Rent a car Ierapetra
If you wish to rent a car in Ierapetra you came to the right place. We have a variety of cars available at any given time and we are able to offer you free car delivery to your accommodation ( if it is within our service area). You can also pick up and return your hired car in the central area of the town.
Ierapetra is located in the southeast of Crete and is the most southern town of Europe.
It has an average temperature of 20 C annually, holding the record for warmest and sunniest town in all Greece. It is a laid back but at the same time lively small town definitely worth visiting.
Ierapetra is less packed with tourists than bigger towns and cities like Heraklion, Chania or Rethymnon, making it a great place for anyone who is looking to experience a more authentic and quiet vacation. This doesn't mean that this peaceful town has not enough to offer. From cultural activities, local Cretan delicacies, exotic waterfalls that you wouldn't expect to see in Crete to a small subtropical island just a few nautical miles of the coast.
The history of Ierapetra
“Kyrba” was the first name of Ierapetra in ancient times. The name stems from the founder of the town, “Kyrbas”. Later on the town was renamed to “Hierapytna” which meant “sacred hill” on which back in the day a temple stood.
By the 1st century BC Ierapetra had become one of the most important port towns and was trading with the kingdoms of South and East Mediteranean.
When the Romans invaded Crete, Ierapetra fiercely resisted until 66BC, when it finally fell.
The town was rebuilt and flourished. Nowadays you can still find remains of the architectural influence of this time. The most impressive one is the Naumachia which was a structure for reenactment of battles for entertainment purposes of the nobles.
After that Ierapetra was conquered and destroyed many times :
- In the 9th Century the Arabs destroyed the town and rebuilt it as a pirate base.
- In the 13th Century the Venetians conquered the town and built plenty of buildings including the “Kale” fortressat the port of Ierapetra
- In the 17th Century the Ottomans conquered Ierapetra. A mosque and a turkish well are still preserved well.
- In 1941 during the second world war Germany invaded Crete. Villages near Ierapetra suffered great casualties due to reprisals against Resistance.
4 Best things to do in Ierapetra
1)Take a boat to Chrissi Island
Definitely a must when you visit sunny Ierapetra is to visit Chrissi Island, also referred to “The island” or “Chrissi” by the locals. Chrissi is famous for its crystal clear turquoise waters, the century old cedar forest, seashell filled beaches and traces of Minoan civilization.
The tiny subtropical island is located 16km from Ierapetra and will take you approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the boat you choose to travel with. If you don't mind bigger crowds, you can either choose the bigger ferries that are the cheapest or stick with a more luxurious semi private or private tour on a smaller boat or yacht. All tours start in the morning and you will spend a minimum time of 4.5hours on the island. Tickets are being sold online or at local agents around town. Keep in mind that the island is uninhabited and has only chemical toilets. Bring (or buy on board) snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you don't want to pay for sunbeds and an umbrella you should definitely bring your own umbrella as the natural shade provided by the trees on the beach is limited and the good spots are taken fast.
Boat Trip: www.cretandailycruises.com : adult/child €25/12, mid-May–Oct passengers: 200-400
Semi-private or Private Boat Trip: https://www.nautiloscruises.com/ : € 65.00 per passenger ( 12 + years old ) , € 50.00 per passenger ( 2 - 12 years old), contact them for the best price of a private tour.
2)Explore Ierapetra town
Ierapetra is a small peaceful town with plenty of things to discover here and there. You can visit most of the attractions and sights in a single day. We have listed for you the best points of interest that are all within walking distance.
Ierapetras promenade : stretches along the seafront and is a wonderful walk to see the big Agia Fotini Church at the east side. Along the way you can find Waikiki cafe/bar where you can sit right by the sea and enjoy a delicious breakfast, brunch, coffee or drinks in the evening.
Walk further west and you will find plenty of shops, cafes and seaside restaurants and pizzerias.
Fishing Port and Venetian Fortress “Kales” : overlooking the small fishing port of Ierapetra lays the Venetian Fort “Kales”, which was built on top of an existing fort, apparently built by Genoese Pirates. The Fort inside is empty but still worth visiting as you can go up the ramparts and the single tower and enjoy the view of the town with the mountains in the background. The port is small but picturesque and has a mole you can walk along while observing the local fisherman work on their boats and nets.
The Old Town of Ierapetra : also called “Kato Mera” is great for a relaxed stroll through its narrow alleys. In this charmful part of the town, which is a bit like a labyrinth, you will find the residence of Napoleon (where he apparently stayed for a night after arriving in Crete from Egypt) a restored mosque with its minaret and several churches, including Agios Ioannis and Agios Georgios.
The Archeological museum of Ierapetra : is located inside an old Ottoman school in the center of Ierapetra. It's rather small but worth a visit when you're around. The exhibition features relics from various periods. Among the most interesting ones are Greco-Roman statues, Roman lamps, the Episcopi Sarcophagus, ritual pots and the statue of the goddess Persefoni.
3) Hike to Milonas Gorge and Waterfall
The Milonas waterfall and gorge is a great short hike for every skill level. The best time to visit is spring or early summer when most water is running. In mid and late summer the water may be little or none existantant (depending on the dryness of the summer).
It is definitely worth stopping by on your way to one of the beautiful beaches around this area.( Agia Fotia, Galini, Long beach, Kakia Skala etc)
For a start you can not walk the whole gorge due to the 40meter waterfall that you will encounter.
To reach the waterfall you can either walk up the riverbed from the Kakia Skala beach for 1.5 hours or by parking your car closer at a designated dirt road and walk for 15-20 minutes.
Once you have reached the waterfall, you will arrive at a small pond with rocks and trees, which makes a wonderful and refreshing resting spot.
We recommend you to go either in the morning or early evening to avoid the heat and have the best experience.
4) Visit the unique desert islet Koufonisi
“Koufonisi” or “Lefki'' is a small islet part of a bigger islet cluster( Marmara,Trachila, Makroulo and Stroggilo). It is located 15 kilometres from Makrigialos from where you can rent a boat or join a tour on a pirate ship. Check the weather forecast before booking a tour as the sea can be rough there and tours may get cancelled.
Even though Koufonisi is a desert island with almost no trees at all it attracts people's curiosity. The landscape is unique though very dry and waterless with a thick layer of sand and bushes covering its surface. The island is very small, so you can walk around it in 2-3 hours if this is what you want to do. Walking around you will find ruins of an Roman-Hellenic theater, many secluded beaches and remains of an old lighthouse. If you rather prefere to stay on the beach, you should take advantage of the crystal clear water and the fine sand. Be advised that there are no organised beaches on this little island nor hygiene facilities to protect the untouched nature. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as sun protection and an umbrella(if you have one available).
You can book your tickets here: https://www.cretandailycruises.com/explorecruises/koufonisi/tour/1055.en.html