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Makrigialos beach

Beach description

Makrigialos, a small town nestled near the exit of Pefki canyon, is situated 58km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 23km to the east of Ierapetra. From its humble beginnings as a basic harbour in the 1950s with no connecting roads, Makrigialos has experienced considerable growth and is now the premier tourist hotspot in southeast Crete. The town is made up of two connected settlements, Makrigialos and Analipsi. There are a variety of accommodations, eateries, supermarkets, bakeries, ATMs, and medical facilities available for visitors.

Makrigialos’ growth is primarily attributed to its stunning beaches, tranquil shallow seas, and the majestic scenery of the Thripti Range to the north. The main beach, known as Makrigialos, Hani, or Long Beach, is located in Analipsi and stretches 1km. This well-maintained, narrow beach features fine golden sand and is surrounded by numerous cafes and restaurants. With its shallow, calm waters and warm temperatures even in winter, it is particularly suited for families and children.

To the west of the town beyond the port lies the lesser-known Kalamokanias beach with its unique coarse sand. North of the port in Katovigli, a small sandy beach extends from Makrigialos beach. This beach, also known as Katovigli or Limanaki, is equipped with free umbrellas and other amenities. The area is known for the ruins of a 2nd-century Roman villa, including baths and mosaics, a unique feature in eastern Crete. On the other side of the town are the two bays of Lagoufa, situated next to two large hotels.

Makrigialos is the ideal base for exploring the wider area, with its beautiful beaches stretching from Ferma to Goudouras and the surrounding villages. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy walking in the Pefki canyon or the lush Orino Gorge. In the town itself, visitors can explore local churches, the Roman Villa in Katovigli, and the Minoan villa at Plakakia, built between 1500-1450BC in the style of Minoan palaces. While nightlife is not particularly vibrant, there are several beach bars available. A leisurely walk to the Makrigialos harbour provides a picturesque view of the boats and local fishermen.