Vai Palm beach is located at the far northeast of Crete, 93km away from Agios Nikolaos and 23km from Sitia. It’s the island’s biggest attraction at the eastern part and the largest palm forest in Europe.
The Vai palm grove is a part of a complex system of wetlands which covers an area of 250.000sqm. The area is under Natura 2000 protection and was nearly destroyed in the late 90’s, mostly by lack of awareness from locals and visitors who disrespected the place.
Vai is a beautiful sandy beach, organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and a canteen. During July and August the beach might get very busy and crowded but there’s an alternative. At the south part of the beach, if you follow the trail, there is in short distance a more secluded beach known as Psili Ammos.
Another excellent beach close to Vai, 3km to the north, is Itanos or Erimoupolis. Actually it’s not one beach but three coves really close to each other which means more choices for you! Don’t forget to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Itanos. Itanos was once a significant Minoan and Hellenic settlement, an important port of Romans and was used also by the Venetians as a fortress.
Moni Toplou, a very historic monastery of Crete, is situated 9km southwest of Vai beach. The museum holds a great variety of Byzantine icons, artifacts, books and documents showcasing the great history of this place which goes back to the 15th century. There isn’t a significant moment in the history of Crete island that Moni Toplou hasn’t been involved.
Driving in Crete can be fun and enjoyable. With SunRise Car Rentals you can hire a car from Agios Nikolaos, Sitia and Ierapetra. Book you car and you will get it delivered straight at the hotel you’ll be staying!