Koutsounari is a small sea side village located 6km east of Ierapetra and 43km southeast of Agios Nikolaos, near the picturesque village Agios Ioannis at Thripti Range. It is situated in a lush green hill with many olive groves and pine trees around, just 1km north of the coasts of the South Cretan Sea.
1km south of the village stretches the Long Beach of Agios Ioannis that has a length of 5km, being one of the longest in Crete. This wide quiet beach has the characteristic wonderful coarse grayish sand of southern Crete. In many places there are several tamarisk trees and its great length makes it seem empty. The beach is slightly organized in places (near hotels) and all around there are many hotels, restaurants, mini markets and a camping site.
If you walk to the east, it is likely that you will find a very few swimmers. A bay, called Psaropoula (after an old local tavern), is formed in the eastern part of the Long Beach. Psaropoula has soft sand and calm waters. It’s located in front of a hotel, thus it is well organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and water sports. The sea here is usually calm and the rocky bottom makes it appropriate for snorkeling.
Just after Psaropoula, there is a second small cove with a very well organized beach with umbrellas, showers and water sports. This is located in front of the hotel Kakkos Bay and is called Villa Despoti. The name means “Priest’s Villa” in greek and is taken after a building, owned by a priest, which is situated between the two beaches. On the sides of the beach, there are big rocks, from where you can jump into the sea.
If you come to the Long Beach in the autumn, you will see the rare white lilies of sand, which mark the end of the summer. The lilies are protected, so please admire them from afar, without touching or cutting them.