If you think you know everything about Crete, wait until you see the island of Chrissi with your own eyes! Chrissi, a small island in the south of Crete, offers a place of peace and tranquillity far from the tourist traffic. A true paradise on Earth, with a Caribbean island feel, it boasts white sandy beaches, a cedar forest and a charming harbor, perfect for travelers looking for a change of scenery. One thing’s for sure: your stay at Chrissi will remain etched in your memory, whether you prefer lazing on the beach or strolling through the countryside.
Where is the island of Chrissi in Crete?
The island of Chrissi is located in south-east Crete, far from the international airports ofHeraklion and Chania. An island of just 5km² in the Libyan Sea, which is also Europe’s southernmost national park!
How to get to Chrissi
There are several options for getting to Chrissi.
If you’re staying in Heraklion, the capital of Crete, you can opt for a rental car. The journey to Ierapetra takes around two hours.
Once in Ierapetra, take a boat to Chrissi. The cruise lasts 1 hour. Alternatively, you can opt for an organized excursion that includes transport, boat trip and sometimes even a meal. The charm begins as soon as you cross: the turquoise waters of the sea, the gentle sea breeze and the intense blue sky…
Discover Chrissi’s heavenly beaches
Once you arrive on theisland of Chrissi, you’ll discover beaches worthy of the most beautiful postcards from Guadeloupe, the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands.
Imagine beaches of fine sand, where brilliant white blends with the limpid blue of the sea. On Belegrina beach, also known as Golden Beach, the sand is unlike anywhere else. It’s made up of tiny fossil shells that give the beach a golden sheen. A unique show not to be missed.
What to do during a day on the island of Chrissi?
1. Enjoy this little paradise on Earth
Chrissi is the ideal place to enjoy a day of pure relaxation.
Between sunbathing on the beach, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, a little snorkeling to explore the incredible seabed of the Libyan Sea, walking the shady paths and picnicking under the trees, there’s plenty to fill your day.
2. Discover a unique ecosystem
And if you’re a nature lover, you won’t be outdone. Chrissi is a protected island, with a rich and diverse flora and fauna. Among the species living in peace on this desert island of Crete, you will find :
- snakes (non-venomous like all those found in Crete),
- and, of course, the emblematic Cretan turtle , the Caretta-Caretta!
3. Admire the cedar forest of Chrissi
The cedar forest of Lebanon is another treasure to be found on theisland of Chrissi. This forest, one of the last in the Mediterranean, is a veritable sanctuary, covering 1/4 of the island. These trees, which can reach several meters in height, are protected by the European Union’s Natura 2000 network (as is the entire island of Chrissi!) and provide a unique environment for many species of animal. Well-developed trails criss-cross the forest, allowing visitors to discover it while respecting its fragile ecosystem.
The Chrissi cedar forest is located on the north of the island, and offers visitors a breathtaking view of the sea. It’s the ideal place for a walk in the heart of nature, far from the hustle and bustle of the beaches. You’ll be able to see many birds, wild rabbits and even sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach.
Why visit Chrissi Island?
If traveler reviews can be a good indicator of the quality of a destination, Chrissi is no exception. It’s an ideal place for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big tourist resorts.
Above all, Crete can sometimes be a very touristy place. So, by moving so “far” to the south of the island, you can hope to escape the crowds of even more popular tourist destinations, such as Balos Beach, Hersonissos, Elafonissi, Knossos…
Organize your trip to Chrissi
There are several options for organizing your trip to Chrissi.
For example, you can book your trip from Agios Nikolaos a beautiful town in northern Crete, which we visited as you can see from the link. Many agencies offer day trips to Chrissi, including boat transport from the port of Ierapetra.
Don’t forget to visit Ierapietra before Chrissi!
Before leaving the island, be sure to stop off at the port of Ierapetra. This picturesque little port is the ideal place to enjoy delicious Cretan cuisine in one of the many restaurants lining the harbor. After your meal, stroll along the quay and admire the colorful boats dancing on the water.
Still in the port, you’ll find the chapel of Saint-Nicolas, the patron saint of sailors. This little white chapel, perched on a hill, offers a breathtaking panorama of the sea. It is also a place of meditation for fishermen, who come here to pray before setting sail.