Koutsouras Village is still a very quiet place and around the village there are some beaches with coarse black sand and calm waters. The main organized beach (500m walk from Moonlight Villas and the closest one) is located west of the village, in front of the old settlement. Along the beach there are some tamarisk trees, where you can find some shade and relax too. If you want an even more secluded beach, a good solution is a small beach with pebbles next to the harbor of the village, about 1.5km on the west, just next to the small wood of Apiganias. In addition, you will find a very nice beach 1km east of Koutsouras, which is called Koutsourelis beach. Koutsourelis is sandy and is suitable for kids.
Moonlight Villas is an ideal base for a relaxed vacation by the sea in a pleasantly uncrowded beach town. Good swimming, water sports and boat trips to Koufonisi. Explore other fairly quiet beaches nearby like Mavros Kolimbos and Koutsouras or the interesting villages of Pefki and Agios Stefanos in the mountains above. Visit Ierapetra and take a boat trip to Chrissi island (Gaidouronisi), with the white sands and cedar trees.
Hikers can explore marked, pine-shaded tracks through the Pefki valley, a few miles east of Makriyialos; climb the rocky 1500-metre summit of Afendis Estravromenos; or trek through the breathtaking Thripti gorge that gashes through its flanks (start from Orino, 30 mins drive away).
The southern slopes of Thripti are covered by dense pine forest, an oasis in the dry landscape of Lasithi. You can get a little taste of the pines by visiting the park of Apiganias, just 1.5km west of the Koutsouras Village, which is also used for cultural events. Here ends the gorge of Red Butterflies, a unique canyon with many pine trees and springs with fresh water. In addition, it is worth visiting the village Orino, on Mount Thripti, from where the gorge begins.
Orinou Gorge located close to Makrys Gyalos, begins from the green village Orino and concludes in Koutsouras after 3-4 hours march. The best season to cross the gorge is the spring. By this time you can discover beautiful sceneries, while in the whole way you can see fountains and small scattered waterfalls.
Havgas gorge is located very close to village Kalamavkas in twelve kilometer distance from Ierapetra. The canyon is very beautiful and the length is relatively small and the passage through the river’s litter is very easy even for amateur passengers. In the region of Kalamafka there are characteristic rock formations, which are due to rare geological features. The area’s height is almost 500 meters long while between the others dominates a wonderful pinewood.
Mesonas gorge is located in the northern slopes of mounts Thryptis near Ierapetra’s Kavousi, in village Avgos and connects Thrypti’s plateau with Kavousi. It’s a small canyon, four kilometers length with technical descents that requires equipment in order to climb down from its litter. However it’s passable along both of its sides. In its western side, alongside a concrete waterway an old cobbled road has been hacked and ascends until Thrypti. The view towards the gorge, the surrounding mountains and Agios Nikolaos sinus is impressive.
Small excursions should include the Kapsa Monastery above the gorge of Perivolakia (about 10 km east of Makrygialos) and the remains of the medieval village of Vóila. You can also make longer trips to the famous palm beach of Vaï (but don’t go in July or August when it gets sadly crowded), the excavations of the Minoan palace at Kato Zakros and the so-called Gorge of the Death, the lively seaside town of Agios Nicolaos on the northern coast, the Lasithi plateau famous for its 7,000 (or so) windmills, or, closer to ‘home’, the island of Koufonisi, to see the remains of the ancient Roman theatre and to go for a swim from the wonderful sandy beaches.
There are numerous fine beaches in the Makri Gialos region. Whilst the most popular during the summer is the Makri Gialos main beach, which offers all facilities including water sports. You can also reach several other beaches within a short walking distance.
To the east of Makri Gialos there are two beaches below the Sunwing Hotel, reached by walking down the right hand side of the hotel past the bungalows belonging to Sunwing. Further east takes you to Diaskari beach, which has wooden pergolas shading sun beds and hammock sand is home to a small traditional taverna.
Further still, by taking the road to Kalo Nero, you will reach Amathi beach and several other small coves and beaches which are often deserted although there are no facilities on the beaches.
To the west of Makri Gialos the first beach is Kalamokania, further on there are beaches along the coast Koutsouras and Mavros Kolimbos and very attractive horseshoe shaped bays at Agia Galini and Agia Fotia.
Kalamokania beach is one of the best in the region, while if you find yourself there in late summer may encounter the impressive "Stilts", migratory birds in black and white with red tall and slim feet that look like storks, which make a stop in streams that are there and eventually gave their name to the beach.
There are many fine villages in the region of Makri Gialos, all with their own particular merits. It is well worth hiring a car to visit these villages, sample some of the local atmosphere, hospitality and culture, visit their splendid and historic churches and enjoy spectacular views as most are mountain villages. Aori, Agios Stephanos, Azali, Bembonas, Chrysopigi, Lapithos, Lithines, Orino, Pefki, Pervolakia, Schinokapsala, Stavrohori.
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|Hotel Information||Recommended For|
|Type:||Villas||Architecture & style :|
|Pool:||Private Pool||Marvelous view :|
|Dining:||Self Catering||Eco :|
|Children:||Welcome||Weddings & Groups :|
|Closed:||November to March||Nice atmosphere :|