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Ierapetra is a city in Crete.

Get in[edit]

Ierapetra, on Crete's southern coast

Having the distinction of being the southernmost town facing the African coast, Ierapetra enjoys the smoothest, almost rainless weather in Europe, with a temperature that rarely drops below 12 C all year long! No doubt Ierapetra, "the bride of the Libyan sea", is the sunniest holiday resort in Europe.

By plane Most people land in Heraklion, which has flights from all over Europe and many daily flights to Athens. There is also Sita airport, which is a bit closer, but only services by a few airlines. From the airport, you can take the regional bus KTEL directly to Ierapetra. You can check the schedule here. All busses from Heraklion go by the airport. The journey takes 2-2,5 hours and costs 12 Euros per person. A taxi from the airport to Heraklion costs 110 Euros and takes 1,5 hours.

By ferry Heraklion is the closest port and has ferries arriving from Piraeus every morning around 6:30. Transport from the port is similar to the airport.

Get around[edit]

Ierapetra combines a brilliant past with a present of economic growth and extension. It has the largest population in the prefecture of Lassithi (East Crete) and the fourth largest in all Crete. In 2001 census 15,400 inhabitants were registered within the town, and the population of the Ierapetra municipality was 23,800.

See[edit][add listing]

The visitor can take a leisurely walk in the vivid center of the town, along the coast, in the small municipal park near the Town Hall, or in the quiet picturesque narrow streets of "Kato Mera" - the old part of the town.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk with Donkeys Sanctuary, Anatoli (15 minutes drive from Ierapetra. Phone for directions and time), 0030 697 6088547, [1]. appointment. A sanctuary for unwanted, injured and abused donkeys.Situated in a beautiful area just below the village of Anatoli there is a sanctuary for donkeys. Offering guided walks with the donkeys to carry the delicious picnic that is provided. Donkey rides for children. Farm visits to see donkeys and other animals.(PLEASE PHONE FOR APPOINTMENT) Get away from the tourists and enjoy the mountain air and peaceful nature and beauty. tba.  edit
  • Make trips to the mountains, e.g. to Monastiraki (with the wonderful taverna Kapilio).


Ierapetra was chosen among 500 South European destinations by the QualityCoast International Certification Program of the European Coastal and Marine Union as one of the 50 most attractive tourist destinations for visitors interested in cultural heritage, environment and sustainability. In 2012 Ierapetra was one of the only three destinations in Greece that won the Gold QualityCoast award, ranking 2nd among the TOP 100 chosen European destinations.<ref>EUCC, 2012, QualityCoast Magazine 2012</ref>


Buy[edit][add listing]

The character and charm of the old warm neighborhood has been retained, whilst it has been given new life as a shopping and eating experience for the visitor. A tempting variety of shops, open-air cafes, bars, restaurants and traditional taverns, makes Ierapetra the ideal place to relax, enjoying shopping, eating, drinking or simply wondering around! Pick up a handmade gift from a colorful market stall and enjoy the exciting sounds of busy Cretan life!

Eat[edit][add listing]

Please try to avoid tourist-oriented restaurants. Ask at where you are staying, stressing that you are searching for some small place where locals would go eat, and try that instead.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The prefecture of Lassithi produces probably the best "raki" in Crete, a white spirit made from grapes. Try it at some local "taverna" or "kafenio", together with a variety of "meze" - local delicacies: The locals do that all the time!


Parodos: Bar and Bookshop behind the Archeological Museum. Wonderful Greek live music by the owner every Saturday from 22:00. Jazz music during the week.

Aperitton: Cafe and bar by the sea, polar local hangout spot. Also serves small dishes.

Bocca: Beach bar in front of the old town. Coffee, drinks and lots of Backgammon players.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Huge, luxurious hotel complexes have been built in the last years inside and around Ierapetra. There are also lots of small guest houses and rent rooms, and you can probably find a place to sleep anytime, almost anywhere.

  • Dorovinis Houses in Ierapetra [4] is a group of restored Venetian houses in Anatoli Village.
  • Sarakinas Residences, 2o Km Myrtos - Mythoi, 00302105789320, [2]. checkin: 2:00 pm; checkout: Noon. Two brand new luxurious villas, just 4 km from the world renowned Myrtos Beach and within close distance to Sarakina Gorge. Exquisite style and refined décor, with stunning views to the sea, the garden and the swimming pool. (35.031320,25.579507) edit
  • Mala Villa, Malles, Ierapetra | Lassithi, Crete, +30 210 5789320, [3]. If two words could be used to summarise the true meaning of authentic Cretan hospitality, they would be no other than “Mala Villa” in the Ierapetra district of the Prefecture of Lasithi, in the historical village of Malles. With dedication, exceptionally sophisticated style, fully respecting the environment and its history, the owners of the complex have created five amazing detached holiday homes each with its own entrance and fully equipped so that guests can feel they’re in their own luxury refuge enjoying relaxing holidays.  edit

Get out[edit]

The street near the Town Hall is where most bars and small night clubs are gathered. They are popular with locals, especially during the holidays (July-August, Christmas and Eastern), and at Friday and Saturday nights.

Eating and drinking is a major part of the Cretan merry-making, and can make a great night out on its own. You get find some excellent food in taverns in the villages around Ierapetra, either on the sea side, or further higher on the surrounding mountains.

The closest airport with frequent domestic and charter flights is Sitia airport (36 miles). There is also a ferry line from Piraeus to Sitia.Create category

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