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Ruins of Gournia, Minoan palace complex, Ierapetra

Ierapetra is the southernmost city of Crete, about 35 km from Agios Nikolaos to the north and 60 km from Sitia to the east. It has a long history and combines the infrastructure of a tourist resort, with easy access to pristine beaches and important ecosystems of the surrounding area while retaining its laid back charm and traditional aesthetics.

Ierapetra today

Today Ierapetra is the fourth largest city in Crete and the southernmost spot of the island and Greece in general. It is a city with a high per capita income (one of the largest in the whole country) and is the main commercial centre of the prefecture for exports of agricultural products to Europe. Its economic prosperity is due to both tourism and the production of vegetables grown in the many greenhouses in the area.

As a tourist resort, it is extremely popular both for its famous, award-winning beaches and for the fact that it is offered as a base for exploring the surrounding area that includes rare ecosystems. Some of these are the island of Chrissi, with its striking white sand, Selekanos forest, thick with pine, maple and cypress trees and an important apiarian area and the picturesque villages of Myrtos, Gdochia, Metaxochori, Malles, and Kalamafka found nearby.

Without exaggeration, Ierapetra is a city that is full of life all year round. Its symbol is, of course, the fortress Kales and the centre of life is the coastal road bursting with cafes, taverns and restaurants that especially in summer gather locals and visitors.

The most charming part of the city is Kato Mera, with its small old houses, narrow streets and traditional colours. A walk around this area, whether on foot or bike is highly recommended. Ierapetra has all the necessary tourist infrastructure and is connected daily with ferry routes to the island of Chrissi. Moreover, it has three organized beaches with easy access if you don’t want to travel far.

History of Ierapetra

History of Ierapetra

Ierapetra is built on the site of the ancient city of Ierapytna which flourished during the Archaic and Roman times. Its older names include Kyrva, Kamiros and Pytna.