Lasithi Province

The beach at Vaï, 24km northeast of Sitia, is famous for its large grove of Phoenix theophrasti (Cretan date) palms. With calm, clear waters, it's one of the island's most popular strands and its tightly spaced rows of umbrellas and sunbeds often fill by 10am in July and August. Jet skis kick into gear shortly thereafter. Snack bars and a reasonably priced taverna provide refreshments. Two buses daily make the trip from Sitia (€3.30, one hour) between May and October.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lasithi Province attractions

1. Ancient Itanos

0.64 MILES

About 3km north of Vaï, vestiges of the Graeco-Roman port of Itanos overlook a trio of beaches. Itanos was once an important settlement in eastern Crete…

2. Itanos Beaches

0.72 MILES

North of Vaï and reached on foot or by car, Itanos is a trio of small, pretty beaches watched over by the ruins of the ancient Graeco-Roman town of Itanos…

3. Kouremenos Beach

3.43 MILES

Kouremenos, about 7km south of Vaï and 3km northeast of Palekastro, is a long, grey sand-and-pebble beach with good shallow-water swimming, although it's…

4. Moni Toplou

3.57 MILES

In splendid isolation on a windswept plateau, 15th-century fortified Moni Toplou is one of the most historically significant monasteries in Crete. Its…

5. Folk Museum of Palekastro

3.95 MILES

Tucked away in a backstreet and signposted from the main road, this compact and well-presented museum occupies a traditional Cretan manor house, with…

6. Hiona Beach

4.01 MILES

Hiona Beach, 2.5km east of Palekastro, is a quiet sweep of of coarse sand and pebbles backed by clumps of tamarisk trees. It's overlooked by two excellent…

7. Sitia City Beach

9.33 MILES

Sitia's city beach has mostly greyish sand and is lapped by crystalline, kid-friendly waters. Since it extends a couple of kilometres south of the town…

8. Petras Archaeological Site

9.36 MILES

About 2km southeast of Sitia on a low hill overlooking the sea is the site of an important Minoan settlement. You can see the remains of two houses from…