Makris Gialos

What to Do

Makri Gialos is 35 km far from Sitia and 29 from Ierapetra. 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. From the port, there is a boat which leaves each morning for the beautiful island of Koufonisi, returning late afternoon. Makri Gialos has a very good suply of shops, tavernas and watersport facilities and attracts visitors of all ages. From Makri Gialos you can visit also Monastery of Kapsa.


Where to go

Beaches and sights arround Kamara apartments and Makrigialos

sights arround Kamara apartments


Palm Beach Vai

Vai is located 94km east of Agios Nikolaos and 24km east of Sitia, on the eastern coast of Crete. It is the most famous beach in eastern Crete, as its main feature is the large palm grove with the Cretan Date Palm (Phoenix theophrasti). Its name derives from the word vai, meaning palm in Greek. The palm grove is the largest in Europe with approximately 5000 trees, while there are smaller colonies in other parts of Crete and in Southwest Turkey. According to the legend, the trees have grown from discarded date stones thrown into the sea by Saracen pirates. However, the palm grove is 2000 years old and the pirates are more recent. Thus this hypothesis has changed and the Saracens have been replaced with Phoenicians, that governed the Mediterranean Sea 20 centuries ago.


Sitia Town

One of the least "touristy" parts of Crete, Sitia as a town, was built up in Venetian times, destroyed and later rebuilt by the Turks, with just a few signs of this history remaining. The region however, still provides numerous clues and monuments to the area's early history. Today, its long sandy beach (equipped by this caring town with showers) offers the pleasures of sand, sea, swimming and all the windsurfing opportunities in the world. Sitia is very much a living town, which happens to have tourism, rather than the other way around. Sitia has the most cheerful and friendly Cretans you could hope to meet, people who love their town and keep it clean and tidy, not so much to attract tourists but more because they themselves take pleasure in it and are proud of it. The uncrowded region of Sitia is home to monasteries (notably Toplou), archaeological sites, palm-forested beaches, sparkling bays and fascinating treks across the mountains.


Pefki Gorge

This is one of the most magnificent small gorges of Crete, with impressive rock formations and rich vegetation. It begins south of Pefki village and ends up a little to the north of the location of Aspros Potamos, at Makris Gialos. There is a very well landscaped footpath which follows the watercourse for almost its entire length. It is approximately 2 kilometres long in total and the elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet is about 300 metres.


Orino Gorge

This is an interesting gorge which begins at Orino village and ends up at the area of Koutsouras. Despite the catastrophic fires suffered by the forest in Orino area,the gorge remains one of the most beautiful ecosystems of the region, being thick with vegetation. The walk through the gorge is fairly easy and relatively effortless. It is approximately 3,5 kilometres long in total and the elevation difference between the entrance and the outlet is 500 metres. The gorge is also known as “Gorge of the red butterflies”, due to the many red butterflies that live there. Unfortunately, their number has decreased significantly in the past few years, due to forest fires.


Kapsa Monastery

The Kapsa Monastery, offers stunning sea views. The monastery itself, which is dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos, is a relatively modern one (19th century) though no one can say with certainty whether it is in fact built on the site of an older monastery or, indeed, which monastery that might be. The Kapsa Monastery is also closely associated with Ioannis Vintsenzos or Gerondoyiannis, from the area of Lithines, who settled here in 1841 and gained something of a reputation in the area despite his differences with the Ottoman authorities and the Orthodox Church. This is why he is celebrated as a saint, while his reliquary rests in the monastery’s church.


Koufonissi Island

Koufonissi is a small island in the Libyan Sea, 3.5 miles south of Cape Goudouras and 10 miles southeast of Makrigialos. The island is roughly six kilometres long and 5.5 kilometres across. The remote and unknown to most people Koufonissi (Sitia area) has 36 different beaches, some of which would easily be ranked among the best on earth. Visitors can admire the beauty of white rocks next to the blue of the Libyan Sea and enjoy the tranquility of nature in turquoise waters. Indeed Princess Diana and Prince Charles spent some days enjoying her baths in Koufonissi. More about Koufonissi Cuise