Ierapetra is the launch pad for boat trips to uninhabited Chrissi Island (also known as Gaïdouronisi or Hrysi Island). It is famous for its golden beaches, clear water shimmering in myriad shades of blue, cedar forest, traces of Minoan ruins, and Belegrina, a beach covered with a mountain of shells. There are usually a couple of morning boat departures that give you 4½ hours on the island. Tickets are sold online and by agents around town. Bring a picnic or buy refreshments on board. One company that will take you there is Cretan Daily Cruises (28420 20008, www.cretandailycruises.com boat trip adult/child €25/12, mid-May–Oct) ); their vessels carry 200-400 passengers.