At the end of a dazzling road, on the far east coast of Crete, lies the small village of Kato Zakros in a fertile valley with olive groves. It has a beautiful little tranquil beach, crystal clear water and some very nice tavernas.
The perfect place for a combination of tranquility, relaxing, walking and exploring a Minoan settlement.
Because it’s remote, it is not crowded, and especially outside of the high season, you really get an ‘end of the world’ feeling here. Really worth a visit on it’s own, or as part of a day trip.
The ancient Minoan settlement of Kato Zakros is the 4th largest palace of the Minoan civilization in Crete. The palace was built in 1900BC and received an expansion in 1700BC. It was more than 8 acres in size and enclosed approximately 180 housings. It was destroyed in 1450BC, along with the rest of the Minoan civilization. Ancient Zakros was a living, fully-developed city. The protected harbor and location made it perfect for trading with the eastern civilizations. The archeological site is open from 10 til 15 or 17, depending on the season, and tickets cost 3 euros.
The Canyon of the Dead, which is part of the E4-path, begins just after Pano Zakros and ends at Kato Zakros. Inside the canyon caves can be found, where the ancient Zakrians used to bury their dead.
How to get there:
From Ierapetra, drive East towards Sitia. At Koutsouras the road turns inland. Then there are two options: Turn right at Vori, and pass the plain of Xandras and Ziros, and then the beautiful winding road to Xerokambos. From there drive to Zakros and then down to Kato Zakros. Or pass Vori and after that take the road to Sidali, pass Karydi and drive down to Zakros.
From Sitia you take the direction to the south coast and take the same road left to Zakros. Or you can take the long way, and pass Moni Toplou, Vai and Palekastro, and then Zakros.
Other sights in the same area:
- Vai palm beach
- Kouremenos beach
- Chandras plateau