Ierapetra, a Lively Town in South Crete

Ierapetra is in southeast Crete, in an extremely strategic position controlling the south coast of Crete and the Libyan Sea.

map ierapetra crete

Favoured both by position and by nature, Ierapetra has always been an important centre of the island. It has grown into the largest town in south Crete and a major tourist destination. When you visit it you will find a lively, active town – much more so than Agios Nikolaos or Sitia.

ierapetra in crete

Ierapetra, with around 13,000 inhabitants (2001 census), is a seaside town with an exceptional beach at its busy centre.

Ierapetra: Sunny Weather and the Highest Temperatures in Greece

What makes Ierapetra stand out is that it has the highest average of sunny days and the highest temperatures in Crete and Greece, with an annual average of 20 C.

Ierapetra is a town which has everything in abundance, but the one thing you won’t need here is an umbrella, since it rarely rains. According to the experts, the mountains of West and Central Crete act as barriers, stopping the clouds on their way to Ierapetra.

Ierapetra is one of the most fertile areas in Greece, and therefore one of the most productive. Its inhabitants mainly cultivate greenhouse fruit and vegetables, exporting them to many European countries.

Ierapetra is special because:

Ierapetra has many distinctions and claims even more:

  • it is the southernmost town in Europe
  • it is the town with the highest temperatures in Crete
  • it is an ideal base for holidays and excursions in southeast Crete
  • it is one of the most productive farming towns in Greece…

The list is a long one, but until recently Ierapetra was not one of the most attractive towns in Crete or Greece. In recent years, however, there have been efforts to prettify it. The restructuring of the coastal road has indeed improved it a great deal, making it ideal for a stroll and somewhere to sit for lunch or an evening drink with a view of the sea.

The town of Ierapetra has pretty corners to discover, making you forget that you’re in a busy place with a slight traffic problem and the general hustle and bustle of a town in constant motion.

Ierapetra on the map

satelite map ierapetra

How to get to Ierapetra

Ierapetra is in the south of Lassithi Prefecture. You can get there in your own or a rented car, or by KTEL intercity bus from Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos.

Although Ierapetra was a major port in antiquity, today there is no boat link to Piraeus or other ports.

From Heraklion to Ierapetra. If you’re starting from Heraklion, take the main road to Agios Nikolaos. Don’t enter the town but turn right and head south to Ierapetra. Ierapetra is 104 km from Heraklion, along a very good road.

Heraklion – Viannos – Ierapetra. Alternatively, you can head from Heraklion to Ano Viannos, Myrtos and Ierapetra. The route is noticeably longer but it’s also far more scenic, giving you the opportunity to see many pretty villages in the south of Heraklion and Lassithi Prefectures.

From Chania to Ierapetra is 240 kilometres and takes about 3.5 hours.

From Rethymno to Ierapetra is 185 kilometres and takes 2.5 – 3 hours

Buses to Ierapetra

If, of course, you don’t have your own means of transport, you can take the KTEL intercity bus. Ierapetra is connected to Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos, and there are also daily buses to Sitia. The KTEL bus stop in Ierapetra is on Lasthenous St., five minutes’ walk from the main square.

Ierapetra is ideal for holidays for…

beach road ierapetra

Ierapetra is the ideal destination for those who want to spend their holidays in a busy tourist resort, one with a lively nightlife in spite of its small size.

Ierapetra is ideal for holidays for couples and young people who want to combine a lively town with lovely beaches and excursion opportunities.

Ierapetra is ideal for families, as there are many large hotels, while the town can cover all your needs.

Holidays in Ierapetra are ideal for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the Libyan Sea and explore the south of Crete, with its wonderful, picturesque villages, gorges and sandy beaches in or near Ierapetra.

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