Vai is one of the most popular sandy beaches in Crete and also one of the most stunning and extraordinary places in the entire Mediterranean. It is located about 20km east of Sitia and about 6 km from the village of Palekastro. It attracts thousands of visitors every year not only for its magnificent palm grove, but also for its great sandy beach, a beach with crystal clear waters that will remind you of a tropical place. Vai is considered to be the biggest natural Palm tree resort in Europe and occupies an area of about 250 acres. The area is of particular interest in terms of biodiversity, including many migratory birds which rest there on their journey to Africa.
In the 1980s, Vai was declared a protected area and is now considered one of the most beautiful areas in Crete while the beach carries the blue flag of the European Union.
There you will find private parking, clean toilets and showers, restaurants, cafes and mini markets. The beach is fully equipped with sun beds, umbrellas, and well-designed paths to walk comfortably onto the beach. In the northern part of the beach there is a large variety of water sports to choose from such as jet skis, banana, UFO, octopus, SKY surfing and more. In the southern part of the beach there are some stairs leading to the highest peak of the mountain where there is an observatory. From there you will have panoramic views across the coast and region.
There are several myths about the existence of the palm trees in Crete: the most common story is that of some Arab pirates arriving with their boats to the beach out of simple curiosity. As they ate their locust beans, their main source of food, they threw the seeds on the beach and from these seeds sprouted palm trees.