Our boats depart for the island of Chrissi from the port of Ierapetra. The island of Chrissi (or Gaidouronisi) is situated approximately 9 nautical miles south of Ierapetra and it is a Wildlife Refuge. Due to its incredible natural beauty and important ecosystem, it has been included in the European initiative NATURA 2000.
The island has an area of 4,743 square kilometers, and a maximum altitude of 27 meters. It’s an islet known for its exotic waters in all the shades of blue and green, the golden beaches -where it got its name from-, and the protected forest with the cedar trees, which are over 200 years old. Chrissi is a piece of paradise on earth, the southernmost natural park of Europe, and a gem in the Mediterranean.
With soft music playing in the background, we will be sailing in the emerald waters of the Libyan Sea, accompanied by seagulls and dolphins. The trip from the port of Ierapetra to the exotic Chrissi lasts about an hour. The self-service bar of the ship shall remain open throughout the
cruise, offering light meals, with salads, wine, soft drinks, coffee, ice creams, etc.
We will anchor in the south side of the island, and its only port. The nearby beach is ideal for swimming and relaxation under the umbrellas. At the point of disembarkation there is a path that goes through the cedar forest and ends up in an exotic beach with thousands of shells,
name Belegrina or Chrissi Ammos.
The cedar forest extends to the center of Chrissi, covering an area of 350,000 square meters, which is about 1/4th of the island, with an average of 14 trees per 1,000 square meters, and average age of trees 200-300 years. Those trees is a rare variety of Lebanon cedars, 1 meter tall, and with a diameter of up to 1 meter. The cedars have a root system that develops at a radius of at least double their height. Except from their large roots, they also develop a network of thinner ones that form a thick mesh that withholds the sand. The path through the forest and the dunes is simply magical.
The colors of the rocks, which are mainly grey-green, reddish-brown, black, etc., are spectacular, while almost the entire island is covered by golden sand. The base rocks of Chrissi were created through the solidification of lava that poured out of an undersea volcano millions of years ago. The 49 species of fossils (corals, shells, barnacles, urchins) found on the island come from the sea. They were imprinted on the volcanic rocks 350,000-70,000 years ago, when Chrissi was still underwater. The northern shores (Belegrina, Hatzivolakas, Kataprosopo) are filled with shells. Especially on the east side of the northern beach, the amount of shells is so big that the view is overwhelming.
If you walk west of Belegrina, the next beach you will see is Hatzivolakas. This is a more quiet area, against a rockier landscape,with the beach surrounded by large cedars about 200 years old. West of Hatzivolakas there are traces of a Minoan settlement that prospered from the trade of porphyra, which is the popular red pigment used for dying royal clothes.Recently, the biggest laver farm in the Mediterranean was discovered there. The scenic chapel of Agios Nikolaos and the island’s lighthouse are located right there. On the northeast of the church there is an old salt marsh and the island’s only house, built atop ancient remnants. There are wells and carved tombs on the south and southwest of Agios Nikolaos,with the biggest tomb dating back to the Roman era.
Another beautiful pristine beach of the island is Kataprosopo, which faces the Mikronisi islet, on the east of Chrissi, and is a habitat for thousands
The preservation of the island’s natural environment, beyond the moral dimensions, is imposed through a strict national and European institutional protection system.
Thus, the following are prohibited:
The walk in the forest, the swim in the crystal clear waters, the fresh air, and the ethereal scent of cedars will make your visit to Chrissi an
Relaxation, serenity, and a sense of tropical adventure!
Have a nice trip and a great time!
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The sandy beaches are like indian ocean, white and the waters so crystal clear, loved the day, whole family did, thanks
Quite a long day and drive, does it worth it? well the island and the waters are pretty nice, long drive though with happy driver and guide
Chrissi island is a paradise for swimmers and beach lovers, get lots of fresh water, sun cream, hat and be prepared for a sunny hot sea day. Not much to do there but if you want a treat to a Caribbean sort of beach, that's the tour to do. We had lots of fun, all good!
We arrived at the harbour and quckly found our boat. Very organised. A little windy so we got there in about 1hour. The way to the beach is through a wonderful and very old, cedar forest. The beach itself is unforgetable with the different colors sand and all the seashells. Umbellas and sunloungers are essential. Little rocky to get in the water so you might want to use beach sandals or shoes. Cannot wait to visit again so i can see more of the island.
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