1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>

Makrigialos (Makry-Gialos)

Makrigialos (officially spelled Makry-Gialos) is a small, unspoiled beach resort on the south-east coast of Crete. It has a permanent population of around 1000 inhabitants who originate mostly from the surrounding villages, but it wasn't all that long ago that the village was just a scattering of store houses and fishermen's cottages. Even today the local economy is based as much, if not more, on agriculture as it is on tourism, and when the summer season ends, locals look to the olive harvest, which generates some of the finest olive oil in the world.

The village is one of the quieter, less developed destinations in Crete, with one of the best beaches in this part of the island. There is a good choice of bars, restaurants, and tavernas, with many establishments fronting onto the beach. There is also a small fishing harbour - a pleasant place to stroll around, with its own patch of sandy beach and collection of waterfront bars, tavernas and restaurants standing side by side.

During the summer season there are a range of water sports available, ranging from pedal boats to jet-skis, both from the main beach and from the beach below the hotel complex. Fishing boat charters are available from the harbour, and cruises to Chrissi island can be taken from Ierapetra, 30 minutes away by car. For a rural backwater the Makrigialos area boasts some world class attractions: every June the village hosts the prestigious Casa dei Mezzo music festival, and the nearby village of Agios Stefanos is home to the Sasteria public observatory and art workshop.


East Crete

A land of mountains, plateaux, gorges, and coast, south east Crete enjoys better than average weather, thanks to its North African influenced climate and mountainous hinterland that often takes the edge off the sometimes fierce northerly 'meltemi' winds. The resort is ideally positioned, close to the best beaches in south east Crete, and a central location from which to explore the natural, historical, and cultural treasures of east Crete.

The area has been inhabited for centuries and is home to Minoan, Venetian, and Roman ruins, the former dating as far back as 1400 B.C. More 'recent' evidence of habitation can be found at the Kapsa Monastery, perched on the hill side four miles east of town, and believed to have been founded in the 15th century. Contemporary culture is represented by timeless traditional Cretan villages, such as Pefki and Agios Stefanos, which dot the gorge-cut mountain sides.

Road access is good, allowing day trips that range from Toplou Monastery in the far north-east, the palatial ruins of Minoan Kato Zakros on the east coast, the Venetian fort and subsequent leper colony of Spinalonga to the north-west, near the busy resort of Agios Nikolaos, and the Lasithi plateau to the west. Even a day trip to Knossos, just south of Heraklion, is achievable.


East Crete Explorer

Explore South East Crete in a larger map

Local Beaches