The exotic sandy beach of Vai with the unique palm trees wood in Europe is situated at a distance of 94 kilometers far from Aghios Nikolaos at the Northeast and 24 kilometers eastern to Sitia.
It has been named after the word “vagia”, meaning “palm tree” or “rims of palm tree” in Greek. According to the local legend the wood had been grown from the stones of dates thrown away by Arab pirates or Phoenician merchants set ashore at the place.
Within a space of 60 acres there are some 5.000 perennial trees, a real oasis at the desert-like landscape of Eastern Crete.
The beach is somehow affected by the winds blowing in the area, but who cares about winds when being in such a breathtaking environment!
It is quite impossible to describe in words this landscape of unique beauty! Only whoever has visited it can perceive what is it like. Due to the palm trees wood it looks rather like an African beach with sand and fine pebbles, placed on the territory of Europe.
The wood is situated at the exit of the quite narrow Vai valley, ending up at the famous beach of Vai; a spring of good sweet water and a small brook with numerous oleanders within the riverbed are found in the inner wood. The wood is unique not only for its beauty but also for the species of palm trees it is comprised of.
A wood of the “phoenix theophrasti” as it is called in Botanology is found in European territory, only here and on the Canary Islands. Not only the wood, but the whole landscape contribute to this inconceivable beauty: the thick sand forms dunes around, while at the nearby low hills you will find rare plants with extraordinary flowers.