East Crete beaches

Pahia Ammos


Pahia Ammos beach, Ierapetra
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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.

In front of Pahia Ammos and 500m to the east, stretches a long beach with sand and pebbles, which is open to the north winds. The sea is usually wavy, but you can stay safe at the west part of the beach, which is well protected by a pier. This part is sandy and clean, well organized with umbrellas and sunbeds.

If you seek peace, you can stay remote in the eastern part of the beach, but it is unprotected from the waves. Moreover, at this point currents carry garbage, mainly because Pahia Ammos is located in southern part of the Gulf of Mirabello. There are several tamarisk trees and the beach is pebbly. At the east end of the beach flows the stream that carries water from the impressive Gorge of Ha (in winter).


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!

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture, East Crete, North Crete, Ierapetra area
  • Sea water color: Blue
  • Sand type: Sand, Pebbles
  • Depth: Normal
  • Sea surface: Usually wavy
  • Crowds: Quiet
  • Facilities: Accommodation options nearby, Food / water nearby, Sports
  • Accessibility: Bus services, Paved road

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