Lassithi is the fourth prefecture of Crete, on the east part of the island, covering an area of 1,818 sq.km. It is filled with long sandy beaches, small isles scattered around the blue waters and green valleys with small villages and warm colours. Due to its all-year round mild climate and excellent beaches this area contains some of the best resorts on the island. Its capital is Agios Nikolaos, however there are also other major towns such as Ierapetra, Sitia and Neapoli, all of which are worth visiting.
Visiting the villages of Lassithi, you will explore the tradition of Crete mixed with the wonderful natural environment. If you are a mountain lover you should visit Lassithi Plateau on the foot of Mount Dicti, famous for its windmills. In the north east of the prefecture lies a sandy beach, named Vai, where you can enjoy a forest lush of palm trees. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the area is Elounda village, where the most luxurious hotels of Greece and many gourmet restaurants are hosted, and the island of Spinalonga, formerly a Venetian fortress and a leper colony that lies to the east of the village of Elounda. Additionally, places such as Vai, Agios Nikolaos and the island of Chrissi are very popular to mass tourism, while more off-beat tourism can be found in villages on the south coast like Myrtos, Makrys Gialos or Makrigialos, Xerokambos and Koutsouras.
Agios Nikolaos Lake:
Agios Nikolaos is the capital of Lasithi and one of the most well-known tourist destinations. Numerous cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops are offered around the town, but the most charming feature of the town is Agios Nikolaos Lake. Surrounded by trees and stunning red rocks, as well as connected to the sea directly through a channel, Agios Nikolaos Lake is extremely popular.
Elounda, situated 11 km north of Agios Nikolaos, is a holiday resort, set on a bay facing Spinaloga Peninsula and has beautiful rocky coastlines. The area really is a combination of several villages which have effectively merged, offering a particularly scenic setting for your holidays. Elounda area possesses a certain relaxed charm and an attractive mix of facilities, old and modern areas and a vibrant square and busy harbour.
The famous islet of Spinaloga is placed to the north-eastern side of Crete, between the town of Elounda and the magical gulf of Mirabello. Nowadays it is one of the most famous tourist attractions. The islet is inhabited and there are no accommodation options. Visitors take only a daily tour (15 minutes far away from Elounda) and stay on Spinalonga just for a few hours.
Sissi is located 26 km north west of Agios Nikolaos. It is a lovely coastal village and one of the best known beach resorts of Crete. Despite its popularity it is still quiet and calm.
Agia Fotia lies 47 km south east of Agios Nikolaos and is a calm tourist resort with nice beaches. The area is surrounded by pine forests, while a small chapel of Agia Fotia is located near the sandy beach.
vai, located 94 km north east of Agios Nikolaos, is a sandy beach surrounded by the only palm forest in Europe. This forest has about 5,000 palm trees and it is a protected area.
Istro is an amazing beach with soft golden sand, well-organized with umbrellas and protected from strong winds, just 3 km away from Agios Nikolaos.
Chrissi island, also called "Golden Island" and located no further than 15 km from the coast of Ierapetra, offers a magical tropical island. Its beautiful beaches and the clear water make it a truly paradise!
Milatos is a small village with traditional Greek lifestyle which is placed 25 km nortwest of Agios NIkolaos. There is a sandy beach with deep blue water.
Palaikastro beach is situated 35 km east of Sitia is one of the most richest archaeologically areas is Crete where you can find marvellous beaches, creating a peaceful place ideal for your leisure moments.