Chrissi Island’s sandy beaches are some of the loveliest in Crete – the name ‘Chrissi’ comes from the Greek word χρυσός, meaning gold, because of the golden colour of the sand. The most famous beach is ‘Golden Beach’ on the north side of the island, facing Ierapetra, and this is the beach that attracts most visitors with its clean turquoise waters. On the eastern part of the beach you can find millions of tiny shells, and rocks with fossils.
Chrissi Island’s other name is Gaidouronisi which means ‘donkey island’, but there are no donkeys so this is a mystery. However, some locals maintain that the name comes from the word for a Spanish or Portuguese pirates, who were known to use the island in ancient times.
There are other beaches to enjoy on Chrissi Island. To the east Kataprosopo is usually virtually deserted, even in the height of the tourist season, and the beaches and coves on the south eastern side of the island offer lovely spots.