Psili Ammos Beach
Psili Ammos beach translates to “Fine Sand” and is located very close to the world-famous Palm Forest Beach or “Vai”. It is a small delightful beach with soft golden sand and crystal clear waters, offering a much more secluded experience. In previous decades, just like Vai, this spot was popular with naturists and freedom campers. Nowadays, the beach is still very much geared towards those that prefer to swim without their clothes on, while Vai has become a more cosmopolitan and crowded destination. There are plenty of signs informing visitors this is a nudist-friendly spot and while wearing a swimsuit will be tolerated, it is best avoided if you don’t feel comfortable. From Psili Ammos, you can follow a short path that leads to Vai, and experience the unique sight of one of the largest palm forests in all of Europe. This is also the best option if you have forgotten to bring enough snacks since there are always a couple of canteens operating in Vai. Because this is a protected area and an important natural ecosystem, you will find no hotel complexes or other accommodation options nearby. Vai is only open to visitors during the day time and local authorities are known to patrol the area often. Freedom camping is strictly prohibited in Vai and you should also be careful not to damage the delicate trees that are fenced off.
A great option if you wish to extend your stay in the area and camping is the village of Kouremenos or Chiona further south on the eastern coast. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also follow the southern coastal pathway from Psili Ammos and visit the small bays. The path goes all the way to the beach of Maridati a few kilometers away from Kouremenos Beach. Estimate at least a couple of hours and make sure you are well equipped with water and snacks. To reach the area from Sitia, it will take about half an hour and you may also want to stop for a visit at Moni Toplou, one of the most historic monasteries on the island. The monks produce local varieties of wine, from their organic vineyards so it is also a great opportunity to have a tasting and purchase local products.