Home » Tours & Cruises » East Crete: Vai Palm Beach, Sitia

East Crete: Vai Palm Beach, Sitia

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May - October
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Trip highlights

Ierapetra center Cruise to Chrisi island crete
Explore Ierapetra, celebrated for its array of distinctive local produce.
Inside Toplou East Crete tour Toplou Vai Sitia
Discover the historical wonders of Toplou Monastery.
Palm trees forest Vai East Crete tour Toplou Vai Sitia
Experience a tranquil day at the celebrated Vai Palm Beach.
Walk in the unique palm forest by the beach, swim, or snorkel.
Sitia East Crete tour Toplou Vai Sitia
Conclude the tour with a visit to the charming town of Sitia.


Road trip by bus to Ierapetra town, Toplou Monastery, the famous Palm Beach of Vai and Sitia town

Discover the enchanting east side of Crete with a visit to Vai Palm Beach. Embark on a day tour to Ierapetra, Europe's southernmost town and soak up the charm of Sitia's coastal town.  Explore the historic Toplou Monastery a 15th-century monastery nestled in a barren landscape.

The monastery is known for its impressive architecture. It includes a large fortified complex with high walls and a tower. This design was primarily intended to protect the monastery from pirate raids and other threats during the Venetian and Ottoman periods. Inside the monastery, visitors can explore the church. The church features intricate frescoes and religious icons, providing a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the region.

Additionally, the Toplou Monastery is renowned for its significant contributions to the local culture and economy. It has a unique production of high-quality agricultural products, including olive oil and wine. The monastery's vineyards and olive groves continue to operate, and the products are well-regarded for their exceptional quality.

Famous Palm Forest of Vai

 Vai Palm Beach is a stunning and unique beach located on the northeastern coast of Crete. It is renowned for its natural beauty, featuring Europe's largest natural palm grove, which consists primarily of the native Cretan Date Palm (Phoenix theophrasti). The palm trees at Vai Beach create an exotic and tropical atmosphere that is quite uncommon in Europe.

The beach itself is known for its soft golden sand and clear turquoise waters, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking a picturesque and tranquil setting. The surrounding landscape, with its rocky cliffs and lush greenery, adds to the charm of the beach, providing visitors with a sense of seclusion and natural splendor.

Vai Palm Beach is equipped with various facilities, including sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, as well as several taverns and cafes offering local Cretan cuisine and refreshments.

Experience natural wonders and cultural treasures in one unforgettable day. Book now online!

Duration of trip
Total Duration of the tour: 11-13 hours The trip duration varies depending on the location of your hotel.
Mobile ticketing
Simply present your digital voucher to either the guide or the driver, and they will be ready to assist you accordingly.
Pickup - Available
Pick-up and drop-off service are both included in the price of your booking.Our pick-up service covers different points, including hotels and bus stops. After making your booking, we will reach out to inform you about the specific location and time for the pick-up that is convenient for your accommodation.
Free cancellation
Cancel up to 48 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid 19 requirements
Currently, there are no specific requirements for participating. However, if the government's COVID regulations mandate any specific requirements, we will contact you to inform you accordingly.

Tour schedule

6:25 - 8:50

Participants will be collected from designated pick-up points within the specified time frame. The exact pick-up time will be determined based on the location of your accommodation.

Begin your adventure with a picturesque bus ride to Ierapetra, celebrated as Europe's southernmost and warmest town, boasting a unique climate that nurtures a rich array of agricultural products year-round. As you arrive, take a leisurely stroll along the town's beautiful beach road, where the azure waters meet the sun-kissed shores, offering a tranquil atmosphere that invites relaxation and contemplation.

Next on our itinerary is the venerable Toplou Monastery, a jewel of Eastern Crete with a history stretching back centuries. Here, you will spend 40 minutes immersed in the serenity and spiritual heritage of this sacred site. Admire the monastery's distinctive architecture, which has stood as a testament to Cretan resilience and faith, and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes that blend the rugged beauty of Crete's natural terrain with the meticulous care of its cultivated lands.

Our adventure then leads us to the breathtaking Vai Beach, renowned for its expansive natural palm forest, the largest of its kind in Europe. This exotic oasis offers a unique blend of natural beauty and serene beach experience. Spend two hours of leisure here, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, lounging under the sun, enjoying a delightful lunch at a local taverna, and capturing the beauty of this unparalleled setting with your camera.

The final stop on our journey is the enchanting town of Sitia, a vibrant port town that epitomizes Cretan hospitality and charm. Explore its cosmopolitan beach road for about 40 minutes, where the blend of traditional cafes and modern establishments invite you to sample the town's culinary delights. Savor a coffee in the shade of a local café, indulge in delectable homemade sweets, and immerse yourself in the laid-back rhythm of life in Sitia.

As the day draws to a close, we embark on our return journey to Heraklion by bus, carrying with us the treasured memories and experiences of our day exploring the captivating destinations of East Crete.

20:00 - 22:00

Evening Drop-off

Upon the conclusion of the tour, participants will board the buses and head back to their respective points, where they were originally picked up in the morning. The duration of the return journey to each hotel may vary depending on traffic conditions and the individual pick-up locations for each participant.

Extra information

  • Morning pick-up and evening drop-off
  • Travel in comfort aboard our air-conditioned bus
  • Professionally trained driver
  • ​Experienced tour guide to provide insightful information
  • All applicable taxes and legal fees
  • Participants covered by Public Liability Insurance
Not Included
  • Sunbeds / Umbrellas
  • Food/Drinks
  • Toplou Monastery Entrance: 3€
What To Bring
  • Hat / Sunglasses / Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit / Beachtowel
  • Comfortable shoes
Know before you go

Your tour guide will be there to assist you during the entire trip. While on the stops of the beach and the towns we will visit people will enjoy free time to explore on their own.

Please note that this tour ventures into the eastern part of Crete and will be an extended day-long adventure, including many hours spent traveling by bus. Prepare for a lengthy but rewarding journey as we explore the breathtaking landscapes and historical sites of the region.

Facilities in Vai Beach
  1. Eating Facilities: Yes, you can eat there. Vai Palm Beach has a cafe and a taverna where you can enjoy local Cretan cuisine and refreshments. These establishments offer a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood, traditional Greek meals, and quick snacks, perfect for refueling after a swim or a walk.
  2. Sunbeds to Rent: Yes, there are sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent at Vai Beach. These provide a comfortable way to enjoy the sun and the beach without having to lie directly on the sand. Renting a sunbed is a great option for those planning to spend several hours at the beach.
  3. Water Sport Activities: The availability of water sports at Vai Beach can vary depending on the season and the demand. Common water sports in many Crete beaches include snorkeling, paddleboarding, and sometimes windsurfing. While Vai Beach is more known for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere, you may find basic water sport activities available, especially during the high tourist season. However, it's always a good idea to check the current offerings before you go or to bring your own snorkeling gear if you're particularly interested in exploring the underwater life.
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