What to see in East Crete

Eastern Crete covers a huge area: a long coastline with varied beaches, several mountain ranges, towns and ancient ruins. Below is a list of some of the best known places of interest to get you started with your visit.

Ancient sites and museums

The Minoan palaces of Malia and Zakros are a must for anyone interested in history. Not as famous but far less corwded than Knossos or Phaistos.

Palaikastro was an important Minoan town.

The old leper colony of Spinalonga located near Elounda is also popular.

Agios Nikolaos houses a nice archaeological museum but it is currently closed for renovations (2020)

Finally Heraklion with its fantastic Archaeological Museum and nearby Minoan palace of Knossos is well worth a day trip.




Voulisma beach (and other nearby beaches in Istro) is very beautiful

Palaikastro: a quiet beach on the East coast famous for wind-surfing

Vai is famous for its palm forest but also rather overcrowded

Mirtos beach in the South-East of Crete: good beach in a laid-back village


Some of the better known walks are the Gorge of the Dead in Kato Zakros, the summit of Karfi on the plateau of Lassithi and the Perivolakia gorge (near Moni Kapsa). A good book (even though it is now a little old) for walksin the East of Crete is Crete East The Finest Valley and Mountain Walks


East Crete has three main coastal towns Agios Nikolaos, Sitia and Ierapetra.