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Category: Town-Village
Prefecture: Lassithi
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Places near Vatos

Myrtos 3074 hits

In the west of Ierapetra, at 15 km of road, at the estuaries of the river Sarantapihos, in a verdurous valley with olive and orange trees, the beautiful, tourist, beach village Myrtos is built. It took its name from common Myrtle that grows in the area. Its beaches, the deep blue waters and the breeze of the Libyan Sea, the mild climate, have long ago established Myrtos as an ideal summer resort.
A place to calm one’s soul, according to locals and visitors, as if unknown powers give it a positive, vitalizing and therapeutic charge.
An old historical village, it suffered during its history by pirate raids, conquests, devastations. It has important antiquities, such as a proto-minoan settlement at the site “Fournou Koryfi”, at 3.5 km in the east, where a lot of pots and clay artifacts, utility items, baking ovens, statuettes and offerings were found, “Pyrgos”, at 0.5 km in the east of Myrtos, where a “villa” of the post-minoan period was discovered. Also, in the west of the village buildings and mosaics, baths and traces of Roman inhabitation can be seen. The archaeological findings of the Myrtos antiquities are exhibited in its Museum, the life work of the teacher Georgios Dimitrianakis, in the Museums of Aghios Nikolaos and Heraklion.
The old churches and chapels have also historical interest, with their most important being Saint Anthony of the Byzantine period. The old bridge, in the north part of the bed of Myrtos’ stream, is an important stone-built architectural work. The old watermills, which used to grind the cereals, the preserved plumbing and irrigation installations bear witness of the progressiveness of the Myrtos’ residents.
Myrtos, a former Community, today a Local Department of the Municipality of Ierapetra, in 1630 it had 28 residents, in 1881 it had 127 and in 2001 440 residents. A transit center for the products of the wider area, which were traded by sea, it had important successes in the financial, developmental and intellectual sector. It is a village of scientists, of individuals distinguished in the Arts and letters.
Myrtos, the sea emerald of west Ierapetra, green, with a good town-planning, paved picturesque streets, coffee houses and restaurants on the wave, with beautiful and organized beaches, it satisfies every visitor. Its important infrastructures, the archaeological Museum, its antiquities, the mild climate, make Myrtos a center of attraction of local and foreign resorters. The high qualities of the provided tourism services, the residents’ hospitality, the friendly family environment of the social and cultural life of Myrtos, by winter and by summer, makes Myrtos everyone’s village. Houses, trees, emotions, ideas, legends, traditions in the beautiful bay, the bosom of the Libyan Sea, left “quietly on the grass”, according to the poet of Myrtos Manolis Pratikakis.



Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach 2721 hits

The beach of Myrtos or Mirtos is a nice and rather quiet beach, sandy and in parts with pebbles, in front of the homonymous village at the southern coast of Crete, close to the borders of Heraklion prefecture. The beach is situated 51 kilometers far from Aghios Nicolaos at the South, 90 kilometers southeastern to Heraklion and 14,5 kilometers western to Ierapetra. 

The beach is well enough organised. The visitor will find a few hotels and rooms to let for accommodation in the peaceful village, suitable for families or for those who prefer to have solitary holidays, but be close to the big tourist resorts and the places worth seeing. For food and drink the good fish taverns of the village are ideal; fish is always fresh and tasty.

Mirtos Village is on the sea and has a decent size beach and waterfront. The beach has sunbeds & parasols for hire (7 euro 2 beds & parasol) and is mostly coarse grey sand with some shingle at waters edge. There is also a small sailing outlet with a couple of Catamarans and a small sailing dinghy, and even one pedalo! Lessons are offered and on the catamaran half or 1 hour sailings around the bay with the captain/owner. Eastwards from the beach runs the waterfront itself lined with bars & Tavernas (4-5 Bars and approx 10 Tavernas) there are also a couple of bars and 3-4 Tavernas in the village (the village centre is ony 50 meteres from the beach!)

Over the last few years, Myrtos has seen a significant increase in the development of tourism, always showing respect for the traditions and natural beauty of the area. There is also a unique orange grove, which, in combination with the surrounding mountains and seasonal river comprises a unique view for the visitor.

