Palm Beach Vai in Crete: information for tourist

Palm Beach Wai (Palm Beach) is in the top 10 most Popular tourist destinations in Crete. This place has won its popularity thanks to the palm grove, which is spread in beach surroundings. This is the largest palm grove in Europe, covering about 250 thousand square meters, which is currently time has about 5,000 trees.

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Но не только ради пальм туристы толпами стремятся посетить этоplace, but also because the picturesque Wai is a big sand and pebble beach. Part of the territory is hidden in the shade of palm leaves, where you can safely hide from the scorching sun. Due to the warm and dry climate, an exotic white beach sand and palm trees are more like African and Caribbean landscapes than greek.

From bounty to hippie

Wai began his “tourist” story in the early 70s 20 century, when on the background of a palm grove coconut ads were filmed Bounty bars. By the way, coconuts falling from tree branches, not related to Crete, because on Vai grow only date palms. However, this place has attracted many people. special beauty. Hippies first appeared here, looking for a new Mecca, and it was palm Wai that became a giant campsite surrounded by … mountains garbage. However, in the 1980s, changes began to occur. Motion hippies began to die, and most of the “party” left these places. In addition, in 1980 a decree was issued to protect palm forest. Today, Vai is one of 19 areas of Greece recognized as a special protection area in accordance with Protocol 4 to the Barcelona Convention on Protected Areas The Mediterranean. The beach is fenced and is available only in throughout the day. It is forbidden to smoke, make fires, set tents, and carry out any activity that threatens the local flora and fauna. There are no hotels and apartments. The nearest accommodation is located outside the protected area.

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A bit of history

By studying various sources, you have probably come across various theories about the appearance of the palm forest. Most popular ones say that palm trees have grown here thanks seeds that were brought by the Saracen pirates. They simply … spat out seeds on the ground – so after many years it grew here about 6,000 trees. According to another theory, the place of the Arabs was taken Phoenician sailors who colonized this part of Crete. These legends are more like fairy tales, so scientists turned to to other sources who argued that plants growing here are endemic species known as Phoenix theophrasti (Cretan Date Palm). This palm tree is known from the ancient since its existence has been recorded in historical reports.

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How to spend time on the beach

Although the beach is considered sandy, in fact it is sand and pebbles. In summer, the surface may heat to very high temperatures and burn feet. Therefore, wooden platforms were placed here. The beach has a complete tourist infrastructure. For 6 euros you can rent deck chairs. Because of its popularity in high season on the beach has a lot of tourists, so there is a high the likelihood that it will not be easy to find a place to rest. Be prepared for this and plan your trip in advance. Also have and amenities including fresh water showers and toilets.

There is a tavern on the beach, unfortunately with a bit too high prices. The beach, like the palm forest, is fenced, so for car organized paid parking 200 meters from the beach. On Wai, you can practice typical water sports. (wakeboarding, scooters, water skiing). In calm water you can explore life of sea inhabitants, swimming in a mask (glasses) with a pipe. We recommend to spend time to visit the viewing area, where a beautiful view of the beach and the forest.

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How to get to Wai

Since the beach is at some distance from the main tourist places, so getting to the beach is only possible own transport or by bus. However if using KTEL (local bus line) from Sitia, you must carefully plan their travel schedule. First, you need to get to Sitia, then another 24 km on bus to the beach, which runs only 2-3 times a day.

Vai is located 94 km from Agios Nikolaos, 24 km from the city Sitia Due to the very distant location from the popular tourist centers an excursion to Wai should be combined, for example, with visiting mony toplou monastery, which owns the whole territory. You should also take the opportunity to explore Itanos, where there is a very interesting excavation.

If your hotel is located in the middle of Crete, in order to get to the beach with palm trees and relax on it, you need highlight all day. And from the western part of Crete to go quite uncomfortable. New National Road, past the Lastros, goes into a narrow winding road among the mountains. And only after the village of Skopje the road will be a little calmer, – it is over 9 km to Sitia. Next to Sitia, the landscape looks like North African. The rest of the road between Moni Toplo and Vai will not cause any problems – just follow the signs.

Palm Beach on the map

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