Vai, Crete

Vai is the largest palm forest in Europe and has no equivalent elsewhere on the continent. It is located in the outermost northeastern tip of the island of Crete, in a relatively remote, deserted and isolated area. The forest consists entirely of date palm trees (Cretan date palms, which are typical native plants in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially of the region of southern Greece and coastal Turkey).

vai crete

Vai Crete by Paul Mannix

The palm forest of Vai is unique of its kind not only for Greece but for all other European Mediterranean countries, including Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Turkey and even Cyprus (the last two are geographically part of Asia).

Such kind of landscapes are rather typical of the southern Mediterranean coast, especially Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Vai palm forest is situated on the coast. Here you will find beautiful and quiet white-sand beach.

Nearby there are no large settlements, so that air, sand and water are very clean and you can feels only the smell of the sea and the fragrance of the Mediterranean province.

The date palm trees of Vai reach the sand, which create a pleasant shade for bathers.

During the 70es, the palm forest of Vai became quite a popular tourist destination and an important tourist attraction for visitors from all over Northern and Western Europe, who used to camp here for a long period of time during the 70es and part of the 80es.

After a decade of mass tourism, the area of Vai was declared a protected area. For this reason, today we still have the chance to enjoy the unchanged beauty and purity of this unique landscape.