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Ierapetra town’s literal name translation is ‘sacred stone’ and it is situated approx. 35km south of Agios Nikolaos. It is also known as Bride of the Libyan Sea because it is the only fairly large town on the South coast. The closest airport is that of Sitia, while Heraklion airport is 95km away.
The town may not seem to excite at first sight but there are various gems to discover and suit all tastes! Many of these are a testament to Crete’s history under various conquerers. The port and Venetian Fortress known as Kales, offer a picturesque view out to sea for a relaxing stroll or a wander inside the castle walls (free entry). In town, one finds the Turkish Mosque built in yellow sandstone, still showing off its 19th century minaret and a beautiful octagonal domed Ottoman fountain which is a jewel to the town square.
For those more interested in relaxing on a beach and soaking up some sunshine, there are plenty of options. Ierapetra bay is the closest and easiest, but the further you drive or sail, the better! Makry Gialos is situated 26km from Ierapetra and offers a sheltered, shallow and sandy beach, making it ideal for families. There are shops and restaurants nearby and if you decide to stay overnight, plenty of rooms to rent.
A ‘not to be missed’ half or whole day trip is by boat to Chrissi island, leaving from Ierapetra it takes approx. an hour to get there. The water is transparent, the sand is white and the exotic feeling takes over all senses. There are some basic amenities but it may be preferable to take your own food, towels and so on. There are plenty of trees so shade should not be an issue unless one is looking to lie right on the seafront (in which case, take an umbrella too!).
In the little village of Koutsounari, one finds All about oil – a great place to stop and talk to the owner Giorgos who will entertain with his stories and educate you on all things relevant to olive oil. There are plenty of products to choose from so this is a great place to buy your souvenirs from.
Whatever your preference, Ierapetra is a great base from which to explore the South and Southeastern parts of the island. Just rent a car in Ierapetra and off you go! Apex Car Rental services are available in all key locations such as airports and towns, or we can bring one wherever you are located on the Crete. We aim to be nearby and help you enjoy life the easy way, making your holiday stress-free!
We provide you Premium Insurance, with NO EXCESS & NO RISK ( FDW + CDW ), so you don’t have to worry for nothing! 24 hours road assistance is included in the unlikely event of a breakdown.