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The island of Spinalonga (Greek: Σπιναλόγκα), officially known as Kalydon (Καλυδών), is located in the Gulf of Elounda in north-eastern Crete, in Lasithi, next to the town of Elounda. The island is further assigned to the area of Kalydon. It is near the Spinalonga peninsula (“large Spinalonga”) – which often causes confusion as the same name is used for both. The official Greek name of the island today is Kalydon.

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Elounda is located in east Crete, north of Agios Nikolaos and south of the seaside resort of Plaka.
Elounda was once a picturesque fishing village in the lovely Mirabello Bay. The inhabitants lived from farming, fishing, salt extraction from the Venetian saltpans, and emery mining.
In the hills around Elounda is found a mineral unique to Greece, “akonopetra” or whetstone, a type of fine emery used to make whetstones and emery paper to hone tools used in many different jobs. The emery of Elounda had long been known in Europe by the name of “Turkey stones” or “Naxos stone”.
Once discovered by tourism, Elounda developed into a resort famous for its beautiful scenery and the luxury hotels which are still being built in the area. It is said to be the place with the most five-star hotels in Greece.

The former Prime Minister of Greece Andreas Papandreou was particularly fond of Elounda and came here on holiday at least once a year. He introduced it to French President Mitterand and Libyan leader Gaddafi, while Elounda was also a favourite resort of Kostas Simitis, another more recent Greek Prime Minister.
Apart from politicians, Elounda often welcomes Arab princes with their large families, film and music stars, Russian tycoons and other VIPs from all over the world. This is also part of its magic, as many people dream of spreading their towel on the beaches of Elounda, where some famous person has been swimming.

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Lassithi Plateau is one of the few areas in the Mediterranean with permanent inhabitants at an altitude over 800 metres. Lassithi plateau is 11 kilometres on the east-west axis and 6 kilometres on the north-south – an area of 25 square kilometres.

There are many small villages on the plateau which maintain their traditional colour and character. Don’t hesitate to come out of your car and walk along the little streets. You will be rewarded with nostalgic sights of authentic farm living  There are many photo opportunities, especially early in the morning and in late afternoon.

Dikteon Andron, the cave where Zeus was born, is located at the Plateau. The DikteonCave consists of five chambers large and small. The most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites.

At the lake you will see the “Mantle of Zeus”, a stalactite which hangs over the lake like a chandelier and whose shape, in the local imagination charged with centuries of myths, resembles a cloak.

At the back of the lake you can easily see a small chamber of the DikteonCave, in which it is said that the Father of the Gods was born.

Vai, or more specifically the palm forest of Vai, is one of the most popular sights in Crete and one of the most beautiful and special places in the whole Mediterranean.
Vai draws thousands of visitors each year. They come not only for its wonderful palm forest, but also for the large sandy beach spread out at its foot.
The beach was “discovered” by hippies who were turned out of Matala in the early 70s and sought a new refuge in the area.
Vai has become famous for the wooded area with the palm trees, which are in a protected area. There is a myth for their presence that Arab Pirates brought dates and the palm trees grew from their seeds. It’s a beautiful spot in Crete to enjoy the sunshine, swimming and snorkelling.
Vai is located 24 km east of Sitia and about 100klms east of Agios Nikolaos

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Chrissi, an island 7km long with a maximum width of 2 km, is located 8 nautical miles south of the most southern town in Europe, Ierapetra.
From the moment a visitor comes to Chrissi, he gets magnetized by the exotic natural landscape dominated by cedar, the golden sand and the light aquamarine water.The Natural images and the rhythms of nature, immediately give the visitor a newfound sense of liberation.
A walk in the woods, swimming in crystal clear water combined with the soft smell of cedar and fresh oxygen, give the visitor a deep relaxation feeling that become unforgettable. This is the reason why chrissi island welcomes more and more visitors from around the world every year.
The island has a small bar on the north side of the island, a small tavern on the south side, an Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, a lighthouse on the northwest side, and a house on the northeast side. There are two recognized permanent residents on the island until now.
The island has a large number of shells, mainly in the north, which is one of the distinguishing features of the island.
For six months a year – from mid-May until late October there are small boats, departing from the ports of Ierapetra and Makrigialos, to the island on a daily basis. After an hour’s trip around the vessels approaching the southern side of the island, which is usually calmer. The exit is in the “Vougiou Eye” where there is a small pier, reception, and the tavern.
Chrissi is protected by Natura 2000 Networking Programme, as an “area of intense natural beauty”, and also has been designated as a wildlife refuge. The island hosts the largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe. The majority of trees have an average age of 200 years and average height of up to 7 metres, some of the trees are up to 300 years old and 10 metres tall. The density is approximately 28 trees per hectare. The contact with such a natural and unique environment, creates environmental awareness, but also requires respect for its natural functions.
About 700m east of Chrissi is Mikronisi, a rocky islet which covers 11,7 hectares. The waters around the islands are shallow. Up to 1km to the north and 500m to the south the depth does not exceed 10m, while the 5m depth contour encompasses both the islands.

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The Arkadi Monastery situated on the island of Crete doesn’t solely belong to this island; it belongs to Greece, Europe and to all five continents – to the whole world.

It is one of the Eastern Orthodox Monasteries underlining the catholicity and universality of the Church. Each year the Monastery receives and hosts many visitors and pilgrims from all over the world, from distant civilizations. Here are blended many languages, cultures, traditions, history and polymorphism. Nothing from the above can impede the faith unity, the catholicity of the orthodox spirit, the universality of the ecclesiastical testimony.

The Arkadi Monastery has a unique natural beauty, a prestigious history, numerous legends deeply rooted in the time, heirlooms and thesaurus richness. Possibly because the old is livelier than the new, and the modern is often more mature than the aged. Each pilgrim and visitor feels something which is exclusively his, personal, original in his experiential and spiritual experience.

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Agia Pelagia is a small coastal town with a lovely beach, suitable for relaxing holidays in Crete. 20 kilometres west of Heraklion, as the national road drifts high above the coastline, you’ll begin to see the first impressive pictures of Agia Pelagia – the type of pictures that postcards are made of. At least twice in past times Agia Pelagia has been destroyed and washed into the sea. Once was probably due to a seismic sea wave from the earthquake that created Santorini. Before 1965 there was almost nothing in Agia Pelagia, which was a small port from where they transferred wood and coal to Heraklion.
In 1965, a man appeared and started buying land from the locals for 5,000 drachmas (approximately 17 EUR) for 1,000 square meters (or 1 strema, the common way of measuring land in Greece).
Soon another buyer showed up and he offered double the price. Tourism had just started in Greece and those two men were among the first to see the potential in this area.

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Agia Galini is a large village, which occupies the extreme SE. end of Rethymno to the Libyan Sea. Located at the limits of Heraklion prefecture, built amphitheatrical on a east faced rocky extreme, and it has a great environment and a wonderful climate. The community is classified as a rural lowland settlement, with an area of 11,812 km ² and a weighted average altitude of 25 (20 the settlement). Distanced about 55 km from Rethymno and 68 km from Heraklion.

1050_3Agia Fotia, one of the favorite beaches of all Cretans, is located  13km east of Ierapetra. The settlement takes its name after the local Church of Agia Fotini (or Agia Fotia).The beach has coarse grayish sand and crystal clear calm waters. It’s a little organized and there are few taverns and hotels around.

At 2006 the beach awarded with blue flag.The bay has a beautiful beach, which is very famous and popular to locals. The beach has coarse grayish sand and crystal clear calm waters. It’s a little organized and there are few taverns and hotels around.

At the end of the beach there is a source on rocks where you can taste sweet water.

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