A Glimpse into the Heart of East Crete
The Gem of South-East Crete
The village is 30 km far from Sitia and 25 from Ierapetra. The name Makrigialos (or Makry Gialos), which means “long beach”, reveals its main advantage, as it constitutes a big bay with a long sandy beach with crystal clear, shallow waters which makes it perfect for children and non-swimmers, and further out for more experienced swimmers.
Makrigialos is a popular destination in Crete, for tourists of all kinds as it gives the opportunity to choose between two large but different in character beaches – one sandy and with shallow waters and one with small stones and deep waters. The large sweep of sandy beach offers a selection of some well conceived and decorated restaurants, cafes and bars, feeling casually-stylish in the evenings (mostly casual!) and also provides a local and not excessively tourist-trodden atmosphere. The small fishing harbour is the best choice for a pleasant stroll.
The place covers the needs of both, families or couples that want to avoid manicured resorts, and looking for peaceful and unhurried holidays and young people who seek clubbing till dawn, cafes, sea sports and other activities. As for those who enjoy exploration, having Makrigialos as a base for exploring eastern Crete is the best thing you could do, since it has the best beaches in south-east Crete.
Explore some of the most famous & picturesque towns of East Crete
Sitia is the easternmost town of Crete. It is a picturesque town with about 10,000 residents, built on the west side of its mesmerizing bay. Sitia has the only airport in eastern Crete and a port, with ferries running to Piraeus, Milos, Rhodes, Kassos and Karpathos. Sitia has not experienced the effects of mass tourism even though there is a long beach with sunbeds along the road leading to the palm forest of Vai and several places of historical interest.
Agios Nikolaos is the cosmopolitan capital of East Crete with 12.000 permanent residents, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The lake, the town’s jewel, which is known for its many legends dominates its centre with its imposing beauty. A stroll in the shops is always a pleasure. Stores sell unique souvenirs, local products and delicacies that dazzle everyone’s palate. The town is filled with traditional coffee shops and restaurants that serve local dishes and raki.
Ierapetra is the southernmost city of Greece. It is a town of 12,500 residents, who mainly deal with agriculture, as Ierapetra produces vast quantities of vegetables that are exported mainly to Europe.
How to reach us
In order for you to get to Makrigialos, there is a choice of 2 different routes. You could either arrive at Heraklion airport/port or Sitia airport.
Option 1 : Arriving at Heraklion (HER)
Distance : Heraklion – Makrigialos = 120 km (approximately 1.5 hours’ drive).
All major scheduled airlines fly to Athens with easy connections to ‘Nikos Kazantzakis’ airport at Heraklion. However, there is a number of charter airlines with direct flights to Heraklion.
For a more leisurely arrival in Crete, a number of ferry services are available. Direct services between Peireus (the port of Athens, port code TZE) and Heraklion (HCR) are run by a number of companies like Minoan Lines, ANEK Lines and Superfast Ferries. The service is frequent and comparatively fast, taking under seven hours.
By car / taxi
After your arrival at Heraklion you can either pick up a hire car at the airport or take a taxi to Makrigialos. Taxi services are the fastest and most convenient/ relaxing way to get around Crete, but they are quite expensive. There is a taxi stand just outside the airport, and the taxi driver will probably charge you approximately 130-150 € for the ride to Makrigialos, therefore it would be convenient if you could share the taxi / price with other people – if possible.
In case you prefer to take the shuttle bus, there is a bus stop outside the airport & port premises.
Shuttle bus travel in Crete is operated by KTEL, using a fleet of modern, air-conditioned coaches. Bus services along the north coast and towards the south coast are excellent, reliable, frequent and cheap (the ticket price will not exceed 14 € / adult from Heraklion to Makrigialos).
Travel from and to Heraklion, with a stop at the airport, is via Ierapetra, where there is a change of bus. It is also possible to take a bus from the airport to Agios Nikoloas, with a change of service for onward travel to Ierapetra. Locally, there is a service between Ierapetra and Makrigialos, and the Ierapetra – Sitia service also stops at Makrigialos. Bus drivers usually divert from their marked routes to enter little villages if asked to do so, therefore your travel time will be approximately 2 – 2.5 hours.For information: BUS SERVICES (KTEL) Heraklion – Lasithi web site: www.ktelherlas.gr
Option 2: Arriving at Sitia (JSH) airport
Distance : Sitia – Makrigialos = 34 km (approximately 40 minutes’ drive).
The second (and most convenient!!!) option is to fly via Athens direct to Sitia airport, which is serviced by Olympic Airlines.
Then you can hire a car, catch the shuttle bus or take a taxi from the taxi stand, which you will find just outside the airport area, in order to reach your final destination. The taxi driver will probably charge you approximately 30-50€
Eparxiaki Odos Ierapetras – Sitias, Makry-Gialos
Crete, Lassithi Prefecture, Greece
(+30) 2843 025572