Eastern Crete is dominated by Áyios Nikólaos, a small cosmopolitan town and resort, and its close neighbour Eloúnda, the home of luxury hotel and villa complexes, and the gateway to the mysterious islet of Spinalónga. Inland from Áyios Nikólaos, Kritsá with its famous frescoed church and textile sellers and the imposing ruins of ancient Lato make for good excursions. Further inland, the extraordinary Lasíthi Plateau is worth a night’s stay if only to observe its abidingly rural life. Far fewer people venture beyond the road south to Ierápetra and east to Sitía, where only the famous beach at Váï ever sees anything approaching a crowd.

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