Forests & Ecosystems of Lasithi

Lasithi, the easternmost administrative division of Crete, is synonymous with the famed palm forest at Vai, but also houses a large number of other rare ecosystems and one unique piece of geomporphology.


As well as the main island Koufonisi, the region includes smaller islets – Stronguli, Makrouli and Marmara to the north, with only Trachilos to the south. The sea comprises 60% of the designated territory. Koufionisi itself is a small island with a hot and dry climate. It has both sandy and pebbly shorelines. 

  • Region Koufonisi, Sitia, Lasithi
  • protected area -
  • type Ecosystem, Marine Ecosystem

Selakano Forest is one of wild beauty, one of the most important ecosystems on the island and so included in the Natura 2000 network. A pine forest, in a mountain setting, it begins some 35 km to the northwest of Ierapetra and runs on up the slopes below the summit of Afendi Christos peak of the Dicte massif.

  • Region South East Dikte, Ierapetra, Lasithi
  • protected area -
  • type Forest

Vai plam forest lies in a beautiful valley and by a sandy beach, just north of ancient Itanos: 28 km from Siteia, 8 from Palaikastro and 6 from Toplou by their respective roads. Covering 200 stremmata (50 acres), it is made up of the native Theophrastus palms – the largest colony not only in Greece but also in all Europe...

  • Region Vai (Itanos), Sitia, Lasithi
  • protected area Natura 2000
  • type Palm Forest

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