Chrissi or Chryssi or Gadouronisi Island in southern Crete is a famous natural paradise, with crystal clear waters, cedar trees and glorious white sandy beaches.
Chrissi actually means the Golden island, its name comes from the golden sand which covers the superb island’s beaches.
The name of Gaidouronisi — the island of the donkeys, comes from the past, since the locals from Ierapetra would bring their old donkeys, to spend their last days in pristine surroundings.
Please note that in Summer, especially July and September, the tropical beaches of island are crowded by many visitors who come by the excursion boats that leave Ierapetra in the morning and return in the afternoon. Chrissi Islnad has been declared as an area of natural beauty and it is strictly prohibited to camp and spend your night here.
Therefore, you must keep away from the fragile juniper trees and avoid not collecting sand or shells.
The ferry from Ierapetra lasts 50 min and anchors at the south of the island in the port of Vougiou Mati. Here you can find a tavern for snacks, meals and drinks and a few meters away, there is the South Beach where you can swim and relax under the umbrellas. Along the shores of Chrissi island there are other bays with sand and stones, which you can discover on yourself.
Some other great beaches are Vlychadia Beach, Kataprosopo Beach, Hadzivolakas Beach, Kendra Beach, Vages Beach, Fragou Mnima Beach and Avlaki Beach.
During your stay don't miss to visit the Church of Agios Nikolaos of 13th century and the Lighthouse. The church of Agios Nikolaos (St.Nicholas) was constructed on the site of an ancient building. The temple acted as a religious centre to the hermits who lived on the island. There is also a well near the church as well as three carved ancient graves, some of which date back to the Roman Empire. The settlement was probably used for the production of Tyrian purple from the shells of Murex brandaris, exactly like the neighboring isle of Koufonissi.