Prefecture of Lasithi Favorites
Ayios Nikolaos lagoon
Ayios Nikolaos lagoon
An exotic beach, compared to Simos in...
The lake is deep
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Ierapetra is the southern european town, the biggest of the prefecture of Lasithi. There are many forcing houses in the region, the climate is ideal... This is Kales castle (13th century). Don't forget to go to Chrysi island from the port of the town. A long beach is east of it, which had a glorious fame in the past and hopefully the same will happen in the future...
It is a favorite place of me, as the beach is long enough and, in fact, unknown! If you want to go there by Zakros, you need a good car... It looks like a deserted place, there are ancient dorps and just a few houses (about 100 km SE of Agios Nikolaos).
It is one of the best and richiest in Crete (15th c.). It houses a very good museum, where you can also see mortal remains. In the past there were schools inside the monastery. You can also admire a great icon -1770- which was made by Ioannis Kornaros ("Great you are, my Lord"). At the entrance there is a traditional mill and nearby a windmill farm.
Diktaion Andron, homeland of Zeus...
At the same plateau, don't miss the cave near the village Psihro (1025 m). According to the greek mythology, Zeus was born here and then he was transferred to another cave (Idaion Andron on Psiloreitis, where the goat Amaltheia gaved suck to him). It is also said that the sexual intercourse of Zeus and Europe happened there... Some ancient items which were found inside the cave are housed inside the Archaeological Museum of Irakleio.
Around Vai, there are wonderful beaches, like this one. Near it, you can have a walk at the ancient doric town of Itanos, at a large place. More south, there is an important archaeological site, Zakros, with a minoan palace (1700 BC).
This palm forest, the only one in Europe, is in Vai, 94 km NE of Agios Nikolaos. There are 5.000 palm trees, which are well protected (staying there overnight is forbidden). According to the tradition, the trees grew up by the cores of vate-palms which Phoenicians dealers were throwing away...The beach is magical, you can even go in scuba diving. On the right -as you see the sea- there is another beach for nuddists.
It is the capital of this prefecture, a town with 10.000 inhabitants. Agios Nikolaos is the most cosmopolitan town of Crete, located around the Gulf of Mirabello. The lake you see is 64 m deep and is connected with the sea by a canal 60 m long (it was opened in the 19th century). A bridge connects the 2 parts of the town.
You can go to this uninhabitable small island by boat from Elounda or Plaka (which is the best way). Spinalonga is famous for its venetian fortress (1584) and being a place for leprouses since 1903, who were exiled there.
This is a quiet and... cosmopolitan at the same time village, where you can have really a luxurious resort. Andreas Papandreou (1919-1996), a former Greek prime minister, used to have his holidays at "Elounda Beach", one of the best hotels in the world.Elounda is located in the place of ancient Olounda, by bridge -where there are stone mills- you can go to a nearby island. Near it, is Spinalonga (see the next tip).
There were 10.000 windmills in the past, now only a few of them can be seen. It is one of the most fertile lands of Greece, you can visit some villages around it (the biggest is Germiado). The plateau is situated 50 km west of the capital, Agios Nikolaos - but it is not the biggest town of the prefecture.
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