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one of the most particular and beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Island of Crete,

is located at the opening of a valley rich in palm trees that contributes to a real tropical atmosphere.

Popular legends want these palms to be grown from the seeds of the dattes which were the food of the Ottoman troops and of the Arab pirates who passed through here in ancient times.


A popular belief this very charming but with little foundation because the variety of palm that makes up the forest of Vai is not the regular Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) but it is the Cretan Date Palm (Phoenix theophrasti).

Somehow, however, this difference of variety represents today a great success for the survival of this particular corner of the Mediterranean because the deadly scourge that is destroying all the Phoenix dactylifera (the beetle weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, commonly called "red punch") does not seem to be currently interested in the variety of Phoenix theophrasti.

Vai has been since the early 70s a popular destination among the Hippies of the time but in the early 80s, assaulted by too much tourism with no regulation, maintenance and cleaning, she had fallen in sharp decline, the local administrative authorities so they chose the "hard line" and shut the palm grove declaring it a protected area.


They were set up, however, ample parking for cars, a number of related services, a bar-restaurant

and was also given authorization to plant rows of umbrellas that you can see in the photos on this page.


So to reach Vai nowadays you will have to leave the car in the paid parking area and then you will find a good part of the beach occupied by rows of umbrellas (always paid, as well as public toilets), and all with prices slightly higher than the average of East Crete.

Tourist map of the Lassithi

Remarkable is also the presence of bathers, with extreme peaks in the central part of the summer from 15 July to 15 September.

A visit to Vai in any case is a must because of the beautiful and unique palm trees, the long and fine sandy beach and the remarkable cleanliness and transparency of the sea of the bay.


The surrounding hills then invite to short and simple walks, among a Mediterranean bush still virtually intact, to the discovery of isolated corners of great charm as the beach of Psilì Ammos.

Located at coordinates, +35° 15' 11.385" North, +26° 15' 52.767" East,

the distances from Vai are :

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