Makrigialos lies in the prefecture, of Lassithi, on the south east coast of Crete. The village faces the part of the Mediterranean often referred to as the Libyan Sea which separates Crete from the coast of North Africa. The area behind Makrigialos is mountainous with small valleys and gorges leading down to the coast. Of these, Butterfly gorge, and Pefki gorge have become particularly popular with hikers. Surrounding Makrigialos are several mountain villages with narrow winding streets, each with their own individual identity.
Once a tiny fishing village, Makrigalos has now become a popular tourist resort. The village, despite its expansion to meet the needs of the tourist industry, has surprisingly remained reasonably unspoilt when compared with the larger resorts on Crete's north coast. The village generally attracts those looking for a quieter, more relaxing holiday, with many holidaymakers returning year after year.
The most picturesque part of the village is the small fishing port which boasts a number of good fish taverna's. It is from here that boats leave each morning for the beautiful island of Koufonisi, returning in the late afternoon. Village amenities include good selection of shops and mini-markets, car and bicycle hire, a bank with cash dispenser, doctor, dentist, and a pharmacy.
The name Makrigialos means "long shore", which refers to the long pebble and sand beach, with shallow, crystal clear waters, that are suitable for children. When you venture away from the shore, the water gets deeper, so keen swimmers will not be disappointed. The beach is backed by a good variety of taverna's to suit all tastes. There is another beach to the West of Makrigialos which is wider with less visitors.
North-west of the village at Plakakia, is located the ruins of villa from the late Minoan period. An archaeological excavation completed in 1977 indicated that the villa had been destroyed by fire. It had strong outer walls, inner courts, many rooms, flagged floors, and areas thought to be connected with the worship of the Sacred Tree. It would have probably have been roofed with bamboo canes covered by a layer of clay, this was traditional in the area, and a few houses in the area are still roofed in this manor. A number of important finds were discovered during the excavation, including a number of pottery containers, stone figurines and a seal-stone made of steatite and engraved with a representation of a Sacred Ship.