LASSITHI - BEACHES
Lassithi beaches are magnificent, with crystal water and a relaxing atmosphere. Most organized beaches in Lassithi are found on the northern coasts, while the southern side remains more secluded.
The beautiful Vai beach, known as Palm Forest, is located 16 miles east of Sitia and 58 miles east of Agios Nikolaos. It is the only indigenous wild date palm grove of Greece, extending over an area of 155 square miles and consists of 5,000 palm trees which make it the largest known palm tree forest throughout Europe. This forest was first mentioned during the Classical period and its existence is attributed to Phoenician merchants who threw away the seeds of the dates they were eating. In front of this unique forest, miles of pure and soft golden sand extend, surrounded by an azure sea. The main entrance to the beach is open from sunrise to sunset to avoid fires and camping is prohibited. Snack bars and coffee places can be found on the beach. This tropical setting attracts thousands of visitors and can be quite crowded during high season.
Ammoudara is a long beach situated 3 miles south of Agios Nikolaos, on the road to Ierapetra. It is actually a beautiful crystalline bay and is rarely affected by the strong summer winds, known as meltemia. Ammoudara beach is amongst the most crowded beaches in Lassithi because it is well-organized with sun beds, umbrellas, seaside accommodation options and delicious taverns. It is a fine choice for swimming and sunbathing. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area and can thus become really crowded.
Havania is the closest beach to Agios Nikolaos. It consists of sand and crystalline waters. Havania is an excellent choice for all ages given the fact that it offers a wide range of facilities and water sports equipmentas well as food and drink, nightlife and amusement, shopping and sightseeing.
In the coastal road south of Agios Nikolaos there are five to six beaches with blue waters, from Agios Nikolaos to Mohlos. One of them is Istros which is found 8 miles south of Agios Nikolaos on the road towards Ierapetra. The crystal clear blue waters and the white sand are two of the main characteristics that have made this beach so popular. It is surrounded by green slopes covered with vast vegetation creating a magical landscape and a lovely color antithesis in the canvass of nature. There are various facilities such as sundecks and umbrellas, as cantinas for food and drink and many taverns that specialize in the Cretan cuisine and the fresh seafood. Istro beach is quiet and ideal for relaxation.
The long and sandy beach of Almiros is located 1 mile south of Agios Nikolaos and is considered one of the best in the area. Due to its close proximity to the capital and the beautiful crystalline waters, Almiros is quite popular in the summer. It is inside a cove and well protected from winds. Due to its proximity to the town, its shallow waters, the sand and available facilities, it is ideal for families.
The beach of Agios Nikolaos is the closest beach to the town, fully organized with many water sports centers for all ages. It can be accessed within a short walking distance from the center. It is well protected from winds. Although pebbly, the beach is popular due to its facilities and the proximity to the capital.