Things to do in
Lerapetra

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Our most recommended things to do in Lerapetra

From Agios Nikolaos Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

1. From Agios Nikolaos Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

Ierapetra is situated on the southern coast of Crete. As it is the only town in the south, it is referred to as the Bride of Libyan Sea. With the rising of the sun, head to the gorgeous port of Ierapetra and set sail toward Chrissi Island.   Chrissi Island, or Gaidouronisi, meaning Golden Beach or Donkey Island, is an uninhabited island around 15 kilometers south of Ierapetra. 7 kilometers in length and covering an area of 4,743 km, the island is covered in golden sand and a rare variety of Lebanon cedars.  Anchoring on the south side of the island, head to the nearby beach for swimming and sunbathing. Walk the path running through the island and the cedar forest to the otherworldly beach of Chrissi Ammos. Hunt for seashells, check out the rockier coast of the island, or make the trek to the island’s lighthouse.  Swim in turquoise crystal clear waters and soak up the sun in this magical and totally undisturbed place of natural beauty.

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Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

2. Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

Start your tour with pick up in an air-conditioned Land Rover from your accommodations at 10 AM and head into the Dikti Mountain Range. You'll pass through several traditional and very picturesque mountain villages. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or to have a coffee at a real taverna. At the Lassithi Plateau, you might see eagles and vultures, as both nest around this area. Next, you’ll reach the base of Mount Spathi. The Psychro Cave, the birth place of the Greek god Zeus, is located on the north face of Spathi. You’ll walk 15 minutes up the steep hill to the entrance of the cave and from there follow the path down into the spectacular cave.   Next, enjoy a traditional Cretan meze lunch with local wine. After lunch, you'll continue around the plateau and then descend taking in views of the north coast and the impressive Aposelemis Dam. You will then visit a 2400 year-old plane tree, the oldest on the island, as well as the Selinari Monestary.

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From the Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

3. From the Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

Enjoy a day tour to the uninhabited island of Chrissi. Admire this small island with its natural cedar forest and beautiful sandy beaches. Drive to the south of Crete and reach the picturesque old town of Lerapetra. Climb aboard the boat at the port of Lerapetra and travel through the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea. With luck you will see dolphins, and finally reach Chrissi – also called the Golden Island. Admire untouched nature – a paradise of unparalleled flora and fauna. Stroll through a natural cedar forest, enjoy the incredible tranquility and discover corals and shells, dunes and salt marshes.

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From Heraklion: Chrissi Island Day Trip

4. From Heraklion: Chrissi Island Day Trip

Experience life as castaway on a desert island in the Libyan Sea. Depart Heraklion for the uninhabited island of Chrissi, setting sail from Ierapetra on the southern coast of Crete. Look for yellow-legged gulls and dolphins as you cross the water. Then, drop anchor upon arrival at Chrissi, and get back to nature in the wildlife refuge area. Discover the intense beauty of its pristine beaches, and see shell fossils in the volcanic rocks. Enjoy the shade of the ancient cedar forests, and encounter an old salt marsh and Roman tombs. Go to the small Church of St. Nicolas and soak up the peace of an island paradise far from the crowds.

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Heraklion: Cruise to Chrissi Island from Ierapetra

5. Heraklion: Cruise to Chrissi Island from Ierapetra

Enjoy an extraordinary island adventure to the southernmost point of Crete, an uninhabited island of “Chrissi” or “Golden Island”. Explore the fine reddish sand, walk on the pristine beaches, swim and snorkel in the shallow crystal clear water. Begin with a comfortable bus transfer to the port of Ierapetra then, board the ferry. Take a short boat trip to the secluded island of Chrissi. You may even be accompanied by yellow-legged gulls and dolphins that enjoy the magic of the Libyan Sea. Discover the secluded, isolated, almost tropical island in the most southern end of Crete. The peacefulness of this unique ecosystem is bound to steal your heart. See myriads of shell fossils, limpets and corals. Be in awe at the natural beauty and the magical sandy beaches. Return to Ierapetra by the same boat in the afternoon then, get transferred back to your hotel area by bus.

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Day Trip to Chrissi Island from Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos

6. Day Trip to Chrissi Island from Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos

Venture out to sea to spend a day on the secluded island of Chrissi off the south coast of Crete. Following a pick-up from your hotel on Crete, transfer to Ierapetra for a relaxing 45-minute cruise to Chrissi. Sit back and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you. Sunbathe on the deck of the boat as you cruise along the coast of Crete. As you approach Chrissi, take in the beauty of its shoreline and get a few photos of the island from the water. On landing, sunbathe on long stretches of sand, or go for a swim in the shimmering turquoise waters. Alternatively, take a walk through the cedar forest. Chrissi is a protected natural reserve and features spectacular pristine scenery. Follow a path through Europe's largest natural forest of Lebanon cedars. Arrive at a beach with white coral sand, purple shells, and fossils. Spend some time in the woods, swim in crystal-clear waters, or just enjoy the fresh air. Whether you want to lounge on the sand, bring some snorkeling gear for a memorable dive under the waves, or visit the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, you can find a full-day of adventures before returning to Crete.

