At the eastern end of Crete, with the Cretan, Carpathian and Libyan seas embracing its coastlines and Mt Dikti rising imperiously over all it surveys, the prefecture of Lasithi initiates you into its abundant and fertile secrets! Internationally known for Agios Nikolaos, Sitia, Ierapetra and Elounda, which have all won the hearts of the travelling public, Lasithi- as I experienced when I visited bluegr hotels & resorts – boasts a rich history, a unique natural landscape as well as a series of lesser known but by no means less interesting destinations.
Let me introduce you to my Lasithi!
It is hard to imagine that just 150 years ago, Agios Nikolaos, one of the wealthiest and most vibrant cities in Crete, capital of the Prefecture of Lasithi, had just 95 inhabitants. A city with a long history that goes back several centuries and which today combines everything a visitor could ask for. Agios Nikolaos looks upon the sea on three sides: the Voulismeni Lake, the port, and the Kitroplateia beach. Walk over the picturesque bridge from which you can see the small isle of Agioi Pantes, sit at one of the numerous coffee shops and restaurants around the lake, wander along the tiny alleys, and visit the busy marina, where impressive yachts are moored. Swim in surrounding beaches such as Almyros, Ammoudi, Havania and Ammoudara. Don’t miss to visit the Archaeological and Folklore Museums, with notable relics from the island’s ancient Minoan past and its more recent traditions.
Visit the once mighty ancient city of Lato, one of the most important Doric city-states on the island. See the archaeological site of Zakros, the 4th largest Minoan palace and be impressed by the ruins of the city of Olous, which lie on the sea bed of the narrow isthmus connecting Elounda to the island of Kolokitha. Discover Diktaio Andro, a cave adorned with stalactites and stalagmites purported to be Zeus’ birthplace and waiting to share its special beauty with you.
Wander around the Venetian buildings of the abandoned medieval village of Etia and admire the historic villa of De Mezzo. Walk along the narrow alleyways of Kritsa, nestled at the foot of Mt Castellos at an altitude of 365m. This is one of the oldest and most beautiful villages on Crete where you can really get to know the traditional Cretan lifestyle. Indeed, there are many villages with the same photogenic qualities, like Fourni and Karydi, ideal for a little relaxation and a memorable morning coffee. And, naturally, a stroll on the picturesque beach of Plaka is a must so you can take in the view and board a small boat to the islet of Spinalonga, once a Venetian castle and leper colony.
Take a journey into the unexplored world of Lasithi
For those who love contact with nature, the mountain plateau Katharo offers an open invitation for hiking among the dry stone walls, apple trees and holly. In the pine tree forest Selakano, you’ll be spellbound by the wild beauty of the landscape with its wonderful gorges, babbling springs and steep slopes. The passage through the valley of the only palm tree forest in Europe, Vai, delivers you to a stunning golden beach, entreating you to dive into its azure waters and relax under the Greek sun. Finally, the exotic, uninhabited island south of Crete, Koufonisi, with 36 fantastic beaches with fine, white and golden sand and pristine sea invites you for moments of tranquility and harmony.
So, take a journey into the unexplored world of Lasithi. bluegr hotels & resorts will your base for a dreamlike escape where soul and body come together as one.