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Anissaras beaches

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Beach description

Located 21km east of Heraklion and west of Cape Sarandaris, the tranquil resort of Anisaras is now home to a plethora of large hotels, most of which provide all-inclusive services. Small sandy beaches with rocky seabeds line the front of these hotels, all well-equipped with umbrellas and sun beds mainly offered complimentary to hotel guests.

Although beautiful, the beaches have a generally rocky seabed, making them popular with snorkelers. Regular waves can pose challenges. The beach near Analipsi, however, the longest in the area, is notably sandier. The coastal road of Anissaras starts from here, running along the coast, stopping before the large Anissaras hotel complex, and then extends southwards, passing around the hotels up to Cape Sarandaris. To swim at the hotel-front beaches, one must either stroll along the coast until finding a preferred cove or seek permission from hotel security to cross the hotel grounds.

The small, picturesque chapel of St. George can be found on Cape Sarandaris, offering breathtaking views of Hersonissos’ western coves. It can be accessed by walking eastwards from the hotel beaches or by taking the road that links Anisaras and Hersonissos. Near the cape, a stone footpath leads to the church.

Anisaras is not a structured settlement, but rather a scattering of hotels and holiday homes, limiting dining and entertainment options outside the hotels. However, the close proximity of Hersonissos provides alternatives. Access to Anisaras from Heraklion by bus is slightly problematic, with no direct route available. The buses destined for Hersonissos stop about 2km from the beach, necessitating a taxi.

Contrary to rumors, Anisaras does not derive its name from the plant anise, which is not found in the area. Instead, the name is a corruption of ‘agisaras,’ the Greek name for the plant Cistus creticus (also known as aladania), which is abundant in the region.