Lassithi Sights & Attractions
The area of Lassithi Greece is known for its mountainous landscape, the long sandy beaches, and the interesting sites. Although this is the less tourist-developed region of Crete, it is yet charming in its own unique way. Vai, Xerokampos, Agia Fotia, Kouremenos, Istron, and Palekastro are among the most beautiful beaches of Lassithi, although a drive around will bring visitors to many secluded beaches. The Lassithi Plateau is a fantastic region to explore by car, while not to miss is the boat trip from Ierapetra to the stunning island of Chrissi. A very interesting excursion is also to the Island of Spinalonga, on the northern side of Lassithi, which was a former leper colony.
You can see below the best Sites in Lassithi: Ancient sites, Museums, Churches, and more. You can filter them by category and location.
Do you want to learn about available activities? Check the best Things to do in Lassithi.
This is a lush green plain of wild beauty. Many picturesque villages and windmills dot this plateau. The capital village is Tzermiado.
This is the only palm forest in Europe and spreads around a gorgeous, sandy beach. It used to be a free camping spot but today it is prohibited.
The spectacular vision of white windmills on the Lassithi plateau on Crete Island is one of a kind. The windmills are located to the northern entrance of the plateau and they use groundwater to irrigate the crops.
The Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos was established in 1970. It houses a rich collection of findings from excavations in eastern Crete. The exhibits date from the Minoan till the Roman times.
The sea lake of Agios Nikolaos is the main feature of the town. It is connected to the sea through a channel and many fishing boats find a safe shelter in this lake.
A strong fortress was built by the Venetians on this islet, right opposite the port of Elounda. Later on, this is where the lepers of Greece were transferred, until the 1960s. Nowadays Spinalonga is uninhabited but excursion boats from Elounda transfer visitors there in summer.
In close distance to Ierapetra, on the 24th km from Agios Nikolaos to Ierapetra and close to the village of Vassiliki, is the impressive Gorge of Ha. Crossing this gorge is very dangerous due to the abrupt rocky landscape.
Kazarma Fortress was built by the Venetians in the Medieval times to protect the town from enemies. Today many cultural events are organized there in summer.
Lato was an ancient Minoan town built between two hills. Today visitors can see the remains of a fortress, a temple, and an ancient theatre. The location offers an amazing view of the Gulf of Agios Nikolaos.
One of the largest and most important monasteries of Crete, the Monastery of Toplou is found on the way from Sitia to Vai beach. The date of its foundation is unknown, but it is estimated around the 15th century.
The Cave of Milatos can be reached through a short walking path. It has historical importance for Crete as 3,600 Greeks were slaughtered there by the Turks in 1823. Inside the cave, there is a small church.
Chrissi is a small island on the southern side of Crete. This island can be reached by boat from Ierapetra in about an hour and it is famous for the exotic beaches.
The Minoan Palace of Zakros was discovered in 1961, but works had started many decades before. The palace has a central courtyard, some labyrinth corridors, and many rooms, while a corridor connecting it to the port. A small town surrounded the palace.
The Kales Fortress of Ierapetra stands right at the entrance of the port. It was constructed by the Venetians in the 13th century but not much of the castle remains today.
Ancient Pressos was continually inhabited from the Neolithic till the Hellenic times. It was one of the most powerful cities in eastern Crete, but today few of the town survive.
The Monastery of Panagia Kroustalenia is found close to Tzermiado village on Lassithi Plateau. It was constructed in the 13th century. The monks of this monastery contributed a lot to the Cretan Revolution.
The church of Panagia Kera is a three-aisled church with many frescoes from the 14th and the 15th century. It is located 9 km west of Agios Nikolaos and 1 km from Kritsa.
The monastery of Faneromeni stands on a hill overlooking the sea, at a distance of 8 km west of Sitia. The main church was built in the 15th century and the view is awesome.
This museum is housed in the former Commercial Ottoman School, offered by the Municipality of Ierapetra to the Ministry of Culture. The museum exhibits items from the Minoan, Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Roman times.
The ancient site of Vassiliki was constructed in the Minoan times but it was destroyed many times until totally abandoned in the late Minoan period. Notable findings were excavated in Vassiliki, such as jugs, dishes, jewelry, and ceramic items.
The place was excavated in the first years of the 20th century by the American archaeologist H. Boyd and the findings include a small palace on top of a hill, the residence of the administrator, the market and the grounds of some stone houses whose walls were 2m high.
The cave of Trapeza is located 1 km away from Tzermiado, in Lassithi Plateau. Archaeologists have found exhibits from the pre-Minoan era in this cave, a sign that it was used for cult and residence.
The rocks of this gorge were used as burial grounds in the Minoan times and that is how the gorge got its name. The area is ideal for trekking and it takes about two hours to cross it. The gorge leads from Zakros to Kato Zakros.
The private observatory Sasteria is located in Agios Stefanos, a mountainous village north of Makrigialos, souther Lassithi. It works all year round and gives the visitor a unique opportunity to see the wonders of the sun and the night sky.
The Archaeological Museum of Sitia was established in 1984. It houses exhibits from the region of Sitia and the wider region of Lassithi, dating from the Minoan till the Roman times.
Dikteon Cave (or Dikteon Andron, or Psychro Cave, as it is also called) is located close to the village of Psychro, in Lassithi Plateau. This impressive cave rich in stalactites and stalagmites is where Zeus was born, according to Greek mythology.
The Holy Monastery of Vidiani is located at the northwest entrance of Lassithi Plateau. It was constructed in the 19th century and hosts a department of the Museum of Natural History of Crete.
On the way from Sissi to Agios Nikolaos, close to the village of Vrahassi, there is the monastery of Agios Georgios of Selinari. It was originally founded in the 16th century and it is believed that its icon is miracle working.
Kapsa Monastery is located 7 km east of Makrigialos. It was founded in the 15th century and was restored in the 19th century by monk Gerontogiannis, who lived in a closed cave. During the Second World War, it helped people to get into submarines and leave for Egypt. The monastery celebrates on August 29th.
This museum is housed in the ground floor of the Port Police, just opposite the lake of Agios Nikolaos. It exhibits fine examples of folk art, such as woodcarving, weaving, and embroideries as well as local traditional costumes and a few Byzantine icons.