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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Psili Ammos is located near the famous palmforest of Vai, 95km east of Agios Nikolaos and 25km east of Sitia. It can be accessed via a short footpath that starts in Vai and circles the hill on the east end of Vai. Walking does not exceed 5 minutes and the beach is definitely worth visiting.
Lagada is located 29km east of Ierapetra and 62km southeast of Agios Nikolaos, near Makrigialos (6km). It is situated in a large fertile valley with many olive groves, which is surrounded by the tall mountains of Makrigialos. During the last years, some hotels and rooms to let have been built, but the beach still retains its remoteness.
Ammoudi is located 66km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 29km east of Ierapetra, just next to the road connecting Makrigialos and Goudouras. It's main beach is also called Dragon's Cave, due to a large cave 500m north of the beach and the homonym tavern next to it. There are 2 more secluded coves west of Dragon's Cave beach, both accessed on foot or dirt track.
East of the beach of Richtis, you can see the rough and steep mount of Liopetro, which housed the fort of Liopetro (at the site of current Prophet Elijah chapel). Below Liopetro there is the very old church of St. John, accessible through a very bad road starting from the main road connecting Lassithi to Sitia (initially cement road).
Vatos is located 18km west of Ierapetra and 3km east of Myrtos. It is a small settlement that can accessed through the asphalted road from Mirtos. The locals work with banana and vegetable crops in the greenhouses of the area. The village is situated at the exit of a fertile valley, which begins northern, at village Gdohia.
Richtis is located around 20km west of Sitia and 45 east of Agios Nikolaos, in the exit of the homonym Gorge of Richtis that starts from the village Exo Mouliana. In order to reach the beach you can follow the paved road starting from Exo Mouliana. Alternatively, you can trek in the lush gorge.
Dreros beach is shaped inside a hotel at Tsifliki area, 13km north of Agios Nikolaos, near the road that connects Elounda to the picturesque village of Plaka. It is shaped in a region surrounded by many olive groves and has wonderful views of the lagoon of Korfos (mainly known as Elounda lagoon) and the former leper colony, the fort of Spinalonga.
Saint Isidore is located at the northeasternmost tip of Crete, 32km east of Sitia and 99km east of Agios Nikolaos. It is situated at the northernmost point of Cape Sidero, near the Military Naval Station in Kyriamadi. The surrounding area is characterized by a unique landscape of wild beauty, which was shaped by the effect of salt and winds.