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Lasithi Regional Unit

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Lasithi Regional Unit Nature & Adventure

From Agios Nikolaos: Guided Boat Cruise to Spinalonga

1. From Agios Nikolaos: Guided Boat Cruise to Spinalonga

Spinalonga is a magnificent island with fortresses dating from the Venetian period. It is an island of legends, a triumph to survival in the early 20th century from the scourge of leprosy, now a place of great archaeological and historical significance. On Spinalonga island, enjoy the opportunity to visit the Interpretive Centre there and discover the settlements of the victims and survivors of this former illness. Explore the Venetian fortifications and learn all about the long and fascinating history of the island. Take time to walk around the island and see the views of the bay and the fortifications. Later the cruise continues, passing along other points of interest in the Bay of Mirabello such as the cave of the legendary Pirate Barbarosa, the sunken ancient city of Olous, and the island where the endemic and hardy Cretan Kri Kri goats live. Have time to relax and swim in the exquisite turquoise waters of Kolokitha Bay. The 40 m boat features two bars, a lounge, and a restaurant serving Greek and international cuisine at reasonable prices with high-quality service from the crew.

Agios Nikolaos: Semi-Submarine Cruise

2. Agios Nikolaos: Semi-Submarine Cruise

Board a comfortable air-conditioned semi-submarine vessel at the port of Agios Nikolaos. Discover marine life which inhabits the coastal waters of Agioi Pantes Island. Learn more about the flora and fauna you will see from the onboard audio guide. See many different species of colorful fish as the boat crew feeds them. If you are lucky, you may spot curious sea turtles, dolphins, and seals who sometimes choose to investigate the vessel. In the second part of the tour, take a seat on the main deck of the boat in order to admire the spectacular views of Agios Nikolaos Bay. Feel the sea breeze as you cruise through the bay before heading back to the port.

Spinalonga Boat Trip from Elounda Port

3. Spinalonga Boat Trip from Elounda Port

Board one of the traditional wooden boats from Elounda port and let the experienced local crew take you to Spinalonga island. The boat trip begins at approximately 9:30 AM every day from the main port of Elounda village. Stay on the island for an hour and 10 to 20 minutes. In case you stay longer due to the covid situation you might not get on the next one because the capacity of the boats has been reduced and have to wait an extra hour. The last boat trip from Spinalonga usually departs at 6:30 PM. If you want to learn more about the island, you can find local licensed guides on the pier who will bring the island's history to life. Originally, Spinalonga was not an island – it was part of the island of Crete. During Venetian occupation, the island was carved out of the coast for defensive purposes and a fort was built there. During Venetian rule, salt was harvested from salt pans around the island. The island has also been used as a leper colony. Spinalonga has appeared in novels, television series, and a short film.

From Ierapetra: Cruise Around Chrissi Island With Swimming

4. From Ierapetra: Cruise Around Chrissi Island With Swimming

Start your boat cruise from the port of Ierapetra and head to the exotic Chrissi. Sail in the emerald waters of the Libyan Sea, accompanied by seagulls and dolphins. The self-service bar of the ship remains open during the cruise, offering light meals, with salads, wine, soft drinks, coffee, and ice cream available to purchase. Jump off the boat and swim in the refreshing water off the coast of Chrissi Island. After a relaxing swim, dry off on board and enjoy views of the island's blue and green waters, golden beaches, and protected cedar forest. The cedar forest extends to the center of Chrissi, covering an area of 350,000 square meters. The colors of the rocks are spectacular, while almost the entire island is covered by golden sand. 

Cruise to Spinalonga & BBQ at Kolokytha From Agios Nikolaos

5. Cruise to Spinalonga & BBQ at Kolokytha From Agios Nikolaos

Enjoy a fun cruise in the Greek sun with a barbecue by the sea. Explore  Kolokytha Bay and the historical island of Spinalonga. Start your day boarding the boat at the pretty harbour of Agios Nikolaos. Cruise across the beautiful Bay of Mirabello before arriving at the legendary island of Spinalonga.  On Spinalonga island you will have an hour and a half to tour around and explore the Venetian fortifications and old homes of the victims of leprosy. Learn about the history and people who lived on the island during the first half of the 20th century from the printed guide that will be given to you free of charge. Later the boat takes you on the other side of the Kolokytha island and moors at the beach of the same name. Kolokytha is a beautiful bay with crystal-clear turquoise waters. Relax, swim and sunbathe while the boat crew prepares a hearty barbecue for you. Enjoy grilled pork chops, Greek salad, feta cheese, bread, wine and seasonal fruits. 

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

6. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Travel to northeastern Crete, visit Agios Nikolaos and see its beautiful scenery, and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island on this exciting day tour of some of Crete's most interesting sites. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Heraklion: Spinalonga Cruise & Agios Nikolaos with Lunch

7. Heraklion: Spinalonga Cruise & Agios Nikolaos with Lunch

Explore the many natural wonders Crete has to offer on a multiple-destination boat tour departing from Heraklion with lunch included. Visit the coastal town of Agios Nikolaos, cruise through the scenic Mirabello Bay, stop for a swim in Kolokytha Bay, and admire the sights of Spinalonga Island. Enjoy a pickup from your Heraklion hotel and drive to the beautiful town of Agios Nikolaos with its picturesque lake. Take a leisurely morning walk and have a coffee while gazing at the beautiful port and the local lake, before setting sail. Later on, you'll board your boat. Have a light lunch on board before starting the cruise and then take in the views while crossing the unique Mirabello Bay and the Agios Nikolaos and Elounda coast.  Stop at Kolokytha Bay, where you can swim and dive from the boat into the crystal clear waters, then make your way over to Spinalonga Island. Join a Guided Tour of the island and enjoy some free time to wander around and snap amazing photos. Sail back to Agios Nikolaos and get dropped off back at your Heraklion accommodation. The regular meal consists of grilled chicken, mixed salad with tomatoes and cucumber, feta cheese, and a slice of bread. For a vegetarian option, the grilled chicken will be replaced with a tortilla with vegetables.

