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Things to do in

Lerapetra

Top sights in Lerapetra

Our most recommended things to do in Lerapetra

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.

Spinalonga Boat Trip from Elounda Port

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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. 

From Heraklion: Exotic Island of Chrissi Cruise & Ierapetra

5. From Heraklion: Exotic Island of Chrissi Cruise & Ierapetra

Take some time and experience the magic of the uninhabited island of Chrissi on a sightseeing cruise. Sail the Lybian Sea, take in your surroundings, and take your time with a short walk on the white-sand beaches, speckled with shells. Enjoy pickup from one of the designated meeting points and embark on a scenic drive to Ιerapetra. Once you arrive, discover the southernmost and warmest town in Europe for 45 minutes, while enjoying your free time. Depart on a boat for Chrissi Island, and cross the Libyan Sea to this stunning and uninhabited island. Admire the colors of the water and relax on the journey. Once you arrive, take your time to discover the natural landscape, dive from the boat, and swim in the clear and clean waters of the island. Look out at the white sand beaches and view the millions of small shells that litter the beaches. Take the option to purchase lunch onboard the boat, and ask your guide in advance to get a discounted price.

Crete: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

6. Crete: Day Trip to Chrissi Island by Bus and Boat

Ierapetra is situated on the southern coast of Crete. As it is the only town in the south, it is referred to as the Bride of Libyan Sea. With the rising of the sun, head to the gorgeous port of Ierapetra and set sail toward Chrissi Island.   Chrissi Island, or Gaidouronisi, meaning Golden Beach or Donkey Island, is an uninhabited island around 15 kilometers south of Ierapetra. 7 kilometers in length and covering an area of 4,743 km, the island is covered in golden sand and a rare variety of Lebanon cedars.  Anchoring on the south side of the island, head to the nearby beach for swimming and sunbathing. Walk the path running through the island and the cedar forest to the otherworldly beach of Chrissi Ammos. Hunt for seashells, check out the rockier coast of the island, or make the trek to the island’s lighthouse.  Swim in turquoise crystal clear waters and soak up the sun in this magical and totally undisturbed place of natural beauty.

Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

7. Zeus Cave and Lassithi Plateau Day Tour

Start your tour with pick up in an air-conditioned Land Rover from your accommodations at 10 AM and head into the Dikti Mountain Range. You'll pass through several traditional and very picturesque mountain villages. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos or to have a coffee at a real taverna. At the Lassithi Plateau, you might see eagles and vultures, as both nest around this area. Next, you’ll reach the base of Mount Spathi. The Psychro Cave, the birth place of the Greek god Zeus, is located on the north face of Spathi. You’ll walk 15 minutes up the steep hill to the entrance of the cave and from there follow the path down into the spectacular cave.   Next, enjoy a traditional Cretan meze lunch with local wine. After lunch, you'll continue around the plateau and then descend taking in views of the north coast and the impressive Aposelemis Dam. You will then visit a 2400-year-old plane tree, the oldest on the island, as well as the Selinari Monastery.

Crete: Full-Day Private Tour

8. Crete: Full-Day Private Tour

The ideal way to discover the island of Crete is with a private tour. Share a car and enjoy a full day with your group. Embark on an incredible island adventure with your friends or family, after planning the tour together with your professional guide. Beginning with pickup at your accommodation in Elounda, Agios Niklaos, Ierapetra, Malia, Crete, Hersonissos, or Ammoudara, the world is your oyster.  Settle into a comfy and luxurious Land Rover Discovery equipped with 6 seats and air conditioning. Discover local sites, hit the beach, or simply drive around taking in panoramic views. Perfect for a wedding trip or a birthday, relish in total privacy and the utmost luxury. Included in the tour is a fresh, high-quality dinner at a local taverna.

Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

9. Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

Ever felt you wanted to get away from crowds and blaze your own trail? This is your chance to enjoy the many sights, tastes and aromas of Crete on your own terms. Take advantage of this personalized tour service and get ready for private tour that will take you from one sight to the next, from breathtaking views to traditional villages to the secret villages of Crete – each one chosen by you. Are you into wine culture, archaeological sites, traditional Greek cooking lessons, unique beaches, or Mediterranean gastronomy? This tour will take you from the heights of the rocky Lassithi plateau to the traditional villages tucked away off the beaten path. Start at the village of Krasi and visit the huge 2,400-years-old Writer’s Plane Tree, named so because it was beloved by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century. In the same village, see how the Cretans used to wash their clothes in the traditional manner. Next up is Panagia Kera, a 13th century Byzantine monastery where you can find a depiction of the Catholic St. Francis, who is famous in Crete among the gorgeous iconography. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the unique Lassithi Plateau, a rocky and austere place, long treasured for the beauty of its scenery. There you can visit the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Have lunch in a traditional taverna outside Krasi, at your own expense.

From Ierapetra: Hiking in Crete

10. From Ierapetra: Hiking in Crete

Hike or walk in southeastern Crete with its beautiful mountains and breathtaking views of land and sea. Olive groves, chapels and villages turn up in the rich and varied landscape. Peace and quiet in a tranquillity where all you hear is the wind and the goat bells. Spend time in nature, take in greenery and views, enjoy the present. Both body and soul get rest and recovery, new energy and power. Let your thoughts wander over the mountains. Marked hiking trails are rare in Crete. After some years of hiking, an excellent range of personal and unique hikes have been collected. With a hiking leader, you can relax, do not have to worry about getting lost and will experience hidden gems. The hiking leader will give information about the area, culture and history that will enrich your hiking experience. The hikes begin in Ierapetra, in southeastern Crete, away from the main tourist areas. Here, the pace is calmer and everyday life goes on. The area is rich in sights with such charming villages, historical landmarks and nice beaches. Enjoy the wonderfully delicious food and the famous Cretan hospitality. The hikes follow mainly small dirt roads. The hiking season runs from early September to mid-June. Welcome to the magical island of Crete.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lerapetra

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What people are saying about Lerapetra

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,737 reviews

Perfect day: Personal pick-up by the tour guide Elena at the hotel and continuation by modern bus and other guests to Ierapetra, well informed by Elena (German, English, French). Arriving at the place there was still time to quickly buy bathing sandals, which one prefers to have on the stony rock layers on the island of Chrissi (good tip from Elena) or to enjoy a café with a direct view of the sea. Then on the ferry to the island, this year mooring is not allowed, the north side was too windy, so we drove to the southern part. There you could either disembark/jump with or without a life jacket and swim ashore. Great refreshment in the turquoise blue sea! The few meters are not to be underestimated, but a normal swimmer can do it. On the island you can only stay on the beach, do not go further in, forbidden for nature conservation reasons. Later, a direct, pleasant journey home as on arrival. Great, worthwhile trip! Thanks

One pass, you go down to the island swimming, you can leave your valuables in the bar with all confidence, they close your bag and put your name, you swim to the island in transparent turquoise waters, you can only walk on a certain part and not barefoot, it burns a lot of sand, you go back to the boat and they take you to a beach at the back of the island, they stop near the beach and it's not worth going ashore, the place is wonderful and when you're exhausted from diving and swimming it becomes , a 10, is amazing.

Very nice activity, the bus picked us up at the nearest accommodation The excursion was incredible, the island of Chrissi is really worth the detour Only downside, we had barely 30min for the city of Ierapetra, just enough time to find a midday meal

Top service! We had excellent communication with Cretan Odyssey from start to finish. Chrissi is a beautiful and naturally pure place to see, we definitely recommend taking that cruise!

Very well organized, great guide and bus. Pity we couldn't get more time on the island. Definitely recommended though.