Chrysi Island

Beach on Chrysi Island south of Crete, Greece


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.

Crete map

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.

A view of Crete from the island of ChrysiThere is a small bar on the north side of the island, a small tavern on the south side and a house on the northeast side. There is only one recognized permanent resident on the island until now.

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.

Cedrus libani foliageChrysi 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

diving in GreeceDiving: Due to the shallow and crystal clear waters around Chrysi, snorkelling and diving are popular activities. The Belegrina, Hatzivolakas, and Kataprosopo bays have a wide diversity of shells.



External links

Photos and videos from Chrysi island
Chrysi Island website
Chrysi Island, Ierapetra website

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