East Crete is the area located Eastern of Heraklion and reaches until Palekastro in Sitia. It consist of several areas that have attract a lot of travellers and the most important are:
Gouves is a large area located 18 km east of Heraklion City. By meaning something like “a hollow in the earth” this area covers several smaller villages, like the resort area of Kato Gouves (lower Gouves) and the traditional settlement of Pano Gouves (upper Gouves).
This lovely region features a great selection of beaches, and a variety of accommodations. It is an ideal area for holidays and the visitors can find restaurants with tasty traditional food, beautiful cafeterias in the beach side road, markets with traditional products and souvenirs.
You will be surprised by the beautiful and fully organized sandy beaches of this area. For those who prefer more privacy you can visit the rocky beaches. Don’t forget to visit“Skotino Cave“ (6.5 km distance from the area) which is a It is a historical cave that has been worshiped since the Minoan period until the Eastern Roman era.
Hersonissos, officially named as Limenas Hersonissou (Port of Hersonissos) is a small beach town located 28km east of Heraklion city on the north coast of Crete. In the daytime you can enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, drink your coffee at the main road or the glossy waterfront, stroll around town and visit the local archaeological sites. After the sunset, there are plenty of options for entertainment, as the coastal road is full of nightclubs, pubs and restaurants.
In this small, and full of life, town, the visitor can find many 5-star hotels that can offer friendly and hospitable services with indoor and outdoor facilities. Although Hersonissos is well known for attracting younger visitors, there are plenty of things that can be enjoyed by groups of friends, couples, and families alike.
Most popular aatraction is Creta Aquarium There guests have the chance to get up close and personal with species of marine life caught in the Mediterranean Sea. Another great proposal is the trip to Lychnostatis open air Museum. There you can experience the traditional Cretan folk history and watch performances of authentic traditional Greek dance.
The well known picturesque village of Elounda in lovely Mirabello Bay was once a fishing village but today is an ideal destination for people who want a seaside holiday in a place which is neither too busy nor too isolated, having an amazing view, a spectacular coastline, shaded beaches, crystal clear seas and great history and archaeological interest.
In Elounda you will find many 5 star hotels and luxury villas, amazing organized or private beaches and the island of Spinalonga always in your view. You will walk along and swim at the peninsula of Kolokitha (the word means “pumpkin”), and explore the many little villages (Mavrikiano, Plaka, Skisma, Epano Elounda) far from the sea, offering a window into times gone by.
Elounda is for those looking for quality services in their accommodation but also outside in restaurants and bars and especially for those who prefer the isolate small beaches of Eastern Crete.
Agios Nikolaos is a medium-size town with a small-town feel, one that has lots to offer. You can walk and enjoy walking here, you have several distinct waterfronts – you can get to know it quickly and feel familiar with the place, like an old friend.
The town has three faces to the sea: The Lake and port, Kitroplatia beach and the Marina. Its unique features, start with the lake (“Voulismeni”), a folklore-inspiringly deep body of water which is connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. It is surrounded and overlooked by cafes and restaurants – a busy gathering place for local residents and visitors alike.
As the lake joins the sea with a strip of water under the tiny road bridge and becomes one with it, the microscopic island of Agii Pandes (All Saints) is in view – adding another facet to the three sides of the town. Ferries come and go from the open port area just beyond.
Istron - Kalo Chorio
Kalo Horio literally means “good village” and we’d have to agree with that! Kalo Horio also spelt as Kalo Chorio is a traditional Cretan village just above the area named Istro on the Gulf of Mirabello on the Greek Island of Crete.
Close to Agios Nikolaos in east Crete, Istron Kalo Horio is a very picturesque area. The area of Istro gets the most visitors rather than Kalo Horio itself. This is because Istro is on the coast and has far more holiday accommodation to offer visitors to this area.
Ierapetra is the southernmost town of Europe. Located south and east of Crete is the only urban center in the whole southern part of the island. Ierapetra and its wider area, famous for its beaches which unfold along a large coastal front, has the highest average of sunny days and the highest temperatures in Crete.
A stroll inside the old town (kato mera)is recommended where you can visit the Ottoman mosque – built in the 19th century, the Venetian Kales Fortress – built in the 13th century, the Church of Afentis Christos – built on the 14th century overlooking the harbor.
In the newest part of the town guests can visit the Ottoman School built in 1899 that is now home to the town’s Archaeological Collection.
Visitors can go for shopping in the main pedestrian street of the town and also do not lose the chance to walk, have a coffee, taste traditional tasty food on the beautiful and glossy waterfront of Ierapetra overlooking the magnificent blue southern Cretan Sea.
Myrtos is located 13km west of Ierapetra, at the output of a wide valley filled with greenhouses and citrus groves, crossed by the River Kryos that flows through the imposing Sarakina Gorge. It is a small seaside village, which has experienced a mild form of development in recent years, which fortunately has not altered its traditional style.
The nice beaches of Myrtos, with the coarse gray sand that doesn’t stick on the body, have gained fans from all over the world. Myrtos has several small hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants, super markets, a gas station, a clinic, etc.
The beach in front of the village extends to a long distance and is among the finest in southern Crete, which is particularly preferred for quiet family vacations. The area is not affected by strong winds and locals say that Myrtos is the place where wind never blasts.
The beach is well organized with lifeguard, umbrellas, showers, changing rooms, cafes, restaurants, water sports and beach volley. If you head west, the width of the beach grows and it becomes more peaceful.
The name Makri Gialos means “long beach”, which indeed it is the long sandy beach with crystal clear, shallow waters, is perfect for children and non-swimmers, and further out for more experienced swimmers. The beach is lined with a good variety of tavernas to suit all tastes, the fishing port being the most picturesque part of the village.
The main beach of the village lies in front of Analipsi and is 1km long. It is known as Makrigialos, but you might hear locals call it Hani or simply Long Beach. It is a well organized narrow beach with fine golden sand, surrounded by numerous cafes and restaurants. Here you will find umbrellas, water sports, showers and big tamarisk trees. The water is very shallow and calm, while the temperature is high up even in the winter. Thus, the beach of Analipsi is very suitable for children and for families.
Sitia is the easternmost city on Crete near the Cape Sidero, 64km from Agios Nikolaos. It is a city with about 10,000 residents, built on the west side of the bay of Sitia, on a warm and dry area.
The beach of Sitia is located east of the city and extends from the port to the area Karavopetra on the east (about 2km up to Tripitos area) . Sitia beach is mainly sandy and has small pebbles in some places, while the water is shallow.
It has a beautiful view to the harbour and all the boats as well as the city of Sitia. There are many cafes, restaurants, free umbrellas and sunbeds. The water is clean and not very deep, very convenient for families with children. Toilets and shower also available as well as water sports.
The village of Palekastro is situated in the most eastern corner of the island. This unsophisticated, rural, Cretan village of 1300 inhabitants, has been relatively unaffected by the inroads of tourism despite its superb nearby beaches, where you can enjoy water sports and swimming.
The traditional factor is blended in harmony with the modern, offering to the visitor the convenience of the present time, as well as the jauntiness of the past. The village is valued for the archaeologists, because of its rich archaeological sites. There is a folklore museum, too.
There are a lot of taverns and restaurants, where traditional meals are served. You can also find fresh fish in some of them. Don’t miss it! You can enjoy your coffee or your ice-cream in one of the cafes in the square. For the lovers of night life, there are a couple of bars and one disco.