Chrissi Island or Gaidouronisi (donkey island) lies 8 miles south of Ierapetra. The residents of Ierapetra simply call it “the island”, as there is a special relationship between them, lost in the depths of time. For six and half months -from the middle of April to the end of Octomber- there are daily cruises by boats to Chrissi, departing from the port of Ierapetra. In the wonder of the Libyan sea, the journey is usually in the of herring seagulls, while occasionally dolphins play within sight. After almost an hour’s sailing, the boats approach the southern coast of the island, which is normally more sheltered. Passengers disembark at “Vougiou Mati” where there is a small wharf and the reception area. Within the day trip the visitor has enough time to walk around Chrissi, bathe in its crystal clear green-blue waters.
HistoryFor the last centuries Chrrisi was practically deserted, while much earlier there were small settlements. On the western and eastern part, broken pieces of pottery have been found, which shows activity during the Minoan times. In the northwest there is a chapel of Agios Nikolaos, possibly built in the 13th century. Northeast of the chapel and near the shore there is an even older salt pan and the only house on the island, which is built on ancient ruins that include a small building and a small port. South and southwest of Agios Nikolaos there are some wells and a few carved graves. The largest one dates from the Roman times.