In summer, the presence of tourists, who come to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and the well-known Cretan hospitality of the locals, is really intense. During the winter months, the locals are involved in agriculture. The relatively high temperature maintained in the region all year round (it never falls below 12°C), means that Myrtos serves as a winter ‘refuge’ for swallows, until the difficult winter months have passed.

On the way from Mirtos to Tertsa (west) you can find also Vatos Beach.


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Gdochia 2682 hits

A stately village built in settlements, 22 km away from Ierapetra, at an altitude of 225 m, next to the Ierapetra-Vianos provincial road. A green landscape, overgrown with olive trees, with an unlimited view of the Libyan Sea, to the surrounding areas Koleitos, Kakon Oros, to the beaches Vatos and Kallikovrechtis.
An almost abandoned village, with old houses built of stone, with chiseled door frames and coats of arms bearing the Christian cross and proving its old glory and history.
Giannis Dimitromanolakis, an author from Gdohia, writes:
“Gdohia sprouted right opposite the beach of the Libyan Sea. Nothing would have been better for the pirates, who, like diabolical ghosts, emerged into the night to kill and prey. The village’s history is dipped in blood, as it often suffered from the raids of the pirates from the Barbary Coast. It took the name Gdohia from the catastrophes, from the verb “gdyno”, to skin, to set fire, to devastate.”
Gdohia’s course in time has evidence of struggles, sacrifices and holocausts to show. It was not only exposed to the pirates but it was situated on the natural south passage going from the Viannos area to the Ierapetra area. This meant that the hordes of barbarous conquerors burnt and devastated it, along with the other Symiana villages, as they are called, in the West Ierapetra.
Gdohia’s settlements are built leaving a distance between each other: Kato Gdohia or Pitropiana, taking their name from the Epitropakis family living there, Pefkiana or Grysboliana, from the Grysbolakis family, Dimitromanoliana from the Dimitromanolakis family, Daskaliana from the Daskalakis family, Papadiana from the Papadakis family. Great stonecutters, stoneworkers, famous for their art, Gdohia’s residents built the mansions of the whole area and the famous bridge of Myrtos using stones from the quarries of Kolleitos.
The miraculous church of Panagia (Our Lady) Evaggelistria of Gdohia, a work of art and a great ecclesiastical monument is also built by Gdohia’s residents.
Gdohia village, once the seat of a Community, today a Local Department of the Municipality of Ierapetra, presents an exceptional sight-seeing interest. It provides natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, picturesque little churches on
the hills, a spacious square with palm trees, seats and a war memorial for the fallen fighters of the liberation wars. In the 1881 census, 296 residents are registered and 73 in 2001. Gdohia’s permanent residents, along with some foreigners’ families who have bought and renovated old houses, struggle for the village’s development which gradually acquires the necessary infrastructures.
A village with rich history and civilization, with vast olive groves, a nice mild climate, both during summer and winter, it hopes to come back to life.
The old mansions, half-wrecked and burned in the German Occupation, stand as if they were sculptures, a painting with the deep blue Libyan Sea serving as a background, narrate the flourishing, the glory and the history of Gdohia and wait to be inhabited again.

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Vatos 2645 hits
West of Ierapetra at a few kilometers distance of the village of Mirtos in the south east / middle coast of Crete is the small village of Vatos, with a small church, two or three houses and large beaches. It is a quiet area where you will hardly find anybody on the beaches around the village. In between Mirtos and Tertsa is the village of Vatos. The distance from Mirtos is 3 km and from Tertsa, from the west side 2 km.
Old Stone Bridge
Old Stone Bridge 2633 hits

North of Myrtos in the road towards Mournies where Kryopotamos passes (on summertime it is a dry river) there is a bridge fitted with an inscription that says it was built in 1884. The bridge is made of stone and it consists of three big bows that were made from hewn rectangular stones that extrude in corners.

The two middle “legs” are reinforced by little struts that on the northern side have a triangular shape and the southern side is roundabout. In its upper surface – in the passable level – the old cobbled road can be seen in many spots, while the created parapet in its sides is very low.

The whole structure of the bridge does not only prove the remarkable aesthetic perception of manufacturers but also the perfect knowledge of the technical bridge construction with materials that had at this time. The bridge has been described as a work of art.