Crete is beautiful and exceptional in many ways. Being the largest Greek island, it has the most diverse mix of landscapes. Crete is crisscrossed with gorges, dotted with isolated fishing villages, coves and sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Libyan Sea. East Crete is a feast for the senses: wild natural beauty and thousands of years of culture, history and exquisite cuisine. It's hospitality shares the characteristics of its famous landscape: grand, generous and infinitely welcoming. In the South East corner of the island you will find Makrigialos. The official spelling is Makry-Gialos, the anglicised spelling, however, often varies. Prior to this, Makrigialos was used, and this spelling remains popular. This little known gem of a place is one of the quieter, less developed destinations in East Crete, with some of the best beaches on the island. The local economy is based much on agriculture as it is on tourism, and when the summer season ends, local business owners look to the olive harvest, which generates some of the finest and best olive oil in the world.
In Greek it is spelled Μακρύ-Γιαλός, which translates literally as Long Shore. The former "Dimos" (Municipality) of Makrigialos stretched from the south coast resort of Agia Fotia in the west to the monastery of Moni Kapsa in the east, and from the southern Mediterean Sea to the 1200 metre high (4,000 ft) mountains of Orno Oros in the north. The people of Makrigialos pride themselves not only on their Greek nationality, but more especially on their Cretan heritage, in an area that is home to Minoan, Venetian, and Roman ruins, the former dating as far back as 1400 B.C. More 'recent' evidence of habitation can be found at the Kapsa Monastery, perched on the hill-side where Pervolakia gorge emerges at the coast, 7km east of town, and believed to have been founded in the 15th century. Makrigialos does have a permanent population of around 1000 inhabitants, which offers an outstanding example of the welcome visitors receive, one that is unmatched anywhere else in Europe. Join our culture in Makrigialos and become part of it.
Makrigialos village boasts an excellent selection of bars, restaurants, and tavernas, many fronting onto the beach. There is also a small fishing harbour - a pleasant place to stroll around, with its own patch of sandy beach and a cluster of waterfront bars, tavernas and restaurants. It is an ideal places for those looking for a quiet relaxing stay, but with the facilities offered by larger resorts. Contemporary culture is represented by timeless traditional Cretan villages, such as Pefki and Agios Stefanos, which dot the gorge-cut mountain side. The beaches of Makrigialos are beautiful, with crystal clear and shallow waters. Perfect for children and non-swimmers, and further out for more experienced swimmers. It is a great place for both couples and families in search of peace, quiet and privacy. The area around Makrigialos has many small deserted coves and a wide variety of sea shores, from rocky and wild to calm and sandy. Within a range of several kilometers from Makrigialos there is all that visitors to Crete would expect to see.
Makrigialos East Crete
There are numerous outstanding beaches in the Makrigialos Crete region. Whilst the most popular during the summer is the Blue Flag Makrigialos main beach, which offers all facilities, including water sports and several beach front tavernas. The coastline is gently shelving, the shallow clear waters and golden sands are perfect for families and couples with young children. You can also reach several other beaches within a short walking distance. Refreshments, sun beds, and umbrellas are available on several beaches. All beaches offer perfect swimming conditions, and water sports facilities.
Further east takes you to Lagada and Diaskari beach. These beaches can be found just opposite the Bay View Resort development. At Diaskari are sun beds and hammocks shaded by pergolas available. It's next to the small and excellent traditional Diaskari or Green beach taverna located at the western end with a fabulous food in the most idyllic setting of the area. Lagada Beach welcomes nudists. Further still, by taking the road to Kalo Nero, you will reach Amathi beach and several other small coves and undiscovered beaches which are often deserted, although there are no facilities on these beaches.
To the west of Makrigialos Crete, the first beach is Kalamokania (it's name is from a migratory bird, Kalamokanas in Greek), where deeper waters offer better snorkelling opportunities, which has a couple of restaurants which also provide sun beds and umbrellas. Further on there are beaches along the coast by Koutsouras and Mavros Kolimbos, and a very attractive horseshoe shaped bay at Galini where sun beds, umbrellas, and refreshment facilities are available. Whether you are a water sports enthusiast, or just looking for a private beach for peace and solitude, there is a beach here to suit you.
Lagoufa beach in Makrigialos is nearby to Análipsi and Pilalímata and situated in front of the two large hotel complexes in Makrigialos. These two hotel complexes are built into a couple of adjacent, picturesque and narrow, deep sandy coves that mark the eastern extent of the shallow waters of Makrigialos bay. Lagoufa beach accounts for the second of the blue flags awarded beaches in the area, certifying its excellent waters. The beach has very fine golden sand, shallow and clear blue water. Lagoufa beach is also very well organised, it has umbrellas, bars, showers and different kind of water sports like waterskiing and banana boats are also available during the summer months. This might look as private beach, but access to the beach is permitted to everybody, since there are no private beaches in Greece and you can access the beach by crossing the hotel area or by walking from the Makrigialos main beach which is a stroll of about 1.5 kilometre.
Another beach with crystal clear waters and golden sand on the outskirts of Makrigialos East Crete is Ammoudi beach. It's a stunning remote beach which is formed in a small cove, surrounded by high and smooth white rocks, that is not easily seen from the road. It lies just next to the road connecting Makrigialos and Goudouras and close to the Kapsa monastery and Pervolakia gorge. Also called Dragon’s Cave, due to a large cave 500m north of the beach and the fantastic tavern next to it. For many this is the best beach in Makrigialos region because it is never busy and totally secluded. It’s a bit difficult to reach by foot but the walk is worth it, in about 5 to 10 minutes you will arrive down to the cliff. The seabed is white sandy and beautiful with shallow, turquoise and crystal clear waters.
Perfect for families with small children. Once at the beach there is a healthful clay one can break off from the cliff, mix with water and apply to one’s skin to dry as a natural spa.
On the way from Makrigialos to Goudouras you will find Kalo Nero, meaning good water. One of the secluded bays here is called Staousa beach. It is located just after the traditional taverna Oasis. After this taverna there is a small parking place for your car. From the parking spot, follow the concrete path with stairs at the end which makes it easy to get to the small and secluded beach. It is very beautiful, with fine pebbles and turquoise waters, while its main feature is the large cave on the east, where you can find shade. An idyllic place without umbrellas or sun beds but it is worth a visit. It’s also one of the best places for snorkelling in the area of Makrigialos. You can even snorkel into the small cave without problems and exit it a few meters further into the sea again. When snorkelling in these shallow rocky habitats you will find several of brightly coloured fishes and many small rock formations like walls, pass throughs and small caves.