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Zakros beach

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Beach description

Kato Zakros, a quaint fishing village, is nestled 107km east of Agios Nikolaos and 40km east of Sitia. It serves as the scenic port of Ano Zakros village, which is located 7km to the west, amidst a fertile valley bordered by rugged mountains and lush olive groves. This remote corner of Crete provides the perfect escape for those seeking tranquillity and an escape from the bustling city life, making it a favourite among families.

The village, though small, offers all the fundamental amenities without the trappings of luxury. The villagers primarily focus on the production of world-class olive oil. Rich in archaeological sites, including the renowned Minoan palace of Zakros, the village retains its natural beauty with limited construction. However, you will find a few accommodations, taverns, mini markets, pharmacies, and petrol stations. Regular bus services from Sitia also connect the village. The warm and welcoming locals will make you feel right at home.

The serene beach fringing the village is nestled within a large protected bay. Comprising mainly pebbles and occasional rocks, the beach boasts tranquil waters, offering a peaceful retreat even during the busy month of August. The rocky seabed is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts.

When in Kato Zakros, the famous Gorge of Zakros, ominously known as Deads’ Gorge, is a must-visit. Named after the many Minoan graves discovered within its cavernous sides, the gorge offers an adventurous hike from Zakros village that takes around two hours. The Minoan palace of Zakros, the fourth largest after Knossos, Phaestus, and Malia, is a significant archaeological site located near the gorge’s exit. It houses numerous artistic masterpieces from 1900BC and is open to the public, with the most significant findings displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

An old dirt road leading to Zakros, offering breathtaking views of the Gorge’s steep cliffs, is worth exploring if you have a car. Upon reaching the village, take a leisurely stroll through its narrow streets and visit its churches. The springs of Zakros, forming a small oasis amidst the wild landscape of Eastern Crete, are also worth a visit.

If time permits, a boat trip (or rigorous hike) to the secluded Cave of Pelekita could be an exciting expedition. As one of Crete’s largest caves, it has traces of Neolithic habitation. A nearby quarry, presumably used by the Minoans for constructing the palace of Zakros, is also an interesting sight.