At one with Chrissi Island

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Okay nature lovers; don’t say we don’t spoil you. Here’s an idyllic island just off Crete that you must explore on your cheap or all inclusive holiday to this fabulous slice of Greece.

As with all paradisiacal islands, a little boat trip is required to take you to paradise. And you’ve probably already guessed that you won’t be alone on your journey across the warm Mediterranean Sea. That’s right unfortunately this is not a very well kept secret, but nonetheless it’s worth sharing the island with others.

Where is it?

It’s located to the south of Crete and just 10kms south of Ierapetra in the south east. Basically it’s really close to the mainland, but is best reached by boat unless you are an Olympic swimmer. If you are, we advise you not to wear your medal as this will definitely weigh you down.

What does Chrissi Island promise?

The island is affectionately known as Donkey Island. You’re probably expecting us to tell you why, but contrary to popular belief we are not the authority on Crete Islands. Okay we’re being modest, we do know quite a lot and that includes the fact that Chrissi Island is also called Gaidouronisi. And guess what, that means donkey.

Chrissi Island
Source: Chrissi Island

These sensible shoes were made for walking

If you’re up for a three hour stroll, then the island’s pathways will take you on a 10km tour. At some point you will come across the Cedar Forest, which plays the spectacular backdrop to some of the beaches and dunes. These towering trees with huge exposed roots date back 200 to 300 years.

Spot the wildlife, past and present

Chrissi Island has many beautiful beaches that are littered with shells and fossils dating back to 350,000 to 70,000 years. The island’s policy is very much ‘look but don’t touch’ or at least don’t take them home, however tempted you are.

Sea turtles frequent the beaches but don’t tend to hang about to nest and the Mediterranean monk seal was also once a fan. Unfortunately they are rarely sighted here anymore, however over 120 species of birds are guilty of making that racket overhead.


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