Lasithi is one of the most interesting places with a variety of sights that the visitors can enjoy. The most important ones that you should not miss are:
Spinalonga is an islet near Elounda. It is known as the leper island, since it was the place where lepers from Crete as well as from the whole of Greece were isolated until 1957. Αfter it was occupied by the Venetians it was named “spina lunga”, in Latin, which means “long thorn”.
Nowadays Spinalonga is visited by boats from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and Plaka by thousands of tourists who want to be toured in its derelict buildings every summer.
It is one of the 81 uninhabited islands in Crete and it is more commonly known as Gaidouronisi. The inhabitants of Ierapetra simply call it “Nisi” (Greek word for island) since their relation with it is special. It is 8 nautical miles away from Ierapetra, in the Libyan Sea; it is almost plane and its main characteristics are the plethora of seashells on the north beach (Belegrina), the golden beaches, its turquoise waters and the cedar forest.
Vai Palm Forest
It belongs to the category of protected natural areas because of the existence of the endemic Cretan palm. This palm has been known since the Minoan era and it is called Theophrastos’ palm (Phoenix theophrastii). Its name derives from the local dialect in which palms are referred to as Vagies or Vagia → Vai. It is the biggest Phoenix theophrastii palm area in Crete, as in other areas of the island (almost 10) they are only found in clusters or in parklands.
Psychro (Dictaean) Cave
Psychro Cave is on the north side of Dikti over Psychro village in Lasithi Plateau Municipality at an altitude of 1020 meters. It is considered as one of the most important internationally known caves of mythological as well as of archaeological history. It was there where Rea, hidden from the rage of Cronus, gave birth to Zeus.
The cave has attracted the interest of many Greek and foreign archaeologists that have excavated its interior part from time to time. Neolithic, Minoan, Late Minoan, Greek Dark Ages, archaic, classical, Hellenistic, Roman findings prove its continuous use by people mainly for worshipping reasons.
It is 2200 square meters in area and it can be visited. The total length of the touristic trip is 250 meters and inside there is a rich adornment of stalagmites and stalactites as well as a picturesque lake.