Lassithi in Crete, land of gems

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Today we’ll take you to the east part of Crete. We’re taking a small break from our base in Chania, and we are visiting the eastern prefecture of our island called Lassithi, where magnificent pictures are going to unfold before our eyes. 

Our trip to Lassithi

A friend of mine invited us to the Blue Marine Hotel. It took us a good while to get to our destination since we live in the exact opposite side of the island so no wonder after our 3 1/2 hour drive the kids didn’t want to leave the hotel. You see the pool had the shape of a huge fish and the view below made the rest of us agree to the plan of relaxation for the day. Click here if you want to read my review of the Blue Marine Hotel.

The bay of Mirabello, the largest in Crete,  took its name from the Venetians and it means “good view”. This is exactly what we cherished as a welcome. Stunning view.

The East part of Crete was the first to be touristically developed back in the 60’s since it was discovered and highly recommended by respected celebrities such as Walt Disney and Jules Dassin. Elounda is the ideal destination for celebrities from all over the world who seem to be finding the ideal place to rest and get inspired. The exclusive services offered as well the discreet environment make it a must to quite a few every year.

Our visit to the small town of Ag. Nikolaos was accompanied by the legends of its lake. Lake Voulismeni is connected to the sea by a canal and it’s a quiet spot to walk around or enjoy a nice coffee or meal at the beautiful cafes and tavernas its surrounded by.

According to the legend, Goddess Athena and Artemis Vitromartys would refresh themselves in the waters of this lake. 

The legend also wants this lake to be bottomless, and this adds to its charm. Other theories of the previous century have wanted it to be the place where German armoury was thrown at the end of the second world war and disappeared ever since.

Also, the fact that in 1956 lots of dead fish suddenly rose in it connects it to Santorini and the intense earthquake that took place there.

All these little details, the myths and the legends make the perfect scenery for the kids to create strong memories of the places they see. Ag. Nikolaos is a small modern town ideal for relaxation and shopping. It is built on the site of ancient Lato which dates back to the Minoan Era. 

Our next stop is the picturesque village of Plaka which is also quite close and our drive was a pleasant surprise as the panoramic views leave you breathless. 

Plaka is the village facing the famous island of Spinalonga which was a place of exile for those with Hansen ’s disease. For half a century, until the cure was found an organised community was living a life of hope and patience.

As we are heading back to our beautiful Blue Marine hotel, we are talking about how lucky we are to be living on an island with such a rich and interesting history. We hope to explore it all and learn all about it.

As we enjoy our last sunset a, after having enjoyed the delicious cuisine at our beautiful Blue Marine Resort, we can only make a wish.

To be back again very very soon!

Recommended Tours to Explore Lassithi

If you don’t want to drive yourself but have a relaxing organised experience in Lassithi, I strongly recommend this tour:

Day Tour of Spinalonga, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda & Plaka. 

This value for money tour takes includes a comfortable pick up and tour bus, a visit Agios Nikolaos and a walk around the famous Lake Voulismeni. You will also see the views of the Gulf of Mirabello and the Elounda Lagoon. Than, there is a short boat ride from Plaka to Spinalonga where you will learn more about the history of Kolokitha and Spinalonga. Finally, there is time to explore the former leper colony and to walk in the idyllic fishing village of Elounda. Click here for more information and to book your tour.

If you want to explore on your own but with the help of an audio guide,  have a look at the self guided family audio tour: The Dictaean Cave tour: The birthplace of Zeus΄s. This self-guided audio walking tour in Psychro Cave at Lasithi is a great way to explore and learn. Readers of my blog are offered a 15% discount on the audio tours. Click here for more information. 

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Anastasia Lainaki Zacharopoulou

Greek blogger Anastasia lives in Chania, on the west side of Crete. She is the mother of two young children. Be inspired by Anastasia's local knowledge and join her in her journey around Crete.

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