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Itanos
Category: Ancient Site
Prefecture: Lassithi
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Itanos


The ancient city of Itanos is also known as Erimoupolis. It was inhabited from the prehistoric to the early Byzantine era, and flourished in the Hellenistic and Roman period. It was a strong power center of the eastern coast of Crete for several centuries and often engaged in disputes with neighboring cities. At the same time it seems to have been an important port of transit trade between Crete and the East. 
The archaeological site is located near the sea and consists of three hills. In the eastern and western hill there are two citadels. The houses, public buildings and ancient market appear to have stretched to the foot of the hills, while part of the city is immersed in the sea. Three early Christian basilicas can be easily distinguished, showing the flourishing of the city during that period. Moreover, research has indicated underground remains of the city's harbor. Finally, the various inscriptions found in Itanos are of particular historical value. Best known among them is the ‘Inscription of the Magnites’, which has been nested in the wall of the catholicon of the monastery of Toplou. 
 
Itanos flourished in the historic Greek and Roman period. It was established in the Prehellenic period. Itanos became powerful and wealthy from conducting trade with Syria, Palestine and Libya. The city had its own coins and buildings covered with marble. The temple of Dictaian Zeus at Palekastro belonged administratively to the city of Itanos and that was the reason of the constant wars between Itanos and two other cities, Pressos and Ierapytna, that wanted to take the temple under their rule. The city was inhabited until the 15th century AD when the pirates forced the inhabitants to move to the hinterland of Crete. Itanos archaeologal site Itanos archaeologal site Itanos archaeologal site For the past 7 years, a coalition of European researchers has been studying the archaeological site of Itanos from various archaeological, environmental and geophysical aspects. The project, supervised by the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, the French School of Archaeology and the Technical University of Crete, has integrated a number of surveying techniques for accessing the archaeological and environmental parameters of the wider archaeological region. 

Places near Itanos


Erimoupoli
Erimoupoli 1443 hits

Itanos beaches are located 2 km north from Palm beach Vai, 8 from Palekastro and 26 from Sitia. The sandy beach of the ancient town of Itanos or Erimoupolis, Lassithi prefecture. 

If you’re looking to kick back and relax and do nothing more serious than soak up the sun or occasionally dip your toe into crystal clear waters, then the beaches at Erimoupolis or Itanos in Lassithi Prefecture could be the place for you. Reached by walking a short distance from the small car park at the ancient site of Itanos it’s some distance to any facilities so it is essential to bring plentiful supplies of water. The beaches are quiet on weekdays but are popular at weekends so can become busy. The clear water and sandy beach are perfect for a lazy day with some palm trees offering much needed shade in the heat of the day.

Area description:

There is another longer sandy beach that you can get to - on foot - over the low hill to your left, where the main road stops.

In fact, there are 3 beaches here: the first is the one at the end of the road, the second is reached walking to the north (the beach on the 1st photo) and the third is also reached walking south behind the small fortress. The third one is also suitable to spend time under the shade of the palm-trees.



However the best selection for swimming is the northern, sandy beach. The bottom of the sea is rich. There is a whole ancient city down there giving home to a variety of fish. It is a paradise for the lovers of diving.

These are amazing beaches in Crete, secluded with perfect water. During the week it is sparsely populated but come the weekends it becomes crowded especially during July and August.There are no amenities at the beach and the closest restaurant is a 10minute drive (Palm Beach Vai), so take your own water etc. Parking can be found near the ancient site of Itanos.
 

What to do..

The site of Ancient Itanos is well worth a visit, particularly as it was once the most important settlement on Crete. Visitors to the site today can see ruins including a black stone tower, and Early Christian churches. Keen snorkelers will be pleased to hear that some of the site is under water, making the views through the crystal clear water even more rewarding. The town of Sitia nearby is off the well-worn tourist track in Crete so has retained much of its charm and relaxed atmosphere. With a busy harbour, a good variety of shops, a pretty seafront and a large sandy beach of its own, it’s a good base for exploring unspoilt Crete at its best.

 

Above the beach of Erimoupolis one can observe the red marbles that are unique to the area and which belong to the Phyllite-Quartzite unit. The rock formations can be seen from the road leading to Kyriamidis Bay. 

Image Coming Soon
Vai 367 hits


Palm beach Vai

Vai beaches are located 25 km from Sitia and 6 km far from Palekastro Village. The combination of a magnificent beach with a rare grove of palm trees makes Palm Beach Vai one of the absolute musts of Crete.

