Chrisi or Gaidouronisi (donkey island) lies 8 miles south of Ierapetra. The residents of Ierapetra simply call it "the island", as there is a special relationship between them, lost in the depths of time.For five months -from the middle of May to the end of September- there are daily cruises by boats to Chrisi, departing from the port of Ierapetra.In the wonder of the Libyan sea, the journey is usually in the company of herring seagulls, while occasionally dolphins play within sight. After almost an hour's sailing, the boats approach the southern coast of the island, which is normally more sheltered. Passengers disembark at "Vougiou Mati" where there is a small wharf and the reception area. Within the day trip the visitor has enough time to walk around Chrisi, bathe in its crystal clear green-blue waters and have lunch at the municipal taverna.
The total length of the island's pathways is 10km. With three hours of relaxed walking the visitor can obtain a good idea of the variety of the landscape. All you need is a pair of sports shoes, and of course hat, sunscreen and water during the summer months.One that doesn't enjoy walking so much can relax by the blue sea either on the jetty or on the northern beach, which is 5 minutes walk. Even on a relaxed, short stay like that, Chrisi remains very impressive.Human presence on the island dates back to the Minoan times but only recently the natural environment has been disturbed. The preservation of such a special place, apart from the ethical element, is also imposed by strict national and European law.