Heraklion: Spinalonga Island & Agios Nikolaos Tour with BBQ

8. Heraklion: Spinalonga Island & Agios Nikolaos Tour with BBQ

Take a bus and boat tour from Heraklion, step back in time on a guided tour of Spinalonga, chill out on the beach in Kolokytha Bay, savor a delicious BBQ lunch, and have free time in Agios Nikolaos. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in selected locations on Crete in the morning. Hop aboard a spacious and comfortable bus and sit back and relax on the drive to the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos and board a ship.  Feel the sea breeze as you cruise through Mirabello bay towards the island of Spinalonga. Take a guided tour Spinalonga which has a rich history from defending the area from sea raids to housing a leper colony. Have some free time to capture photos of the island.  Continue to Kolokytha Bay where you can unwind on the beach, go for a dip, and dig into a lunch of grilled pork steak or chicken, bread, and a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, and feta. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy a tortilla with vegetables, bread and salad. End your meal with fresh fruit and compliment it with a glass of wine or juice. Cruise to Agios Nikolaos and spend some free time exploring at your own pace. Sit at a cafe with lake or port views, do some shopping, or wander around this small Cretan town. Return to your accommodation in at the end of your tour. 

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

9. Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Get picked up from your accommodation for a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, and the Dikti mountain range. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional paddock. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Feel in awe of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. If your group all agrees, take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Venture further up the route to an altitude of 1250m in the Limnakaro Plateau, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the vast mountains. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

10. Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Cave of Zeus, & Knossos Day Trip

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive from the last pick up: 30 minutes 1st stop: Village of Krasi – 20 minutes This little traditional village with the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest and biggest tree on Crete, will be our first stop for about 20 minutes. Enjoy our time in Cretan nature! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 2nd stop: Monastery of Kera – 30 minutes Explore the Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. Bus Drive: 15 minutes 3rd stop: Vidiani Monastery – 25 minutes A small, male monastery located at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain will be our next stop. Bus Drive: 20 minutes 4th stop: Psychro Cave (Cave of Zeus) - 1 hour 10 minutes Explore the mythical birth place of the king of gods Zeus. Admire the unique site decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 5th stop: Ceramics Workshop – 45 minutes Our participants will enjoy aprofessional workshop tosee how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create their own! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 6th stop: Traditional Tavern for lunch - 1hour 20 minutes There will be a big variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lassithi plateau, homemade wine and products from the surrounding mountains. (The meal is not included.) Bus Drive: 1 hour 20 minutes 7th stop: Knossos Palace – 1 hour Leaving the beautiful region of Lasithi behind, our day will end at the Historical Site of Knossos. There will be a guided tour for about 1hour as well as some free time to take photos of this unique archaeological scenery. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive from Knossos: 1 hour

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What people are saying about Lasithi Regional Unit

Spinalonga is worth seeing Excursion booked with Markidis Travel. Fully air conditioned coach with pick up and drop off at our hotel. Anastasia is an excellent multi lingual tour guide who pointed out all the sites on route and explained the history of the island plus informing everyone of the days itinerary. Our driver Costa manoeuvred some really unbelievable narrow roads and turns.On route money was collected for the ferry crossing by Anastasia so that she could purchase all the tickets instead of needing to queue. We travelled to Agios Nikolaos with time to explore then boarded our ferry for a lovely lunch. After sailing the ferry stopped at Kolokitha for a swim in the open sea, then onto Spinalonga. Here you need to purchase your entrance ticket and join a guided tour if you wish or explore yourself. We joined a tour where our guide explained in detail the history of Spinalonga then explored on our own. Excellent!

A lot better than expected! We were apprehensive of it after reading reviews but it turned out to be a great day! A few things I would recommend/ note for next time: the boat does stop a distance from the island and is approx. 5-10 minutes swim depending on ability, the boat supplies life jackets and floats if you aren’t a confident swimmer (I wasn’t!) so the swim really wasn’t that bad in the end. I would take a waterproof phone case/ bag if you want to take anything onto the island (beach towel, camera, shoes, snacks etc.) as whatever you want to take to the island you need to carry on the swim. Definitely take flip flops/ sandals to wear on the beach as rocks are quite sore on the feet. Overall a brilliant day out and feel like I stroked an item of a bucket list I didn’t even know I had!

The bus driver was very careful, the ride was calm and without any problems. Agios Nikolaos is a very nice place to take a walk at, the boat ride was also wonderful. The food was tasty, the staff were kind, funny and helpful the whole trip. Unfortunately we didn’t have that much time at Spinalonga and we didn’t see the Mirabello Bay.

Very well organized, great guide and bus, delicious lunch. Amazing views! Definitely recommended!

Great trip, highly recommend. Spinalonga is a must see!