Pahia Ammos is located 20km east of Agios Nikolaos, on the road connecting Agios Nikolaos with Sitia and Ierapetra. It is a large village, built on the north side of the narrowest part of Crete, at the exit of a fertile plain covered with olive groves. The local beach and the sights of the surrounding area have contributed to the mild development of the village. In the village, you will find small hotels, rooms and taverns.
Pahia Ammos is located on the site of the ancient city Minoa, which was an old harbor. Here is established the Institute for the Study of Prehistoric Aegean of East Crete, that conducts systematic excavations in the area and deals with the promotion and protection of antiquities. The most famous archaeological site in the region is the Minoan cemetery and the settlement of Gournia, 2km west of the village. Here, skeletons were found in jars and sarcophagi. The city flourished in the 1600BC and was built on a small hill. Gournia are located 2km east of Faneromeni Monastery, one of the most impressive monasteries in Crete built in a steep cliff.
4km south of the village, you can visit the Minoan settlement Vasiliki which flourished in 2600-2300 BC. Vasiliki is considered the precursor of the major Minoan palaces and towns. From Vasiliki you can drive 2km to the east, to the village of Monastiraki, with the old watermills and the church of St. Stephen. Nearby is the exit of the imposing gorge of Ha, which causes awe from miles away.
Opposite Pahia Ammos you’ll see the small island Konida (i.e. nit, egg of louse), which can be reached by boat. It is interesting to see how the place name has emerged; a few miles to the east (opposite Tholos) you’ll meet the very important island Psira (i.e. louse), while opposite Mochlos you’ll see the islet of Agios Nikolaos, also called Psilos (flea). All bugs together!
In front of the touristic settlement, there is a nice sandy beach with turquoise waters. The sea surface is mainly flat because the beach has an easterly orientation. while winds in Crete come mainly from the west. The beach is organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, and water sports.
One dominant feature of the area of Ierapetra, in front of the beautiful village and the minoan settlement of Vassiliki is the Gorge Ha. It is considered one of the wildest gorges in Crete, a rare morphological phenomenon of nature, probably caused by tectonic earthquake.
The archaeological site of Gournia is located on a hill west of Pachia Ammos, near the road connecting Agios Nikolaos to Ierapetra, 19km east of Agios Nikolaos. The city flourished in the Minoan period and is the most complete excavated Minoan town in Crete. Because of its good conservation, it was named as the "Pompeii of Crete". The excavation of Gournia was implemented by an American Archaeology Group, headed by Harriet Boyd, in 1901-1904.
Pahia Ammos is located 20km east of Agios Nikolaos, on the road connecting Agios Nikolaos with Sitia and Ierapetra. It is a large village, built on the north side of the narrowest part of Crete, at the exit of a fertile plain with olive groves. The local beach and the sights of the surrounding area have contributed to the mild development of the village. In the village you will find small hotels, rooms and taverns.
The Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni (i.e. Revealed Holy Mary) or Virgin Mary of Gournia is located northwest of Pachia Ammos, 24km south of Agios Nikolaos. It is a male monastery built on a steep slope at an altitude of 540 meters with stunning sea views. The monastery church is built inside a cave.
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.
Psira is a small uninhabited islet located 1 mile north of Tholos beach, situated at the northeastern edge of the Gulf of Mirabello. In Psira a Minoan settlement of 15-20 acres has been found, being one of the most important sites in Crete.
Kamini is an area with 5 pebble beaches in a series close to the famous Minoan settlement Gournia by Pahia Ammos. The area is located north of the site and was the access point of Gournia people to the sea. Therefore we still meet Minoan buildings in the area with the most important almost on the sea level.