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Ierapetra in breve
Boasting the most hours of sunshine in Crete, Ierapetra also lays claim to the title of most southerly town in Europe. Despite being the fourth biggest town on the island and occupying a strategic location on the south coast, Ierapetra has a relaxed, friendly vibe. It’s never overrun with tourists though it is the jumping-off point for trips to Chrisi island offshore – home of blissful beaches and very little else.
Visitors are drawn to Ierapetra’s pedestrian-only seafront promenade where a stroll and a spot of people watching from one of the many bars and restaurants is the order of the day. The large pebble beach east of the town centre is usually peaceful and the water is calm with plenty of fish, making it ideal for snorkelling.
Top three things to do in Ierapetra
Explore the town’s historical side
The small Archaeological Museum in Ierapetra’s town centre showcases exhibits from the Minoan and Greco-Roman periods, mainly ceramics and statuary. You can also visit the 13th-century Venetian fort guarding the harbour. When it is open to the public, the views from the top are worth the trip.
Cruise over to Chrissi
Low lying Chrissi Island sits 15km south of Ierapetra and it’s around an hour’s cruise to reach, but you won’t regret it if you are looking for dreamy white beaches and Caribbean colours. It’s a protected nature reserve with boardwalk trails to all corners, and beaches range from wild and rocky to sandy and well-equipped.
Beach hop Crete’s south coast
Heading east from Ierapetra there are plenty of fine beaches to aim for either by car or by boat. The clean water and endless views out to sea make pebbly Koutsounari and Ferma stand out, while Agia Fotia is a sandy cove and Koutsouras is sheltered by low cliffs.