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Travel Guide

Moni Toplou

Ancient Crete



From Sitia, Xerokampos is 65 km to the southwest, and a definitely a trip to be made during the day. The tiny village is completely isolated with only one winding paved road providing access to it through the tall and rugged mountains of the east coast. The towns main attraction is its isolation from the rest of the world, and a multitude of tiny coves lined with gold sand along the cool waters of the Mediterannean. The village is tiny with few appartments for rent, a couple of taverns, and several homes, and it becomes completely deserted during the winter months.

There are two ways to get to Xerokampos from Sitia. One road branches off to the right on the way to Zakros, and another one begins around Bori village on the road from Sitia to Makrygialos. We opted for the second road since the locals said it was the most spectacular and we were not dissapointed.

One of the most exciting offerings of Xerokampos is the opportunity to travel to it. The trip itself took us through traditional villages and fertile plateaus filled with traditional windmills, but the road becomes spectacular after the town of Ziros and once it begins its steep descent from the mountains towards the the town of Xerokampos.

Xerokampos would be an excellent destination for those who desire solitude in their vacation. It is also close enough to other more popular destinations, so with a car one can enjoy peace and quiet without being completely isolated. Within one hour you can drive to the large city of Sitia, or to smaller popular resorts and beaches like Makrygiallos, Ierapetra, Palaikastro, Vai, and Erimoupolis.

In Xerokampos, here is also a small archaeological site right next to the beach but it is not very well preserved, and it is even less well documented. I have yet to find documentation for the excavated ruins, although they looked to me like they belonged to the Hellenistic era or later.

Bird's eye view of a large beach near the town. A small cove. The beaches near the town were more densly populated, while the coves further out were more deserted.
The soft sand caresses the body, and the gentle waves a welcome shelter from the relentless sun rays.    


Athens map. Satellite picture
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