The first time I heard of Ierapetra was in the movie Legends of the Fall when Brad Pitt (Tristin) gave a ring from the Crete town to Karina Lombard (Isabel Two) after returning from an epic journey. My studies into the Minoan Civilization of Crete in College having briefly introduced me to the Ierapetra’s history, it’s always been a sparkling little splinter of curiosity for me. Scanning Instagram a few moments ago, I thought to share some of the best images with Argo readers, but first a little bit about marvelous Ierapetra. [Thanks Stella Στέλλα Σφυράκη for the share below]
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is
happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”― Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek
Situated in the southeast of Crete, Ierapetra has always been a place of importance owing to its extremely strategic position controlling the south coast of Crete and the Libyan Sea. The largest town in the south, and Europe’s southernmost city, Ierapetra is unique for many reasons. More lively than its northern cousins Sitia and Agios Nikolaos, the city is famous for having Crete’s hottest overall temperatures, and for the unbelievable agriculture there. Oh, and the beaches, let’s not forget the biggest touristic attraction. The Instagram below from Sonja Koch hints at why.
A port in Minoan and Classical Greece times, Ierapetra has been destroyed, rebuilt as a pirate base, and is alleged to have the lowest crime rate anywhere on Earth, or so my friends from there tell me. The Instagram of the city’s small but colorful and lively port by Modern & Colorful betrays this town’s subtle beauty today.
Ierapetra’s diversity is like most towns of Crete with a mix of historic attractions to beaches and restaurants, resorts and so forth. TripAdvisor’s suggestions are mostly the immaculate beaches, but churches like St. George’s Cathedral and the Church Timios Stayros join Kalos Fortress and a handful of other “must see” attractions. And I cannot leave off here without suggesting a great place to stay for nature lovers and those interested in tradition. I did a story recently about Koutsounari Traditional Cottages and its director, Ioanna Madala. I’ll leave it to the reader to explore the hospitality value of this amazing village, but I’ll also suggest you book ahead for the Spring now since the cottages are booked solid during the season. The share above tells of a simple life natural
Other prominent attraction in the area include the beautiful village and the minoan settlement of Vassiliki, and the unbelievable rugged Ha Gorge shown by Moni Hoffmann below. It is at the head of this narrow gorge you’ll find the tallest waterfall in all Europe. Surprising, huh?
The list of things to do and places to see near Ierapetra is too extensive to list on an Instagram feature, but some of the fabulous beaches are Aghios Andreas Beach, Koutsounari Long Beach, Livadi Beach, Agia Fotia, Kakkos, Galini Beach, Mavros Kolymbos Beach, and Kalamaki Beach, to name a few. Other natural gems include Orino
Of all the places of Crete, Ierapetra may be the most interesting because of the collision of modernity and tradition there. A touristic diamond, the city somehow maintains a gentleness of the character illustrated in the face of the priest captured for Instagram by Manos Zervos. The people of Crete, all of them, possess an intensity I’ve never seen before.
Speaking of convergence, how about a fabulous south Crete resort that transforms in the off-season to become Santa’s second home? Yes, Crete ends of being everything as illustrated by
Another “must visit” attraction in Ierapetra is unbelievable Chrissi Island just offshore. Of course, like every other place on Crete its only three steps to the next beautiful girl. Really, ask my wife Mihaela. Selina’s Instagram below needs no intro.
We ride the sometimes perilous roads of Crete in search of amazing and surprising new wonders every week. I found the Instagram advertisement by below from Traver Car Rentals a perfect illustration of why we do this. You cannot imagine the uniqueness of this place. (You’re welcome guys)
Finally, I found a perfect Instagram share to speak to you readers about the superb value of Ierapetra as a vacation getaway (or home for that matter).
Carly is remorseful missing Ierapetra and the island back at her cold home in Poland. Come back Carly, Crete takes care of you.