Coordinates: 34°52′20″N 25°42′30″E
Chrysi (“golden”) and alternatively known as Gaidouronisi (“donkey island”), is an uninhabited Greek island approximately 15 km south of Crete close to Ierapetra in the Libyan Sea.
Approximately 700m east of the island is the island of Mikronisi.
Administratively these islands fall within the Ierapetra municipality in Lasithi Prefecture.
It is possible to visit Chrysi by sea from Ierapetra and from Myrtos. There is a nudist beach on the north coast of the island. The highest point on the island is called Kefala (“head”) and it is 31m above sea-level. On the western part of the island is the chapel of Saint Nicholas (estimated to date to the 13th century). There are also a salt pan, an old port, some Minoan ruins, a lighthouse and a Roman cemetery.
For six months a year – from mid-May until late October there are small boats, departing from the ports of Ierapetra and Makrigialos, to the island on a daily basis. The boats take you on an hour’s trip around the vessels approaching the southern side of the island, which is usually calmer. The exit is in the “Vougiou Eye” where there is a small pier, reception, and the tavern. The departure takes place at the same time every day.
Chrysi is protected by Natura 2000 Networking Programme as an “area of intense natural beauty”. The island hosts the largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe. There is no fresh water on the island. The majority of trees have an average age of 200 years and average height of up to 7 metres, some of the trees are up to 300 years old and 10 metres tall. The density is approximately 28 trees per hectare.
Things to do