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Municipality of Itanos

The municipality of Itanos is situated at the East Coast of Crete. It is based in Palaikastro, a small town 19 km from Sitia. The overall area hosts important archaeological sites and spots of unique natural beauty marking this region as one of the last virgin destination for holidays.
The visitor cannot get bored in the Municipality of Itanos. The nature endowed this area with a rare wild beauty, bare rocks and mountains full of herbs and spices.
With virgin beaches and golden sand, with canyons and mystic caves, with archaeological sites marked by history and glory, with the lost civilizations that passed the myth and made the history. The municipality of Itanos offers some of the most picturesque and clean beaches in the world. Here, you can swim, fish, practise water sports or simply relax and enjoy nature and the delicious Cretan food. Every day you can enjoy the sun and the crystal waters of a different beach. Some of them are busy, others stand solitary attracting you to trace them and discover their own beauty. The most important beaches of the municipality of Itanos from North to South are the following

Itanos (Ermoupoli)

The ruins of the ancient city of Itanos can be found here, part of which is sunk in the sea. It's a lee area, 9 km from Palaikastro.


A palm forest unique to Europe and situated only 1 km south of Itanos, in a valley that ends in a breathtaking sandy beach and 25 km from Sitia there is the unique forest of palms in a landscape of unusual tropical beauty. According to one version its derivation is owed to the Phoenician merchants who established in the neighbouring Itanos, who adored the god Phoenix.
According to another version it is supported that the forest has been created by the Egyptian soldiers of Ptolemeos who came as allies of Itanos in its conflict with Pressos and Ierapitna. The third version sustains that the forest was created from the seeds of dates which the Saracens pirates ate as essential food in 824 B.C., when they occupied CreteEvery year the beach of Vai is awarded with the "Blue Flag" confirming that it is one of the most well organized and clean beaches of Greece.
It offers a variety of water sports, restaurants, cafes etc...


With restaurant a scenic small beach, here you may relax and admire the sea view.


Near Palaikastro (1,5 km), a long sandy beach, the sea is ideal for windsurfing and one of the best in Europe. Along the beach, there are apartments to rent, restaurants and a small fishing harbor.


An ideal beach for the whole family. Is is situated only 1,5 km from Palaikastro, at close proximity to the small village of Agathias. There are three restaurants serving fresh fish by the beach. You may visit the archaeological site still under excavation by British archaeologists. According to them, there is strong evidence for the existence of a Minoan Palace.


At "Chiona" beach, about 2km away from the village was discovered an important Minoan city, and rare finds like a gold and ivory statuette 50cm high, that is displayed in the Archeological Museum of Sitia. The flourishing civilisation has probably been destroyed by the eruption of Santorini volcano. In the same area, the excavations carried out revealed the existence of the sacred Temple of Dia, shining then all other Crete.
Kato Zakros. The European Path E4 goes past Pano Zakros known for its beautiful springs and the remarkable "Gorge of Dead" and winds its way to the valley of Kato Zakros where King Minoas built one of his palaces four thousand years ago. Not only will you enjoy the sea and the local cuisine in the restaurants by the beach, but you will definitely appreciate a quite stay in the accommodation provide.

Zakros - Gorge

20 km from Palekastro, between the small villages at the sides of the mountain is the village of Zakros. It is a lush village with fresh water springs and tall sycamore. Just outside of Zakros is the entrance of the most beautiful canyon from all of Crete. It has very high, straight walls with many caves. It is called, The Cave of the Dead, because there, in the caves, the Minoans of Zakros used to bury their dead.-It is about a three hour walk in between the natural configuration of rocks and multi colored scenery.
A large variety of flora and fauna are met along the way, some of which are endemic to this area.
You also will see wild goats browsing the sides of the canyon, as well as infrequently seen birds, like eagles and hawks that fly proudly above the canyon.
At the paths end is a tastefully developed beach area, Kato Zakros one of the most quiet and serene spots in Crete. This was the place where King Minos chose to build his country palace. Within only a few meters from the beach you will find fish taverns.

Pelekita Cave

A distance of 5 kilometers away from K. Zakros are the greatest and most beautiful caves Crete has to offer. It is an underground river, at the end of the cave there is a small lake. You can tour them on foot or by boat.

The Gorge of Chochlakies

Fantastic canyon situated 5km away from Palekastro, with about 2,5-3 km length. Its path is a special experience which going to fill with enthusiasm the nature lovers thanks to its impressive and wild beauty.
After a walk of about 1.30 hour the gorge winds up at a virgin and unspoiled beach, ideal for swimming, fishing and resting.