The town of Ierapetra has been in existence since ancient times, when it had important trade links with North Africa. Roman remains, a Venetian fort, a Turkish mosque and minaret still exist.
In the centre of the town there is a long promenade with lots of shops, tavernas and hotels, and the little harbour with its Venetian fort. Many of the local inhabitants of the area around Ierapetra work in agriculture, and so it is common to see the long greenhouses for growing vegetables, while inland there are lovely pine forests and olive groves. The kilometre long sand and shingle beach with numerous attractive little coves, has two beaches which have been awarded a Blue Flag. Near to Ierapetra, there are many villages. The region of Ierapetra lends itself particularly for walking, or for boat trips to the nearby bays, to the golden Island of ‘Crisi” or Koufonisi with its unusual crushed-shell beaches. There are many interesting outings to be made, for example a visit to Agios Nikolaos, to the vast Lassithi Plain with its windmills, to the Butterfly Gorge or to the beautiful palm strewn beach at Vai.
Where to stay
"All hotels were good. The Marin Dream had a lovely rooftop restaurant with a great view. There were no shelves or drawers in our room. The Palazzo Greco had a lovely bed, but there was no where in the bathroom to put your things and the basin was flat bottomed so splashed a lot. The beds in most places were rather on the firm side, OK for my husband but I put a blanket over the mattress to soften it a little. It seemed that in Ag Nik they were about to put mattress toppers on every bed which would be a good thing. The hotel in Sitia had no drawers in the room and no table on the balcony, just chairs. The shower had a plastic curtain which stuck to you when you showered! That hotel has a lot of potential but needs some money spending on it to achieve it; but we enjoyed our stay there as we had a good view of everything going on. The hotel at Ag Nik was nice too. We also stayed at the Hotel Astron in Ierapetra and Lato Hotel in Agios Nikolaos. All in all we were very happy with all the accommodation and I don't think we would have found such good ones ourselves."
M Snowdon, May, 2015