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Kouremenos Beach
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Kouremenos beach, Lassithi Crete

The long (some 1,5 kilometer) sandy beach of Kouremenos is situated at a distance of 91 kilometers eastern to Aghios Nicolaos , 21 kilometers far from Sitia at the East and 2 kilometers northeastern to Palaekastro, within the cove Grantes. The beach is affected by the winds blowing in the area.

The area from Palaekastro to the beach is full of hotels and rooms to let and it is a good idea to choose it for staying. Food and drink are good at the two fish taverns of the beach. The sea is crystal clear with a rocky seabed ideal for divers and for snorkeling. The strong winds blowing in the area make the beach ideal for wind surfing; surfers from all over Europe come here to conquer the waves and fight with the wind. And, if you are “fresher” in this sport, don’t worry! A windsurfing school is here for you.
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A Minoan settlement not walled has been found at the site of “Roussolakkos”; the settlement seems to have been established since the Early Minoan period, but it flourished during the Late Minoan times. There have been found several burials, mainly of the early periods of Minoan civilisation. Within the area of the settlement the visitor can also see the sanctuary of Zeus Dictaeos (the ancient city of Itanos), active since the Geometric times, up to the Roman era. There have been found parts of buildings and several mobile finds, the most important of them being the stone inscription with the hymn of the Couretes to Zeus (the Couretes were the guards of Zeus when he was a baby; they protected him from his father Cronos).

If you have a yacht or you can find a boat, it is worth visiting the islets of Grandes, within the homonymous cove.

At a distance of 7 kilometers southern to Palaekastro you may see the gorge of Chochlakies, with exit at the beach of Karoumbes.

The visitors liking to know how everyday life in Crete used to be some 60 years (and more) ago should visit the Folk Museum. In fact, the Museum is an old, traditional Cretan house, restored and enriched with authentic traditional items used by the people in everyday life. It took some ten years (from 1987 to 1997) to collect the exhibits and establish the Museum, but the result was a reward for the Cultural Associations of the village, the Toplou Monastery, as well as the Municipal authorities and organizations who were involved in this task. The Museum was inaugurated in 1997.

The result is amazing. In fact, it is not a usual Museum. Entering it, you think that you have been received in a house and the owners are somewhere around; all the necessary house equipment, from the Ottoman domination up to the early post-world war II period are present, at their place, as if they were still used.

If you feel like wandering around, you should visit the traditional villages of the area, with few permanent residents each: Karydi, Sitanos, Mitato, Adravastoi, Agathias, are some of those villages where the population, unfortunately is declining from one day to the next and the traditional way of life is disappearing; Agathias is the closest to Palaekastro, at a distance less than 1 kilometer far away, just before arriving to the beach.

Two local feasts (“panighyri”), celebrating the Holy Trinity, in June and the Assumption of Holy Virgin on the 15 th of August, take place in the village. The feasts attract a lot of people, both Greeks and foreign tourists, as well as the locals; music, dance, drink and fun last until the next morning.

Access from Aghios Nicolaos is possible by rented or private cars and motorbikes. The village is also connected with Sitia by public bus with frequent service, running to Palaekastro, Zakros and Vai and back to Sitia; the duration of the journey Sitia – Palaekastro is some 40 minutes. From Sitia , you can also take a taxi.

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