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Base:  Marina of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Skippered Charters:  min time frame: half - day

Bareboat Charters:  min time frame: 4 nights

Dia island is located about 7 nautical miles north of Heraklion. It is 5 km long, 3 km wide (about 12 sq km), 220 m high and is accessible only by boats. Beside Dia lay two islets, Paximadi and Petalidi. In the south side of the island there are five small coves: Agios Georgios, Kapari, Panagia, Agrielia and Aginara. In the north there are rocky cliffs up to 60 meters high.

Dia played an important role in navigation during antiquity, particularly in Minoan and Medieval times. During the Minoan era the island was inhabited. Near the bay of Agios Georgios, a significant harbour settlement was established.

For the precocious seamen that sailed in the open Cretan Seas, Dia constituted the best possible natural "signal", indicating the approach of the Cretan coast while at the same time, with its natural harbours, it helped in the anchoring of the ships, effectively blocking the strong northern winds.

The discoveries of Jacques Yves Cousteau in 1974-5, while searching for the lost Atlantis between Crete and Santorini with a special bathyscaphe, are of great ecological and archeological interest, as seven ancient shipwrecks were found around Dia.

In 1976, Cousteau discovered some squared and rectangular rocks in the seabed that made up an artificial breakwater, which researchers named Cyclopean Walls.

Cousteau suggested that there stood one of the biggest and most important ports in the whole island of Crete. The harbour appeared to have sunk due to the destruction caused in the 1450 BC volcano of Santorini. However, the port was later found to be much older, thus research became more complicated. Visitors may still see the ruins while snorkeling around the place.

Detailed aerial photos also pointed out traces of settlements, confirming the hypothesis that the island was previously inhabited. more archaeological research in the area is deemed vital for further establishing the evidence found so far.

The island had a small area where vine was grown up by fishermen, till 1937.


Base:  Marina of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Skippered Charters:  min time frame: half - day

Bareboat Charters:  min time frame: 4 nights

According to the legend Zeus created the island:

Zeus, who was dominating the Universe from his throne in Olympus, someday looked to his birthplace, Crete. He was surprised to see the Cretans hunting with bows and spears, wiping out his beloved Cretan wild goats.

These goats were children of Amalthea, the goat that nurtured Him with milk while, as an infant, was hiding from his father Cronus in Dikteon Antron Cave. 

Zeus had been hidden in Crete by his mother, Rea, because his father had received a prophecy saying that his son was meant to murder  him and take his place as the King of the Universe, so he decided to eat him as soon as he was born.

He got that angry, that he decided to kill all Cretans. Immediately, he blew a lightning into the sea and a huge monster emerged to destroy the inhabitants of the island.

The other gods tried to make him change his mind, but in vain. Then, Poseidon, the god of Sea, said to Zeus:

"My Brother and King, how can you devastate Kourites?  Is that the way to repay them for keeping you alive ?".

Kourites were Cretans who were banging loudly on their shields when Zeus was crying, so as not to be heard by his father Cronus.

Zeus immediately changed his mind. He grabbed two pieces of rusk and threw them towards Crete. When the monster tried to eat them, Zeus with a thunderbolt petrified the dragon with the rusks.


This is how Dia and the two islets of Paximadi and Petalidi were born. Also, according to the legend, Theseus, after killing the Minotaur, fled to Dia with Ariadne.


Amazing sunrise view during a sailing trip to Dia island onboard sailboat TREATON

Dia island

Dia  Island

Base:  Marina of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Skippered Charters:  min time frame: half - day

Bareboat Charters:  min time frame: 4 nights

The island is a very important refuge for native plants and animals with very small dispersion in the southern Aegean and one of the most important areas were falcons nest (e.g. Falco eleanorae).

Visitors may see many wild rabbits jumping out from the bushes. Scientists believe that 5000 years ago entire island was actually a forest with many springs.

Gradually the forest disappeared because the wood was used to build ships, while after about 1000 years springs stopped as well.

Dia is also a shelter for the endangered Cretan Ibex.

There are no facilities on the island except of the port, in the bay of St. George. there is also the tiny, beautiful chapel of Analipsis (Ascension of Christ), from where you can observe Heraklion Gulf.

A stone paved path, starting from the port, leads to the north of the island and the forestry shelter. Another path reaches the idyllic chapel of Analipsis.

Next to the chapel, there is the main shelter, where you can stay overnight (no electricity), after contacting the port Office of Heraklion.

During summer there is a variety of boats which offer half - day or full - day tours to Dia, shared or private, departing mainly from the ports of  Heraklion, Gouves and Hersonissos.


A young seagull standing on a rock in front of the aquamarine waters in Dia island
Dolphin playing around sailboat TREATON during a sailing trip in Crete
Amazing sunset view during a sailing trip to Dia island onboard sailboat TREATON
Detail of the deck floor of sailboat REATON

Image Gallery / Location

Emerald green, crystal clear waters in Agios Georgios bay, Dia island

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