Lasithi is the easternmost prefecture on the island of Crete, to the east of the prefecture of Heraklion. Its capital is Agios Nikolaos, the other major towns being Ierapetra, Sitia and Neapoli. The mountains include the Dikte to the west and the Sitia Mountains to the east. The Sea of Crete lies to the north and the Libyan Sea to the south.
To the east of the village of Elounda lies the island of Spinalonga, formerly a Venetian fortress and a leper colony. On the foot of Mount Dikti lies the Lasithi Plateau, famous for its windmills. Vai is well-known for its datepalm forest.
Thanks to stunning beaches and its mild climate year-long, Lasithi attracts many tourists. Mass tourism is served by places like Vai, Agios Nikolaos and the island of Chrissi. More off-beat tourism can be found in villages on the south coast like Myrtos, Makrys Gialos or Makrigialos, Xerokambos and Koutsouras.
The prefecture is home to a number of ancient remains. Vasiliki, Fournu Korfi, Pyrgos, Zakros and Gournia are ruins of Minoan date, Lato and Itanos were Doric towns.
Lasithi Plateau is a large , scenic plain located in the Lasithi prefecture in eastern Crete, Greece. It is approximately 70 km from Heraklion and lies at an average altitude of 840 m, which makes it one of the few permanently inhabited areas of such altitude around the Mediterranean.Winters can be very harsh and snow on the plain and surrounding mountains often persists until mid spring.
The palm beach of Vai is one of the largest attractions of the Mediterranean island of Crete. It features the largest natural palm forest in Europe, made up of palm tree Phoenix Theophrastii.
For tourism Vai was discovered at the end of the 1970s by the last Hippies who fled the hot-spots Matala and Preveli. At the beginning of the 1980s Vai was full of backpacker tourists from the whole world, leading to a mixture of chaotic campground and garbage dump. Vai was enclosed and declared as a protected area. The unique forest recovered, the beach became clean.
The palm beach, which belongs to the Monastery Toplou, is the touristic center of East Crete, with thousands of visitors each year. Vai lies close to Palekastro and Sitia.