Ierapetra: Sunlit Shores and Historical Mystique

Ierapetra pinned map


Ierapetra, translating to 'Sacred Stone', is a sunlit haven located on Crete's southern coast. Known for its mesmerizing beaches and glorious sunsets, this town offers an idyllic blend of relaxation and rich history. Its name resonates with tales of golden sands, leisurely holidays, lively evenings, and a warm local embrace.


Main beach of Ierapetra is a stretch of golden sand, replete with amenities like sun loungers and water sports, punctuated with the bustling activity of a quaint port, hotels, and local eateries.

As you wander, discover the myriad of hidden beaches and coves. Don't miss out on Makrigialos in the east, a 30km drive into the heart of Lasithi prefecture.

Embark on a boat journey from Ierapetra's port to Chrissi. This flat paradise, 8 nautical miles into the Libyan Sea, boasts shallow turquoise waters and pink sands. Cedar aroma fills the air, and bird enthusiasts can spot over 120 species. The island is also frequented by the Caretta caretta sea turtles.

Historical Background

Fortress of Kales: An iconic 14th-century fortress that has withstood the test of time, it overlooks the old neighborhoods of Ierapetra and offers a panoramic view of the sea. Now a cultural hotspot, it hosts various events, including the annual Kirvia Cultural Festival.

Napoleon's Legacy: Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte, en route to Egypt in 1789, took shelter in a two-story house in Ierapetra's old town.

Religious Heritage:  As a former bishops' seat, Ierapetra is home to several old churches, including Panagia tou Kale, Afendi Christo, Agios Spyridon, and the 17th-century mosque-turned-church Agios Ioannis.

In Essence

Ierapetra, with its golden beaches, rich history, and lively spirit, promises a Cretan experience like no other. Whether you're looking to bask in the sun, delve into history, or simply indulge in local delicacies, Ierapetra awaits.