and cattle breeding, whereas the recent decades a good deal of the income comes from tourism.
As it occurs with the rest of Crete, visiting the villages of the inland is a fascinating experience. Both the natural environment and the character of all these villages make the visitor conceive the kind of beauty they have. Many of them are not affected by tourism, they maintain their traditional features in what concerns the architecture, and their residents proudly maintain a traditional way of life, full of consistence, insistence and dignity.
Extended areas of the inland are dedicated to agriculture and the visitor will come across extended enough fields with vegetables, olive trees plantation and vineyards. Vegetables are also cultivated during winter in greenhouses situated all around at the plain. However, as the mountains are not absent, there are magnificent places there too; small gorges, caves, narrow roads leading to intact, remote, traditional villages. The territory of the prefecture is crossed, from Southwest to Northeast, by the last part of the European path E4, which passes through the whole of Europe and Greece and ends up at Crete; in the island the path starts from Kissamos (Kastelli) and ends up at Sitia in the Eastern part.
Lassithi has many amazing beaches along its coastline. Most of the beaches are sandy, some of them well protected from the winds as they are found within small, protected coves. Swimming starts earlier in the South, where the weather is a bit warmer than in the North. The most famous beaches are in the areas of Elounda, Vai, Makrygialos and Ierapetra.