The eastern part of Crete hides some of the nicest surprises. The exotic beaches of the islands Chrissi and Lefki can be explored by taking a sea trip on excursion boats from Ierapetra and Makrigialos. The protected palm forest at Vai and Itanos strongly reminds of an African landscape, while the secluded beaches of Karoumes and Xerokambos are a must-see for nature lovers. The dry rocky landscape changes dramatically a few miles to the west, on the serene strands formed below the slopes of Thripti range. The capital of Lassithi, Agios Nikolaos, hosts the lovely beaches of Gargadoros, Istron and Ammoudara.
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West of Mochlos and east of Malavra springs, you’ll see the plaster mines of the area. The site is called Altsi from the Turkish word alçı, which means gypsum, plaster. This region hosts two small beaches, totally unknown to everybody, as it is not accessed due to the mines. Access to the beaches of Altsi is possible via the road leading to the mills that grind the stones (the paved road signed as a dead end before Mochlos).
Approximately 300m to the east, you'll find several small bays with round pebbles, which are secluded. Kolimbakia or Loutres coves, as they are called by locals, are ideal for snorkeling and fishing, as the rocky bottom is home to plenty of fish. After the coves you will meet the beach in front of a local hotel, Stomio beach, which is well organized with umbrellas, showers, beach-volley court, canoes, sailing, windsurfing and diving facilities.
If you walk along the steep shores north of Maridati till Vai palmgrove, you will meet several small coves, totally secluded accessed only by boat or on foot (it takes 2:30 hours to reach Vai).The first beach you meet is called Kokkinos Kavos (Red Cape), named after the reddish soils of the area. The seabed is sandy and pebbly in places.
The easternmost beach you come across a dirt road starting from Agios Antonios and heading 1km to the east, to Cape Kenti and close to the wind turbines of Aforesmenos Cape, is called Avlaki. Adjacent to Avlaki, there is the pebbled beach of Xepapadia, which is the only beach around the Mirabello that has purely east orientation and is not usually wavy. Next to Xepapadia there is the scenic chapel of St. Dionysius.
The history of Spinalonga is well known to most of us, but what is really unknown is that there is a beautiful beach to enjoy a cooling bath, on the southwest part of the island. The visitor can relax below the several tamarisk trees on the beach and swim with the amazing backdrop of the fortress and the views to the opposite peninsula of Kolokitha.
On the island there are several small beaches, the largest of which is located north of the site is sandy. Just below the ancient settlement (to the south) there is a small bay with two small beautiful pebble beaches. All beaches of Pseira are located on the south side of the island thus they are protected from ordinary north winds.
At the southwest edge of Mikronissi islet with the lighthouse of Agii Pantes, opposite Agios Nikolaos city, just at the point where there is a small pier for the boats, we meet the beach of the island. The beach is located in an ancient carvied bay and there is access through a stone staircase.
Bonda beach (or Grias Pidima) is located 49km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 14km east of Ierapetra, in the territory of the village Schinokapsala, between the seaside settlements of Agios Panteleimonas and Ahlia. Just below the main road connecting Ierapetra to Makrygialos, you will meet this small beach with rocks in places, totally secluded and ideal for isolation, compared to other beaches of the area. The is accessed through a small plateau near the main road.