Ierapetra is the most southerly town in Europe and surrounded by countless vegetable plantations. Many of our fruits are cultivated here. The temperatures are extremely hot in the summer and wonderfully mild in the winter. The town´s pride and joy is the waterfront promenade. A fort remains from Venetian times and a mosque in the old town (the original Turkish area) from the Turks. The distance from Ierapetra to the north coast is only about 18 km. Heraklion on the north coast 96 km. This coastal region is very dry and bare, but only a few kilometers inland you will be more surprised when the lush vegetation of "Males" dominates the landscape. Males is a wooded area. 15 km from Ierapetra in the inland. The city of Ierapetra with its surrounding area has a total of approximately 27,000 inhabitants who mainlywork in agriculture. Ierapetra belongs to the Lassithi Prefecture.
The greenhouses, which are directly near the coast, do not make a beautiful landscape for the tourist. But they are very important for the people living there. The fruits and vegetables grown here in Ierapetra are not only for domestic market, but for many parts of europe. The main crops are cucumbers and tomatoes, which we also find on our supermarket in winter.
There is a long beach in the middle of the town made up of grey sand and small pebbles. The town develops its own charme in the evening and the promenade and tavernas of all types invite one to tarry a while.
In ancient times Ierapetra was already a trading city. Ierapetra was a market place for exchanging between Africa and Europe. The Venetianian castle of Ierapetra is from the 17th century. Ierapetra has a long promenade that is unusual for Crete (approx. 800 meters long) with many taverns and cafes.
From here boats go to the offshore island "Chrissi Island". The highest point in the hinterland of Ierapetra is the mountain "Spathi" with 2148 meters. The region around Ierapetra is the warmest region in Europe. It is not uncommon for summer temperatures to climb above 40 degrees. The proximity to the African continent is not far. The oriental influences are visible through the remains of the Ottoman Empire, such as the mosque, the minaret and the fountain house in the city center.
Napoleon started his journey to Egypt. All rulers of Crete recognized the strategic importance of Ierapetra. The ancient Greeks called Ierapetra, "Hierapytna" in ancient Greek, was the gateway to Africa. For Romans, Arabs and Venetians, Ierapetra remained the hub between the continents
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