Imposing mountain ranges, secluded beaches, monasteries and endless fields adorned with wind-mills... As you’ll soon realize, the natural beauty of the Lassithi area is only surpassed by the kind-ness and genuineness of its people.

The Lassithi plateau is made for road trips. Stop for photos by the white windmills of Tzermiado and the foot of the Gorge of Ha; traverse the Venetian fortress of Kazarma in Sitia and the 15th century monastery of Toplou; enjoy the buzz of Ierapetra town and the serenity of beaches such as Tholos, Zakros, Makrygialos, Myrtos and Agia Fotia; lose track of time in the exotic palm tree forest at the Vai beach.

When you’re ready to leave the car behind for a while, take a boat trip to the UNESCO-protected Spinalonga (the secluded island that inspired Victoria Hislop’s book) or go on a kayaking excursion near the cosmopolitan coastal town of Elounda. To wind down from your trip, visit Agios Nikolaos: the capital city of Lassithi prefecture with the unique sea lake at its heart, is a great place to enjoy a glass of tsikoudia and a fish meze before it’s time to head back.