Ierapetra, with the most hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Greece, has much to offer to its visitors: from sandy beaches, rocky mountains and natural bueaties to the world famous Cretan cuisine.
In the town of Ierapetra, you can visit various historical and archeological areas and monuments.
Kales Fortress is a hallmark of Ierapetra. The Venetians built Kales Fortress on the northern sea wall of the port, to look out for enemy ships and protect the harbour from the Arab pirates. This castle is believed to have been built on the site of an old fortress. The fortress of Kales is a remnant of its time, its massive yet simple structure was made of stone without many adornments or decorative work.
In July 1798, when Napoleon's fleet dropped anchor of Ierapetra on its way to Egypt, he was offered hospitality by an Ierapetra family. The remain of the old Cretan house in the old town, still holds the pride of his historical visit.
The area around Ierapetra also offers various destinations to visit.
The southernmost natural park in Europe. Less than an hour by boat from Ierapetra finds you on a tropical island. The island of Crissi is located 8 miles south of Ierapetra. The island is almost flat with colorful volcanic rocks covered in white sand and aquatic fossils.The shallow crystal blue-green waters,the sandy beaches , the millions of sea shells which are widely spread on the north beaches and the rare cedar forest are the most impressive features of the island.
The island is protected by national and European legislations.(Natura 2000)
The gorge of Ha is located 8 km. north of Ierapetra. Ha is a place where many species of Cretan flora and fauna exist.If you are lucky you might see eagles or vultures.You can also see an incredible number of wildflowers. You can go to the gorge of HA , with a motorbike.
Gournia,is one of the most noteworthy archaeological sites in Crete and the best preserved of the Minoan settlements. It is located 15 km. north of Ierapetra. It appears to date from 1600 to 1400 B.C. The ruins, consist of a town overlooked by a small palace. The town of Gournia is a network of streets and stairways flanked by houses with walls up to 2m. height.
West of Ierapetra and near Myrtos, on a low hill known as Fournou Korfi was found the prehistoric settlement of Myrtos,dating from the Early Minoan period. 90 rooms and other areas, designed for a variety of uses, have been excavated. One of the rooms served as a sanctuary. Among the ruins of the settlement a number of pots, stone seals, daggers, weaving implements and a statue of a goddess were found.
Richtis Gorge is a gorge in Crete, Greece (Map of Richtis Gorge here). It is a state protected park near Exo Mouliana, Sitia, eastern Crete (Greece) that starts at the traditional village Exo Mouliana, which is located on the national road between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia and ends at the secluded Richtis beach, just east of the village Kalavros. The hiking trail is about 4 km in length of easy (spring/summer/autumn) to moderate (winter) difficulty. Rich vegetation (mainly platanus trees, wild berries and local flowers and herbs) and animal life (mainly local species of butterflies, small reptiles, birds and small mammals) can be observed along the way, as well as old stone bridges and water mills before it culminates with the Richtis Waterfall and beach, making Richtis gorge trail one of the most diversified hiking experiences in Crete.