The Palm Beach of Vai is one of the most popular sights in Crete Island and one of the most beautiful and special places I’ve been in Greece.
There is nothing better and prettier than enjoying those insane and lovely beach days and appreciate happiness all around. It’s kind of freedom, right?
Summer…if only it could be summer all year long.
Sun simply sets me in a great mood. For me is definitely the best season of the year. Take your sunglasses and a translucent kaftan and walk out looking like a hot summer day in the month of May.
Two years ago I decided to spend 1st of May on the beautiful Island of Crete.
I must admit that we really enjoyed that week on the island and had the best time ever! I just needed a break after all the stress that I had the weeks before. I think we humans often forget taking attention of our body or to rest a bit. It’s not easy going on vacation and doing just nothing nowadays, I know! We all or most of us want to become successful and need reaching a perfect job to become the perfect standard of living, right? I mean, a lot of people are saying that money cannot make happy. Well, I can’t agree to that point. Why? I mean money is a making happy factor and it also creates our lives. If we have enough money in our pockets we are more relaxed and friendlier instead people who have to fight that they survive the next months. Maybe you understand what I wanna say. Those who have enough to live are able to enjoy life more instead people who don’t have that much money. That is why we work and fight so hard at the beginning of our ages to become and reach a certain standard. But despite all this, we have to try keeping attention of ourselves.
Everyone of us needs a break from time to time. Don’t forget this guys!
Therefore our trip to Greece have been the perfect occasion to relax and enjoy some days far away from our work places. The holiday highlight was the trip to the Palm Beach of Vai, in the north east of the island, that features the largest natural palm forest in Europe, made up of Cretan Date Palm. Vai is located 24 km east of Sitia and about 6 km from Palaikastro. The road from Sitia is generally good and you will have no trouble negotiating it.
Vai, or more specifically the palm forest of Vai, is one of the most popular sights in Crete and one of the most beautiful and special places in the whole Mediterranean. It’s name derives from the word “vagia” meaning ‘palm tree’ or ‘rims of palm tree’ in Greek.
We catch the best time to visit Vai because during summer is pretty crowded and too hot for walks. The Palm Beach of Vai draws thousands of visitors each year. They come not only for its wonderful palm forest, but also for the large sandy beach spread out at its foot. The combination of this magnificent beach with a rare grove of palm trees makes Palm Beach of Vai one of the absolute musts when in Crete.
Vai was “discovered” by hippies who were turned out of Matala in the early 70s and sought a new refuge in the area. According to a legend, the impressive forest of 5000 palms grew from the cores of dates thrown over by the Arab pirates who came to Crete and set ashore.
It is prohibited to camp overnight within the grove, which covers an area of 60 acres and is protected by fencing under the care of the Forestry Service. The access is allowed every day from sunrise to sunset. It is organized and has been awarded with the EU Blue Flag. The forest is unique not only for its beauty but also for the species of palm trees it’s comprised of. A forest of the “phoenix theophrasti“, as is it’s botanical name, can be found in Europe only in Vai and on the Canary Islands. The whole landscape contributes to this inconceivable beauty: the thick sand forms dunes, whilst on the nearby low hills you can find rare plants with extraordinary flowers. For more privacy, walking along the beach you can find some smaller ones which are less crowded but equally beautiful.
You really must visit Vai Beach if you’re in Crete.
It’s just like a tropical beach, with its palm trees and small islet in the middle of the bay.
I want this beach life for at least a month, but it is quite impossible now,
with a lot of things to do. At least I can assure you, there will be something new and different
at the end of June.