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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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.
Next to the port of Agios Nikolaos you’ll find the tiny pebble beach of Akti Themistokleous street, next to the sculpture of Nikos Koundouros named "The Rape of Europe".
Shortly after the suburb Peristeras of Ierapetra starts the area of Katharades. This is a series of small beaches just before the famous shores of the village Koutsounari. This is a rugged place with strong winds, ranked among the 2-3 places with strongest wind blasts on Crete.
The bay of Chomatistra is located 24km north of Agios Nikolaos and 9km north of Plaka, near the village Vrouchas and the Cape of Agios Ioannis - Aforesmenos. The wild landscape of the area is characterized by bare mountains, steep cliffs and strong winds.
Along the peninsula Kavo Sidero (starting from Analoukas), there are several small secluded beaches. One of them is Mavros Kavos (or Hohlakia) which is accessed by dirt road. It is generally wavy and you will almost be alone.
Agios Antonios (Saint Anthony) is located 30km northwest of Agios Nikolaos, in the well hidden and unexplored northern shores of Mirabello area, 3km north of the village Selles. The area has several small beaches where you can go by driving north from the village Selles mainly in a passable dirt road. In the region you will not find anything else, but some cottages and farms.
2km north of Agios Nikolaos you will meet the historic Hotel Mirabello. In front of the hotel there are the two bays of Mirabello with two beautiful sandy beaches. The first beach is protected by docks and a small marina. Both of them are very well-organized, with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and bar. They are separated by a short artificial peninsula with tamarisk trees.
Agia Fotia is located 7km east of Sitia and 76km east of Agios Nikolaos, on the road to Vai. It takes its name after the church of Agia Fotini. In front of the village of the region stretches a long beach with rocks and sand that has attracted several hotels recently. The secluded beaches of Agia Fotia is prone to north winds and you’ll rarely find it peaceful.