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Kato Zakros in eastern Crete

Kato Zakros is one of my absolute favourite places in Crete, as a matter of fact, in whole Greece. It is not because it is beautiful here, or that the beach is like paradise, or that the village is cosy. Rather it is owning to the feeling of being far from civilization, and because it is so quiet and tranquil. And also it is owning to something that I can not really describe, it's something magical with Kato Zakros, and the magic can only be experienced on site.


The sunrise seen from Kato Zakros in eastern Crete.

The sunrise seen from Kato Zakros.


To experience this magic, you have to stay overnight. In the daytime, there may be quite a lot of people here; the beach is popular, as well as hiking in the Valley of the Dead and many come to see the excavations of the Minoan town of Zakros about 100 metres above the beach.

Kato Zakros is located as far east as you can get in Crete. The nearest town is Sitia 44 kilometres away. It is about 35 kilometres to the famous palm beach of Vai. Chania is located 300 kilometres away. Well, talk about the end of the world.

The small cozy village of Kato Zakros in eastern Crete.

Kato Zakros. It is not bigger than that.


The long fine beach in Kato Zakros on Crete.

Part of the long beach in Kato Zakros.

The village is small and compressed. Here are a few tavernas and pensions. The pebbly beach is long. If you continue past Taverna Akrogiali you will find some smaller beach strips where you also can go for a swim. The best thing about Kato Zakros is not the beach, it's the lovely evenings and mornings. The evenings are pitch-dark and you fall asleep to the sounds of the waves, no disturbing noise from cars or scooters. Mornings are even better, you wake up to the sounds of the waves, and if you're alert in the morning you'll see Greece's most beautiful sunrise.


Full moon in Crete, Greece.

The full moon is amazingly beautiful.


This is how I wrote in the diary after our first night in Kato Zakros: "Woke up by the waves about six am. I woke Camilla up, she went out of bed, reluctantly. I started the computer and wrote a little. We went out about seven o'clock. Calm, short waves were heard, no one than we were out, but where was the sun? We began to see something red in the east, and east is the right place for the sun to rise. We walked a little further and waited with high expectations. And see, a small object came out from the sea and we went closer. It was the most beautiful sunrise we have ever seen. It is not often you see the sun rise out of the sea. Just magical!"


Taverna Akrogiali in Kato Zakros in eastern Crete.

Taverna Akrogiali in Kato Zakros.


If you enjoy good Greek food (who does not) I highly recommend Taverna Akrogiali. The owner Nikos Perakis is a very nice man. Do not miss their Mixed Grill, it's really good. If you are lucky you will be served by Georgios - Eastern Crete's most ingenious waiter. He taught me to roll two dice and get a 6 on both of them when we played Tavli (Backgammon), just one such thing. :-)


Play tavli (backgammon) in cozy tavernas in Crete.

Taverna Akrogiali is a perfect place to play tavli (backgammon).

If you like hiking, the Valley of the Dead takes two hours to walk one way from Kato Zakros to Zakros.


Hiking in the Valley of Death in Kato Zakros in eastern Crete.

Valley of the Dead in Kato Zakros.


Read more about Valley of the Dead here »


Kato Zakros beach is cozy and the crystal clear water is perfect for those who enjoy snorkeling.

The part of the beach that is furthest away.



To really get to know Kato Zakros, and to experience the magical evenings and mornings, not to mention the sunrise, you should stay overnight. There are not so many accommodations options, but there are usually enough since there are not so many who stays overnight.

Yiannis Retreat »

Kato Zakros Palace Apartments »

Coral Rooms »

Book other hotels in Kato Zakros here »


Learn more about Crete »







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