Mirabelo beaches



Vryonissi beach at Kalo Chorio
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Just before reaching the area of Gournia, east of Istro, we come across the closed bay with the islet of Vryonisi or Prasonisi. There are three tiny beaches in the bay, two of which are accessible by footpath. The path starts from the main road and descends steeply between impressive junipers. It follows the course that the rains have carved in the soft rock, through which large pieces of white marble emerge, and ends at the first beach.

What is striking as soon as we arrive at the beach is the large amounts of garbage brought by the sea currents. Unfortunately, the entire coastline from Istron to Pachia Ammos is burdened by the garbage that ends up from all over the Aegean. However, if one can ignore the garbage, one will see a very beautiful landscape with impressive rock formations, the islet of Vryonisi in the background, and junipers on the cliffs.

From the first beach, we follow the path to the west that passes by huge pieces of white marble and we reach the second beach. Here the garbage is less and the colorful pebbles and stone formations are impressive. The third beach is nearby and can only be reached by swimming. The bottom is generally rocky, with impressive rock formations, just like out of the water.

The islet of Vryonisi can be reached by swimming, as it is not far from the coast, but you have to be careful of the sea currents. Access to the island, where there are traces of fortifications from various historical periods, is possible from a few points, as the rocks are quite steep.

The sheltered bay of Vryonissi was used as a port from the Preminoan times until the 2nd century AD, probably to serve the area of Vrokastro and ancient Istron, when the lagoon of Istro was shallow. Quantities of pottery have been found as well as a rare type of quartz used in trading.

On the south side of the island, on a smooth vertical rock, the words ΕΥΘΥΤΙΜΟΣ ΧΡΥΣΙΠΠΟΣ ΝΙΚΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΕΥΠΛΟΥΣ (EFTHYTIMOS CHRYSIPPOS NIKANDROS EUPLOUS) and an engraving reminiscent of a dolphin can be seen, dating back to the 2nd century AD. The first three words are names of local fishermen of the era. The last word is the adjective euplοus (meaning good trip) indicating that the sailor has completed a good voyage and is thanking the gods. There is a testimony that next to these names there was a lion's head, which was removed.

Ξενοδοχεία στο Ίστρον

Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture, East Crete, North Crete, Agios Nikolaos area (Mirabelo)
  • Sea water color: Blue
  • Sand type: Pebbles, Rocks in places
  • Depth: Normal
  • Sea surface: Usually calm
  • Crowds: Quiet
  • Other Information: Nudism friendly, Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing, Rock shade
  • Accessibility: Walking
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