The locals call the islands opposite Sitia “Dionisades” and “Ianisades” and often make use of the fishing grounds there. It is worth taking a boat over there to pay a visit. The rare Mediterranean hawk “Falco Eleonorae” can be found there on its isolated beaches.
Many fishing boats spend the night there, lights dancing on the dark waters, their only company the dolphins that sport around them.


Elasa is the easternmost territory of the province of Sitia and the entire Crete region, as it is located about 3 nautical miles east of Cape Sidero. It spans an area of 1.75 square kilometers, while the highest altitude is 75 meters.
Its terrain consists mainly of hard limestone and its entire coastline is rocky, with the exception of the tiny bay in the center of the island, next to the island shelter. The internal part of the isle hosts low vegetation, made of phrygana and low shrubs. Elasa is a protected area and the high distance from the nearest cities has fortunately kept the place virgin.


Karpathos is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Together with the neighboring smaller Saria Island it forms the municipality of Karpathos, which is part of the Karpathos regional unit. Because of its remote location, Karpathos has preserved many peculiarities of dress, customs and dialect, the last resembling those of Crete and Cyprus. The island has also been called Carpathus in Latin and Scarpanto in Italian.


Kasos lies southwest of Karpathos, and east of Crete. The island lies within the subtropical zone, being at 35ºN latitude. Adjacent to the island is the Strait of Kasos, through which some of the Modified Atlantic Water enters the Sea of Crete. Its shape is elliptic and resembles that of Rhodes. The main island has a surface of 49 square kilometres, and it is 17 km long and 6 km wide. It is very mountainous, with its highest mount being Mt. Prionas, which is 550 meters high. There is fresh water on the island. Lawrence Durrell is rather disparaging about the island, begrudging it a mere 22 words in a brief comparison to Karpathos, calling it a “smaller, stonier version of the same sort of thing.”


The island of Koufonisis can be found etched on to the horizon southeast of Xerokambos. The remains of Minoan and Roman dwellings have been discovered here and it would appear that the island was heavily populated from ancient times until the post Roman era. Proof of this is the large Grecoroman theatre, with seating for a 1000 people, which was unearthed here. According to these finds, it would seem that the island was a major centre for the harvesting and processing of the porphyry which was abundant in the seas of the region.

Chryssi Island

Chrissi island is almost flat with colorful volcanic rocks covered in gold sand, purple shells and sand dunes. It is 5 km long and has an average width of 1 km and an average height of 10m. The highest hill is on the east part and is called “Kefala” 31 m high. From over there the visitor can have an impressive view of the Libanon cedar forest, probably the last existing in Europe. The density of these trees is approximately 28 trees per hectare and in an average age of 200 years old.
On the west part of the island the visitor can see the well-preserved old chapel of Agios Nikolaos (possibly built in the 13th century), the salt pan which still gathers salt, the old port, the Minoan ruins, some Roman carved graves and the light house. At the Byzantine era the main source of income was fishing, salt export and the export of “porfira” a scarlet dye produced from shells for the cloaks of Europe’s royalty.


Spinalonga is a small island near Elounda in East Crete. Spinalonga is also known as the Leper Island, as that is where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined until 1957.
Today thousands of tourists visit Spinalonga each summer by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka, for a tour of its ruined buildings, which the Archaeological Service is laboriously trying to maintain.


This is a small uninhabited island to the west of Mochlos where important artefacts from the pre-Minoan period have been found which provide evidence that Psira was an important sea port. An amphitheatrically shaped settlement was unearthed here together with clay pots and vases – considered some of the finest examples of Minoan art – which can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum at Heraklion.