According to a legend, Arab pirates who came to Crete threw out the pips of the dates they were eating while they were here and that from these came this grove of 5000 palms. It is prohibited to camp overnight within the grove, which covers an area of 60 acres and is protected by fencing under the care of the Forestry Service. It is organised and has been awarded with the EU Blue Flag.

It is an exotic, tropical beach with fine sand and pebbles and crystal-clear blue sea. 155 km far from Heraklion Airport.

Itanos
Itanos 360 hits

Itanos beaches are located 2 km north from Palm beach Vai, 8 from Palekastro and 26 from Sitia. The sandy beach of the ancient town of Itanos or Erimoupolis, Lassithi prefecture. 

If you’re looking to kick back and relax and do nothing more serious than soak up the sun or occasionally dip your toe into crystal clear waters, then the beaches at Erimoupolis or Itanos in Lassithi Prefecture could be the place for you. Reached by walking a short distance from the small car park at the ancient site of Itanos it’s some distance to any facilities so it is essential to bring plentiful supplies of water. The beaches are quiet on weekdays but are popular at weekends so can become busy. The clear water and sandy beach are perfect for a lazy day with some palm trees offering much needed shade in the heat of the day.

Area description:

There is another longer sandy beach that you can get to - on foot - over the low hill to your left, where the main road stops.

In fact, there are 3 beaches here: the first is the one at the end of the road, the second is reached walking to the north (the beach on the 1st photo) and the third is also reached walking south behind the small fortress. The third one is also suitable to spend time under the shade of the palm-trees.



However the best selection for swimming is the northern, sandy beach. The bottom of the sea is rich. There is a whole ancient city down there giving home to a variety of fish. It is a paradise for the lovers of diving.

These are amazing beaches in Crete, secluded with perfect water. During the week it is sparsely populated but come the weekends it becomes crowded especially during July and August.There are no amenities at the beach and the closest restaurant is a 10minute drive (Palm Beach Vai), so take your own water etc. Parking can be found near the ancient site of Itanos.
 

What to do..

The site of Ancient Itanos is well worth a visit, particularly as it was once the most important settlement on Crete. Visitors to the site today can see ruins including a black stone tower, and Early Christian churches. Keen snorkelers will be pleased to hear that some of the site is under water, making the views through the crystal clear water even more rewarding. The town of Sitia nearby is off the well-worn tourist track in Crete so has retained much of its charm and relaxed atmosphere. With a busy harbour, a good variety of shops, a pretty seafront and a large sandy beach of its own, it’s a good base for exploring unspoilt Crete at its best.

 

Itanos
Itanos 358 hits
Itanos beaches are located 2 km north from Palm beach Vai, 8 from Palekastro and 26 from Sitia. The sandy beach of the ancient town of Itanos or Erimoupolis, Lassithi prefecture. 

If you’re looking to kick back and relax and do nothing more serious than soak up the sun or occasionally dip your toe into crystal clear waters, then the beaches at Erimoupolis or Itanos in Lassithi Prefecture could be the place for you. Reached by walking a short distance from the small car park at the ancient site of Itanos it’s some distance to any facilities so it is essential to bring plentiful supplies of water. The beaches are quiet on weekdays but are popular at weekends so can become busy. The clear water and sandy beach are perfect for a lazy day with some palm trees offering much needed shade in the heat of the day.

Area description:

There is another longer sandy beach that you can get to - on foot - over the low hill to your left, where the main road stops.

In fact, there are 3 beaches here: the first is the one at the end of the road, the second is reached walking to the north (the beach on the 1st photo) and the third is also reached walking south behind the small fortress. The third one is also suitable to spend time under the shade of the palm-trees.



However the best selection for swimming is the northern, sandy beach. The bottom of the sea is rich. There is a whole ancient city down there giving home to a variety of fish. It is a paradise for the lovers of diving.

These are amazing beaches in Crete, secluded with perfect water. During the week it is sparsely populated but come the weekends it becomes crowded especially during July and August.There are no amenities at the beach and the closest restaurant is a 10minute drive (Palm Beach Vai), so take your own water etc. Parking can be found near the ancient site of Itanos.
 

What to do..

The site of Ancient Itanos is well worth a visit, particularly as it was once the most important settlement on Crete. Visitors to the site today can see ruins including a black stone tower, and Early Christian churches. Keen snorkelers will be pleased to hear that some of the site is under water, making the views through the crystal clear water even more rewarding. The town of Sitia nearby is off the well-worn tourist track in Crete so has retained much of its charm and relaxed atmosphere. With a busy harbour, a good variety of shops, a pretty seafront and a large sandy beach of its own, it’s a good base for exploring unspoilt Crete at its best.