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Archeological site of Gournia

On the low Hill in Gulf Cove Gournia Merabellos, d. from Pacheia Sand, beside the road to ierapetra-Sitia, has anaskaftei a Minoan town with a small Palace, by H. Boyd of American archaeological Mission in 1901-1904. Additional investigations in cemeteries made by Mr Dabaras in 1972.

Is more fully excavated Minoan residential complex. Roads and regional aktinwtoi ensure the movement in all areas of the small town. The surviving parts of the houses are on the ground floor have small spaces.

The most great rooms were upstairs. The houses were arranged in banded and a hillside. It was fitted with various facilities for craft activities. for craft activities. On top of the Hill in the Centre of the small town was the Palace of the toparchi. South from this square was seen shopping for residents of the Township. The small Palace mimics some of the major items, such as theconstruction with large pelekito ...

Monastery of Toplou

After several attempts of restoration and renovation of the monastery, today Toplou has become one of the Cretan monasteries with great interest that it is worth making the long trip to visit. Toplou Monastery is the only monastery that is saved from the many large and small that once were in the region of Sitia and destroyed by wars and raids. The abbot of the monastery, has been active to organize and highlight the monastery. He founded Museum Etching and Greek Folk Engravings made of monks of Mount Athos in the 18th and 19th centuries. The monks impressed with their art images of everyday life so faithfully, as if using camera.

In Toplou saved images from the 15th century, along with other newer, have great visual interest because showing the stages of growth and development of Istanbul's painting school, which affected the Cretan Art. The value of the images of the Monastery of Toplou is priceless, but also indicative of truly impressive level of education of the monks of the monastery. Some of the unique images that can be seen today in the monastery are the works of John Cornaro, the picture 'Great et Sir' and marvelous are Your works "of 1770, the picture" Rose in amaranth of 1771 and Anastasia of Sirmium .

In Toplou, besides the glorious images also exhibited Ecclesiastical Art objects such Gospels, silver-gold- plated crosses, Archbishops, Sultan, seals, revolutionary banners, vestments and others. The dining room of the monastery has been painted by Manolis Beteinaki while in the courtyard of the monastery there is a recent sculpture monument by sculptor Manolis Tzobanaki.

Also in front of the universal (the main church of the monastery) you will see the sign of "Arbitration of magnets", which describes the friction of the ancient city Itanos in Ierapetra Island Vitiligo (Koufonisi), which was a very important sponge fishing station and shells in ancient Crete.

Organic oil and wine Toplou

The monastery has four monks today, but has great wealth and influence in the region. The charismatic and creative of Abbot brought new life to the Monastery of Toplou, which in recent decades producing excellent organic products, such as wine, olive oil and raki, bearing the name "Toplou" and may be purchased by visiting the monastery.

Especially for wine, bottled 30,000 bottles of white and as many red wine with delicate flavor and soft, sweet taste.

Vai palm beach

The visit to Vai must if you are in Crete, especially in the east. It's a beach that will remind you of a tropical palm and small island in the middle of the bay. The palm Vai today occupies an area of ​​about 250 acres and is the largest palm grove in Europe. You will hear stories that try to justify the existence of palm trees in Crete:

1. According to the most common history, Arabs pirates once came here with their ships, ate the dates they had brought with them and threw stones in the soil. From these dates are said to have grown about 6000 palm trees, of which some 4,500 are currently.

2. A different story mentions that the forest was created in a similar way not by Arab pirates but by Phoenician sailors who colonized this region in Crete.

Forget these stories because scientists have proven today that the palm trees of Vai are endemic and belong to the species Phoenix Theophrasti. Phoenicians were in Crete since ancient times, which show the historical sources, such as the writings of Pliny. The name of the region, Vai comes from the Greek word "palm" which is the name for the palm trees. Regardless of the cause of birth of palm, it is certain that the trees have found Vai an ideal spot development, the climate in the area is hot and dry. The point is the beach and the forest in Vai of interest and in terms of biodiversity, as many migratory birds stop here on their journey to and from Africa.

