Distance from Heraklion: 152 km

Distance from Chania: 292 km

Activities: Snorkeling, visit to the palm forest

Best time to visit: Summer

Amenities: Food, water, organized beach

The Vai palm forest in Crete is located in the prefecture of Lassithi, at the eastern end of Crete, at a distance of about 20 km from Sitia. It is one of the 19 aesthetic forests of Greece due to the endemic Cretan palm tree, which has been known since the Minoan era. The area of ​​the forest is 20 hectares and the name comes from the Cretan dialect, since the locals call the palm trees Vagies or Vagia. In 1970, when the hippies were sent away from Matala, they found refuge in Vai, turning the area into a huge landfill. In 1980, it was declared a protected area and got cleaned, while today it is one of the beaches of Crete that bear the Blue Flag of the European Union.

The heavenly palm forest is planted on a large wetland of 250 acres with brackish water gushing from the ground. The area between the palm forest and the beach is also an important wetland for avifauna, while a huge wealth of marine life develops in the sea.

One thing is certain: the palm trees in combination with the beach carries the visitor to a tropical Caribbean island.

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