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Crete: Full-Day Private Tour

7. Crete: Full-Day Private Tour

The ideal way to discover the island of Crete is with a private tour. Share a car and enjoy a full day with your group. Embark on an incredible island adventure with your friends or family, after planning the tour together with your professional guide. Beginning with pickup at your accommodation in Elounda, Agios Niklaos, Ierapetra, Malia, Crete, Hersonissos, or Ammoudara, the world is your oyster.  Settle into a comfy and luxurious Land Rover Discovery equipped with 6 seats and air conditioning. Discover local sites, hit the beach, or simply drive around taking in panoramic views. Perfect for a wedding trip or a birthday, relish in total privacy and the utmost luxury. Included in the tour is a fresh, high-quality dinner at a local taverna.

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From Crete: Chrissi Island Yacht Cruise with Lunch

8. From Crete: Chrissi Island Yacht Cruise with Lunch

After getting picked up from your hotel, head to the port of Ierapetra where you will begin the 20-minute journey to Chrissi Island, admiring emerald green waters along the way. Upon arrival on the island, enjoy a walk on the white sand beaches and explore the extraordinary beauty of Europe's southernmost natural park. After your return to the yacht, cruise to a quiet bay where you can dive in crystal-clear waters. Make use of the snorkeling gear provided to explore the untouched and beautiful seabed of Chrissi Island. You can also enjoy a spot of fishing with the onboard fishing equipment. Relax with a drink while the crew prepares your lunch with fresh, local ingredients, guests. After lunch, enjoy another dip in the sea before returning to Ierapetra and heading back to your hotel.

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Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

9. Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

Ever felt you wanted to get away from crowds and blaze your own trail? This is your chance to enjoy the many sights, tastes and aromas of Crete on your own terms. Take advantage of this personalized tour service and get ready for private tour that will take you from one sight to the next, from breathtaking views to traditional villages to the secret villages of Crete – each one chosen by you. Are you into wine culture, archaeological sites, traditional Greek cooking lessons, unique beaches, or Mediterranean gastronomy? This tour will take you from the heights of the rocky Lassithi plateau to the traditional villages tucked away off the beaten path. Start at the village of Krasi and visit the huge 2,400-years-old Writer’s Plane Tree, named so because it was beloved by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century. In the same village, see how the Cretans used to wash their clothes in the traditional manner. Next up is Panagia Kera, a 13th century Byzantine monastery where you can find a depiction of the Catholic St. Francis, who is famous in Crete among the gorgeous iconography. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the unique Lassithi Plateau, a rocky and austere place, long treasured for the beauty of its scenery. There you can visit the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Have lunch in a traditional taverna outside Krasi, at your own expense.

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Crete: Land Rover Safari Through Katharo Plateau

10. Crete: Land Rover Safari Through Katharo Plateau

Discover Crete and cross the Katharo Plateau. Follow the enchanted path through a huge woodland area and admire the wild nature. Begin with a fantastic view of Mirabello Bay. Then travel through the incredibly beautiful landscape alongside the largest forest on the island and up to a height of 1,500 meters. At the next stop, enjoy a unique view of the Lassithi Plateau and the northern coast of Crete. Discover the Lassithi Plateau, where time seems to stand still. The local society remains largely agrarian, using donkeys in their everyday lives and making regional products according to ancient traditions. Enjoy a delicious barbecue and local wine, then visit the birthplace of Zeus, the father of the gods. Head to the little town of Krasi, known for its 2,000-year-old sycamores and natural springs. Stop in Selinari on the way back and see the vultures increasingly threatened by extinction.

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What people are saying about Lerapetra

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,592 reviews

A great day; October 10th, warm weather, no wind, very few people; the island was a real paradise! Wow Great snorkeling on the East side; the Golden beach is spectacular; the cedars are also very nice. It was such a great day; I wish we stayed longer. The company was very efficient; new and good quality transport, ran on time, no waiting; friendly guides, spoke many languages; there was a bit of time in Ierapetra - it was fun to walk around the seaside and grab an orange juice. The boat was also fine, though the service in cafeteria is very slow; consider grabbing your coffee / juice in town and drinking onboard. We left at 8:35 from Elounda, took 10:30 am ferry to Chrissi; the ferry back ran at 15:40 and i was back in my hotel just before 6 pm.

We had a great time on this adventure. Our tour guide was super knowledgeable and did the whole tour in two languages (english and german). He made the trip super fun for us. We would highly recommend this excursion to others.

Great trip! The island is gorgeous with crystal clear water! Not too crowded, transportation was straightforward.

Very well organized tour with the cool guide Petra who is an expert in Greek and especially Cretan culture.

Very beautiful island where you can rediscover nature