The forest at Vai protected by the Forest Service, the European Union and the relevant contracts. It is characterized as "Aesthetic Forest", one of 19 in Greece, as "specially protected area" in accordance with Protocol 4 of the Barcelona Convention for protected areas in the Mediterranean. Vai prohibited camping and campgrounds, as well as fires or any other activity may endanger the environment, flora and fauna of the beach. The beach at Vai is sandy with fine golden sand and pebbles in the north end. You can leave your car in the parking lot behind the forest, which costs 2.5 million (2009 prices).

The beach is located 200 meters from the parking space and is fenced, like the forest, in an effort to protect the area. It is well organized and has sun loungers, umbrellas, and wooden paths for walking one comfortably to the beach. The rent umbrellas and deck chairs cost 6 euro, but the palm trees offer free shade to anyone he could stretch out his towel underneath.

Naturally such a popular place as Vai, receives thousands of visitors every summer. Those visiting in July and August should be prepared for the crowds you meet. Conversely, those who visit the site at the beginning or end of the tourist season will love the landscape and the sea more. On the side of the beach, to the stairs leading to the observatory is a restaurant and a cafe with chairs and tables inside a beautiful plateau between the palm trees.

The cafeteria is the only operating near the beach and despite the fact that essentially has a monopoly, prices are normal for Crete. On the beach there are also toilets and facilities for outdoor showers, if you're going to wash the salt from the sea.

Vai is possible to do water sports such as banana, jet ski, wakeboard and more. If you are willing to walk a bit, you can climb the stairs to the side of the beach and go to the observatory, where you have panoramic views across the area and the beautiful palm grove of Vai. From the observatory you can take great photos, but also to see the small neighboring beach is within 5 minutes walking north of Vai.

If you decide to walk into the palm you will see - if you're lucky - a small lake formed by rainwater among the palm trees. This phenomenon is more frequent in early summer or September

Palekastro Village

Palekastro located 18 km east of Sitia. Administratively, belongs in Lasithi and is the capital of Itanos municipality with a population of 1,300 inhabitants. In the region of Palekastro are archaeological and historical sites. Especially famous is the rare palm forest Vai, located 7 km from the village.

Tour Price


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Route Preview


In Toplou saved images from the 15th century, along with other newer, have great visual interest because showing the stages of growth and development of Istanbul's painting school, which affected the Cretan Art.

Vai is a beach that will remind you of a tropical palm and small island in the middle of the bay. The palm Vai today occupies an area of ​​about 250 acres and is the largest palm grove in Europe.

Price includes

  • Pickup from Hotel
  • Experienced drivers
  • Fuel and insurance
  • Traditional cretan lunch
  • Unlimited wine

Price does not include

  • Entrance to museums
  • Entrance to churches
  • Entrance to caves

Pickup Points

  • Ierapetra
  • Istron
  • Ag.Nikolaos
  • Elounda - Plaka
  • Sisi - Malia
  • Stalida
  • Hersonissos
  • Anissaras
  • Gouves
  • Kokkini Hani

Reservations Policy


Cancellation notice at least 24 hours before the start of the tour, return the entire amount.

If there is a cancellation within the 24 hours, the refund will be at our discretion. Refunds will be made ​​within 48 hours.

The meal is not predetermined but during the journey after drivers question, can each choose his food. For example there are vegetarians as there are people who do not eat pork and so on. So everybody can choose the meal they wish.

Food menu includes

  • 4-5 first dishes
  • Main dish
  • Salad
  • Desert
  • Raki and unlimited wine
  • Walking shoes or ones that are comfortable for you
  • Camera
  • Hat & Sunglasses
  • Towel & Swimwear
  • Extra money in case you desire to buy souvenirs, local products etc
  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Russian
We operate from April till October
  • Unknown Crete: 09:30 - 17:30
  • East Crete: 09:30 - 19:30
  • Zeus Route: 09:00 - 17:30

Ready to begin your adventure ?