Ierapetra - Crete, Greece

The town of Ierapetra is located on the southeast coast of Crete, along the beach of Ierapetra Bay. Known as the "bride of the Libyan Sea", it is the only town on the south coast of Crete. It lies south of Agios Nikolaos and southwest of Sitia and is an important regional centre. The area abounds with excellent beaches and it is a centre for exploring Minoan sites like Gournia, Pyrgos, Vasiliki, Makry Gialos and Episkopi. Ierapetra was chosen by the QualityCoast International Certification Program as one of the 50 most attractive tourist destinations for visitors interested in cultural heritage, environment and sustainability. Nearby gorges to explore include Orino or Red Butterflies Gorge, Milona, Ha, Sarakina, Mesona and Havga. Ierapetra has had a place in the history of Crete since the Minoan period. The Greek and later Roman town of Hierapytna was on the same site as present day Ierapetra. In the Venetian Age, from the 13th to the 17th centuries, Ierapetra - now known by its present name - was a prosperous town. The Fortress of Kales, built in the early years of Venetian rule was strengthened in 1626 to protect the harbour.