Chrissi island beaches
The thousands of visitors arriving daily with the boat from Ierapetra to Chrissi island mainly swim on the beach of Belerinina or Golden Beach. Bright blue water, white sand with pink shades from the thousands of broken shells, the junipers that hold the sand with their huge roots is the backdrop that makes anyone fall in love with this place.
The island can be accessed from Ierapetra by ferry and the trip lasts about 50 minutes. The boats stop at the south side of the island and to get to Belegrina you have to cross the juniper wood to the north side of the island for about 10 minutes. Collecting shells, sand and anything else on the island is strictly forbidden, and great care is needed not to break branches from the protected junipers. The beach is initially rocky and then turns sandy.
Approximately 500m west of the main harbor Chrissi island, approximately in the middle of the southern side of the island, a dirt road leads us to the beautiful Vlychadia beach. The beach has black and red chalk that comes from red lava, while the bottom is mainly rocky. The surrounding vegetation is low and there is no natural shade. On the side of the beach there is an iconostasis (icon shrine). It is a good choice for those who want to be isolated on the south side of the island, especially in the days when the north is wavy or crowded.
At the eastern end of the island of Chrissi lies the beautiful beach of Kataprosopo (=face to face), which faces the island of Mikronissi. Mikronissi is a great refuge for marine avifauna. In fact, the beach is divided into two by a thin strip of rocky land, while the vegetation in juniper is clearly more limited than the other beaches of the eastern part of the island. The waters are shallow and do not exceed 5m to Micronissi, making it ideal for snorkelling.
A few meters north of the beach raises the small hill Kefala with a maximum altitude of just 31 meters, the highest peak in Chrissi. From the top you can see the island along its length.
The longest beach on the island of Chrissi is Hadzivolakas, which extends west of the central beach of Belerinna. The beach has mainly rocky seabed and is ideal for isolation as most of the island's visitors are limited to Belegrina.
Along the coast we meet small and large dunes, while at two points large volcanic rocks rise out of the sand. What makes the place unique is, however, the hundreds of junipers that take whatever forms one can imagine.
At the western end of the island of Chrissi, the small Cape Kendra is formed and right next to we meet the southernmost beach of the island. There is no high vegetation for shade, while the bottom, as in the whole island, is mainly rocky. You can combine your visit to the lighthouse and Agios Nikolaos with a walk to Kendra.
At the eastern part of the island of Chryssi and on the south side of the island the large beach of Vages is formed. Vages generally has a rocky bottom, except for the eastern edge where there is sand. It is a very nice place for isolation and usually there is no wave.
The position on the southern side of the island of Chryssi where the the boats carrying visitors from Ierapetra stop is called Vougiou Mati. To the west of the quay a small rocky bay is formed with small caves. On the east side of the quay, a long rocky beach is formed, which visitors prefer when the most popular beach of the island, Belegrina or Golden Beach in the north, is wavy. The beach is surrounded by the protected junipers of the island.
Fragou Mnima Beach
At the eastern end of the juniper wood of Chrisi we meet the small beach at Fragou Mnima. The area hosts a small saltpan, which the locals call Kaki Alyki and in winter it turns into a small swamp.
In addition to the junipers, small pine clusters have been developed at this point, which can cause problems to the junipers of the island due to their ecosystem penetration. The bottom is rocky and the beach is generally empty.
At the western end of the long beach of Chatzivolakas on the island of Chrissi, we find the beach Avlaki. Avlaki has rocky seabed, like almost the whole island. At the end of the beach there is the second harbour of the island at position Spilios and the only house in Chrissi built in the middle of the 20th century. The name Spilios (cave) is taken after an old house built in the rock.
Adjacent to the house there is the old saltpan, which in winter turns into a small wetland. Very close to Spilios there is the church of Agios Nikolaos, many wells with fresh water that gave life to the cultivations that were developed here in the past, ancient graves and traces of buildings that were probably facilities for the production of the Tyrian purple. At the harbor we can see traces of an ancient quay that probably was the harbor of the ancient settlement.