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.The total length of the island’s pathways is 10km. With three hours of relaxed walking the visitor can obtain a good idea of the variety of the landscape. All you need is a pair of sports shoes, and of course hat, sunscreen and water during the summer months.
One that doesn’t enjoy walking so much can relax by the blue sea either on the jetty or on the northern beach, which is 5 minutes walk. Even on a relaxed, short stay like that, Chrissi remains very impressive. Human presence on the island dates back to the Minoan times but only recently the natural environment has been disturbed. The preservation of such a special place, apart from the ethical element, is also imposed by strict national and European law.
For the reasons above, it is not allowed to: walk outside the designated paths and beaches , collect rocks, fossils, shells or ancient artifacts, collect animals or plants , free camp ,light fires , smoke within the bushy or forest areas 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 company 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.