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Crete - the east

The further you move to the east the more landscape becomes dry and wild. So far this part of Crete, particularly the region around Sitia, remains of the attack of the large mass tourism. Wherever you start to dig the ground there is a fair chance to discover antiques. This circumstance (still) prevents the region to be ruined with gigantic hotel facilities. Wherever antiques are hidden the government in Athens adheres to the principle: no planning permission!

Plans for ''Cavo Sidero Resort''

New giant resorts
But times are changing. A giant
resort at Cape Sidero was planned for more than 15 years.
"Cavo Sidero Resort" offers three golf courses, 5 villages build in
' Cretan style', a harbour, several tennis courts on a 26-square kilometre facility. Investor Minoan Group (former Loyalward S.A) plans an €800m project to build five
holiday villages with a total capacity of more than 7,000 beds.

Each would focus on a different activity. Investors say that this resort will be an ''Eco-Tourism project'' involving environmental consultants such as botanists and other specialists to take care on the topographical flora, fauna, garbage, sewage and other issues.
The Prefecture of Lasithi (the County Council) voted unanimously in favour of the Project. But there is still a group of environmentalists trying to stop the giant project.

*** Latest News December 10th 2010: The Administrative Court in Athens says NO to the Cavo Sidero Resort! ***[source: press release Dec. 10th] Minoan Group Chariman Christopher Egleton says:"Whilst clearly the rejection of the Government's approval of our application in its original form is a disappointment, we are now clear as to the specific modifications required to satisfy the Court, all of which we are happy to comply with. This knowledge coupled with the parameters of the new Fast Track law means that I now believe we are on the brink of bringing our project to fruition." [source: Announcements on AIM Dec. 3rd 2010]

See also [Minoan Group ], [Athens News ] and [International Reports ]
[New York Times ] [The Guardian ][Online Petitio] [The ''Contract'']

Plans for ''Cavo Plako Resort''
You guess thats all? No, there's more to come. Roumors says that some 3 kilometers out of Palekastro, at the very eastern end of the island of Crete, another resort will be built. At Cavo Plako an investor from Cyprus will build an up to 1.000 bed luxary resort.

The east around Sitia
No crowd, no noisy ''all-inclusives...."
The east is thus the ideal region in order to arrange and enjoy a
vacation faraway from low cost spots. In addition this landscape expects from you the readiness to get involved with the people, the slower run of things, the mystic landscape.
What one aint find here are pools
and beach bars, noisy discos in the
50 meter range to one another, touts in front of taverna's and trash in tourist shops of the cheapest kind.

Lonely landscape
You'll discover lonely landscapes with an intact flora and fauna. Polite and friendly people for whom the tourism is still just not the main source of income.
In the spring (and even if it rains a lot in autumn) the meager east blossoms. The slopes are covered with rare flowers, millions of honey bees are around, the olive trees are in full bloom. Rare migratory birds make rest in the lagoons at the outermost east coast, you may discover flamingos. Over to mountains you'll see eagles and vultures and the density of all kinds of falcons is overwhelming.

Lagoon Chiona bay - Palekastro

Lonely beaches
The relatively small tourism infrastructure ensures that the whole region is not overcrowded by tourists. That leads to the fact that one has beaches stretching for miles completely for its own even during the high season. There a few regions in the island that can maintain that from itself. The exception is the tourist centre Vai, the famous palm beach. Hundreds to thousands of tourists from the whole island are carried by buses to this spot each and every day. But in the the evening after 05.00 p.m. the palm beach is a different world. Silence determines the scene. Bus tourists are on their toilsome way back into their ''bed castles'' around Iraklion and Rethymnon.

Future of the east
With the start-up of the international airport of Sitia people of the region in the east hope for a development of the tourism infrastructure. The 'load of the antiquity in the soil'' mentioned above opposes this certainly. And in such a way it is expected that the attack is missing and the load of tourists which the new airport of Sitia will spit out is rather to be carried into the south around Makrigialos and Ierapetra. This region is now faced with an phenomenon that the north coast knows already: Construction companies are covering the coast with cheap resorts, from one end to the other.

Landscapes of Easter Crete- buy at Amazon
Landscapes of Eastern Crete
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@ Amazon

A car-touring and walking guide to the region of eastern Crete. There are topographical walking maps and a fold-out touring map covering the whole of Crete, showing the location of all the walks in the book. Many short walks for motorists along with recommendations of areas for picnics.
By Jonnie Godfrey, Elizabeth Karslake
February 2002.

Roadmap Eastcrete