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.
#BeachAttributesOur rating1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
#BeachAttributesOur rating21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
#BeachAttributesOur rating41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
#BeachAttributesOur rating61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
#BeachAttributesOur rating81 82 83 84 85 86
The beach has fine pebbles and calm clear waters, while around you can find a lot of shade under tamarisk trees. There are no umbrellas there, but hotels and restaurants are within walking distance. Kakia Skala is located 46km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 9km east of Ierapetra. It's a pretty beach, not developed at all, although it is adjacent to the main road connecting Ierapetra with Makrigialos.
The first beach you meet is called Kalami and is named after the reeds (kalami in greek) that are next to it. It is a nice pebbly beach, perfect for seclusion with a spring with fresh water on the beach! There are no tall trees on the beach, but there is a big cave offering natural shade to its visitors, all day round.
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.
It is a small and secluded pebbly beach within a rocky bay. It is totally unorganized without any facilities. There is a nice cave in the sea, however the sea streams gather a lot of rubbish at the wider area. The next beach you'll meet is the beach with the abandoned camping site of Gournia. It is very secluded, but rubbish is very often due to the currents.
In the southeastern part of the magic island is formed Chiliaderfia Bay with 4 beaches and 2-3 islets colored by the characteristic white color of the rocks of the area, which in ancient times gave the island its name Lefki (i.e. white). All beaches have shallow water, as clear as anywhere in Crete, and fine golden sand.
The last beach north of Agios Nikolaos, on the way to Elounda, is the beach of Katsikia (i.e. goats). The area is named after the many goat pens in the past. Similarly, Agios Nikolaos town was called Mantraki that means goat pen. Katsikia host a nice sandy beach with stones in a places, well hidden in front of the hotel Candia Park. To get there you should walk either across the hotel or around it.
Here are some sandy bays away from prying eyes, while generally the rocky bottom is maybe the richest in the island, attracting many fishermen from all over Crete. It generally very windy and you will almost always see windsurfers. The west bay is called Tenda and is open to west winds and wavy, while the east is called Eligas and sea surface is usually flat.
Ammoudares is located 8km west of Ierapetra and 45km south of Agios Nikolaos. It close to the settlement of Nea Anatoli and Stomio, which all share actually the same beachfront. Ammoudares beachfront consists of sequential long beaches with coarse gray sand. All beaches are unorganized and secluded. They are not popular, mainly because the area is surrounded by thousands of greenhouses. The locals avoid swimming in the area due to pesticides and drugs, but still the water is clean.