A picturesque seaside village in Crete that will charm you with its rugged coastline and verdant green hills. Koutsounari is 10 km east of Ierapetra and about 45 km south-east of the town of Agios Nikolaos.

Swim in the crystalline waters of Megali Paralia (‘Long Beach’ for non-Greek speakers) and indulge in the magic of the Libyan Sea. Enjoy a few days’ holiday far from the crowds in an unobtrusively developed location reminiscent of the days when the summer holidays tasted of watermelon eaten on the beach under the salt cedar trees to the deafening sound of the cicadas - the hallmark of summer in Greece.

In the village of Koutsounari, you will find traditional tavernas and restaurants where you can sample the local, Cretan diet-based cuisine.

Long Beach, stretching for 2.5 km, is less than 1 km from the houses. The beach has fine pebbles and crystal-clear waters, and is awarded Blue Flag status each year by the international Foundation for Environmental Education.

You will find countless smaller beaches within a 20 km radius from which to select your favourite.

There are also supermarkets and shops in the area where you can pick up necessities and souvenirs to take home.

We strongly recommend hiring a car so you can fully enjoy the beautiful scenery of the region. Ask about car hire at the hotel reception desk.

Places to visit nearby:

  • The exotic island of Chrysi (Gaidouronisi)
  • Koufonisi (Lefki)
  • The old town of Ierapetra, with the Venetian fortress, or “Kales”, the Ottoman-era mosque and fountain
  • The fishing village of Myrtos
  • Kapsa Monastery
  • Mylonas waterfall
  • Kalamafka
  • “Little Meteora”
  • Neapoli (former capital of Lasithi)
  • Milatos cave and village
  • Zakros Gorge
  • Diktaean or Psychro cave
  • Diving, windsurfing and other water sports are available on various beaches
  • Land Rover safari around the area
  • Minoan Palace of Knossos
  • Traditional settlement of Archanes


Ierapetra (meaning “sacred stone”) is the largest town in Lasithi Prefecture in terms of population. It is located 100 km south-east of Heraklion, 242 km from Chania and 36 km south of Agios Nikolaos.

In recent years, Ierapetra has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Crete, though preferred mostly by visitors looking for a quieter, alternative holiday.

However, the town does not lack for a vibrant nightlife, with bars and places serving raki. A number of cultural events take place during the summer, with the most notable being “Kyrveia”.

You can easily set off from Ierapetra in any number of directions to visit spots of natural beauty, such as the island of Chrysi (Gaidouronisi), Selakano Forest (the largest and most important in Crete), and the Thrypti Mountains.

It is also worth getting a look at the oldest olive tree in the world, the Kavousi olive tree in Lasithi Prefecture estimated to be more than 3,500 years old.