One of the most beautiful parts of Ierapetra’s hinterland, at 15 km on its northwest, is the one occupied by the picturesque village of Kalamafka.
It is situated in the lower parts of the Lasithi mountains, an area with an impressive variety in the landscape’s relief. The village took its name from Kali Afkla, which was a wooden drain at the sources of Kefalovryso that used to carry the water from the one river bank to the other. Another explanation is that the rock on the Kastelos peak looks like a Greek Orthodox priest’s hat (kalymafki) and gave its name to the village.
Kalamafka, a beautiful picturesque, traditional, large village, with the sources of Kefalovryso, sprouting clear waters in large quantities, looks like an oasis of coolness, a paradise on earth, with wild vegetation, in our dry and hot province.
Its wealth is its water and the vigorousness of its residents, who resist urbanism.
The fact that the residents of Kalamafka stay at their place of birth is also due to the advantageous position of the village since it is in the middle of the distance between the north and the south coast of our island and daily attracts visitors from Ierapetra and Aghios Nikolaos.
Kalamafka, ancient Larisa, has been inhabited even since the Minoan era.
In the site Psathi, situated on the road to Ierapetra, human sculls, clay pots, spearheads, various grave goods of the sub-minoan era were found. The geographer Strabo writes about Kalamafka, ancient Larisa: “And in Crete there is the city of Larisa, which now is united with Ierapytna, and from which the plain below, called Larision, takes its name.” The god protector of ancient Larisa was Asclepius, and because of this the Medical Association of Lassithi has made its emblem the figure of the statuette discovered on the Kastelos peak, which dominates over the village and was a peak sanctuary, according to Mr. Michalis Pytikakis.
Larisa has been subdued around the 3rd century B.C. by Ierapytna. Its residents were deported elsewhere according to the signed treaty. During the following historical periods, there is evidence that the area of Kalamafka, because of the existence of the water sources of Kefalovryso has been inhabited uninterruptedly.
The place names Kastelos, Mesokastela, Larisakia prove its flourishing.
Being the seat of a feudal lord during the Venetian rule, it had 435 residents in 1583. It had great Byzantine and post-byzantine churches and many chapels.
During the Turkish rule it bred great chieftains, such as Nikolaos Foniadakis and Ioannis Baritakis. The evidence of its history, struggles and sacrifices cannot be summarized.
Today, Kalamafka is the liveliest village, as its population grows, it has a tworoom school, a nursery school, a cultural association, co-ops, a Land Improvement Local Organization for the water management, a lot of coffee houses and 7 taverns.
Its natural landscape that has been called “Chinese”, because of the small hanging rocks with bonsais, stone gods, Kastelos, with the 224 steps, has been characterized as a monument of natural history. The caves, the rock paintings, the Havgas gorge, the ancient olive press, the churches of Saint John and Saint Anthony are some of the many places to see in Kalamafka. The taverns with the plane trees and the running waters, the traditional, local delicious dishes, the traditional “klostenios” halva and the skyfomakarounes (local pasta), with the sounds of lyra, violin and lute satisfy both locals and foreigners. There are then a lot of reasons to go to Kalamafka.
Places near Kalamafka
Havgas gorge is located very close to village Kalamavkas in twelve kilometer distance from Ierapetra. The canyon is very beautiful and the length is relatively small and the passage through the river’s litter is very easy even for amateur passengers.
In the region of Kalamafka there are characteristic rock formations, which are due to rare geological features.
The area’s height is almost 500 meters long while between the others dominates a wonderful pinewood.
ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΚΑΛΑΜΑΥΚΑΣ ΙΕΡΑΠΕΤΡΑΣ