Makrigialos is located 58km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 23km east of Ierapetra. It is a small town, located near the exit of the lush canyon Pefki. Being initially a humble harbor with no roads in the ‘50s, Makrigialos has faced strong growth and has become the largest tourist destination in the region of southeast Crete. It actually consists of two settlements, Makrigialos and Analipsi, which are now united. In the village, you can find large and small hotels, taverns, restaurants, bars and cafes, supermarkets, bakeries, ATMs, doctors,s and pharmacies.
The main growth driver of Makrigialos is the beautiful beaches of the village and the surrounding area, the calm shallow sea, and the magnificent mountainous scenery of the Thripti Range that rises north of the village.
The main beach of the village lies in front of Analipsi and is 1km long. It is known as Makrigialos, but you might hear locals call it Hani or simply Long Beach. It is a well-organized narrow beach with fine golden sand, surrounded by numerous cafes and restaurants. Here you will find umbrellas, water sports, showers, and big tamarisk trees. The water is very shallow and calm, while the temperature is high up even in the winter. Thus, the beach of Analipsi is very suitable for children and for families.
West of the village, behind the port, there is the unknown beach of Kalamokanias, with its wonderful coarse sand. North of the port, in Katovigli, there is a small sandy beach, which is actually the extension of Makrigialos Beach. The beach Katovigli (or Limanaki) is well organized with free umbrellas and several facilities around. Trademark of the area is the ruins of the Roman villa of the 2nd century AD, with baths and mosaics, which are unique in eastern Crete. Instead, on the other side of the village there are the two bays of Lagoufa, next to two large hotels.
It is worth staying in Makrigialos and using it as a base for exploring the beauty of the wider area. Apart from the beautiful beaches stretching from Ferma to Goudouras, it is worth visiting the surrounding villages, walking in the canyon of Pefki, or in the lush Orino Gorge.
In Makrigialos town you can visit the local churches, the Roman Villa in Katovigli, and the Minoan villa at Plakakia (1500-1450BC), which followed the architecture of Minoan palaces. The nightlife is not intense here, but there are a few bars offering drinks on the beach. You can also walk to the harbor of Makrigialos and see the picturesque boats and the fishermen.