Many of the small islands that you can see
off the coast of Crete are protected National Parks or
reservations. To visit these, youíll need a permit
which you will only get for a good reason. You are allowed
to visit Spinalonga, Gavdos and Chryssi normally, and all
three islands are serviced by small ferries.
Here, Iíve compiled some information about some of these
Turkuru: Lying offshore from
Chania, it has a castle, and
is populated only by
Kri-Kri (the wild, native goats of
Dhia: 12km off the coast from
Iraklio, this island is now
a Kri-Kri island. In Minoan times Dhia was inhabited.
Spinalonga: A few kilometres north of
was for a long time a leper colony. You can find more
Agia Pandes: a small Kri-Kri island to the west of Crete.
Kouponisi: Far to the south west, off Xerokambos, this
island was inhabited in antiquity (Minoans and Romans),
but is now uninhabited.
Chryssi: Also known as Donkey Island, Gaidoronisi, Krissi.
Just offshore from
Ierapetra, Chryssi has
daily ferries in the summertime. In winter it is
uninhibited. Good hikes, great beaches Ė well worth a day
Gavdos: The biggest of all the satellite islands and the
only one with a permanent population (approximately 45
people living on 50.4 km≤ of land). You can go to Gavdos
on ferries and postal ships the whole year round. Gavdos
has little tourism and enjoys a traditional life. There is
a very basic shop, some tavernas and a few rooms to rent.
Most tourists in Gavdos camp out at the beach. Ferries
sail most frequently from
Chora Sfakia, but you can also
catch a ferry from Paleochora. Altogether, there are about
four connections a week in summer and two in winter. When
the weather is bad, the ferries will not run. So bear in
mind that a short trip to Gavdos may turn out to be a
longer one than you anticipated! The sea between Crete and
Gavdos can be a little rough, and many tourists get
seasick on the small boats.
Gavdopoula: Gavdopoula is Gavdosí little sister island
(2.7 km≤), and is uninhabited. If you want to visit it,
you can hire a fishing boat in Gavdos.
Pondikonisi, Imeri Grambousa, Agria Grambousa: These three
islands are not too far from the deserted north west coast