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Koutsounari Long beach

Beach description

Koutsounari, a quaint seaside hamlet, lies 6km east of Ierapetra and 43km southeast of Agios Nikolaos. It nestles near the scenic village of Agios Ioannis, set against the backdrop of the Thripti Range. The village is perched on a verdant hill, surrounded by olive groves and pine trees, just a kilometer north of the South Cretan Sea coastline.

A kilometer to the south of Koutsounari is the expansive Long Beach of Agios Ioannis, stretching 5km, one of the longest in Crete. This broad, serene beach features the distinctive coarse grey sand typical of southern Crete. In many spots, tamarisk trees punctuate the landscape, and their length makes the beach appear deserted. The beach is somewhat organized in certain areas (near hotels) and is dotted with hotels, restaurants, mini markets, and a camping site.

If you venture eastward along the beach, you’ll encounter fewer swimmers. On the eastern end of Long Beach, a bay known as Psaropoula (named after an old local tavern) is shaped. Psaropoula features soft sand and tranquil waters, situated in front of a hotel, it is well-equipped with umbrellas, sunbeds, showers, and water sports. The sea here is typically calm, and the rocky seabed makes it a suitable spot for snorkelling.

Beyond Psaropoula lies another small cove boasting a well-appointed beach with umbrellas, showers, and water sports. This beach, located in front of the Kakkos Bay hotel, is called Villa Despot, translating to “Priest’s Villa” in Greek, named after a priest-owned building nestled between the two beaches. The beach is flanked by large rocks that provide a perfect spot for diving into the sea.

Visiting Long Beach in autumn offers a sight of the rare white sand lilies, signaling the summer’s end. These lilies are protected, so visitors are encouraged to appreciate their beauty from a distance without touching or picking them.