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Aghios Stefanos
Category: Town-Village
Prefecture: Lassithi
Address: Sitia
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Aghios Stefanos

Thirty kilometers east of ierapetra, is the municipal unit of San Stefano that besides the picturesque village includes the popular tourist resort of makrigialos. The settlement's Population is 131 inhabitants (census 2011), 305 inhabitants (census of 1583). 

Built on a hill in 453 m altitude the picturesque village of Agios Stefanos is a prime example of mountain culture of the Cretan people. Its privileged location offers unique views of the Libyan Sea and the mountains of Thryptis while less than six kilometres inhabitants and visitors can enjoy the popular beaches of Makris Gialos.

The older will remember the settlement with the name ' Old ' name for the origin, there are different interpretations, with most believing the present name owes to the impressive church of Saint Stephen, who is known for its distinctive architecture, the Interior and exterior decoration. This is the main reference point of the village, with the small square on the side of to gather in cafes of the villagers. Agios Stefanos distinguishes for its dense building and winding cobblestone streets. Somewhere in there you will find the Kimeri, the old (and now restored) source of the village with the characteristic arch, in troughs which women washed their clothes seasons that the water had not reached even in homes of the village.

On the rough and steep hill at the top of the village, once stood the ' Kastelos "or" Fortezza ". A, ruined, Venetian fortress which is believed to have been built on the foundations of the Citadel, probably of geometric times, and according to the legends of the village was devastated by the raids of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. Although the area does not have become systematic excavations, findings suggest that inhabited from the 9th century BC. Due to the increasing tourism development of makrigialos launched the Decade of the 80 's, many villagers of Agios Stefanos fled the region moving in more "fertile" seafood lands, though nowadays Aghios Stefanos is a mountainous village that comes rapidly. Main cause is-re-discovery of the beauty of the village of tourists who flooded every summer around coastal areas. Dozens of foreigners--mainly northern Europeans-who appreciated the special charm of the area and the mild climate, buying homes and land, moving either occasionally or permanently in Agios Stefanos, giving a more vivid color to the area. The summers the population more than doubled and the area comes alive.

The cafes in the area host all sorts of events from parts of haggling the day up nights learning lyre and bouzouki for foreigners in the region. A characteristic example is Philippe from Belgium, who once traveled in search of Crete, came to stay permanently in Agios Stefanos to erect its own small Observatory, which everyone now can enjoy the starry sky throughout the year.