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Ierapetra, on Crete's southern coast

Ierapetra is a city in Crete.

Having the distinction of being the southernmost city facing the African coast, Ierapetra enjoys the smoothest, almost rainless weather in Europe, with a temperature that rarely drops below 12oC all year. It has the largest population in the prefecture of Lassithi (East Crete) and the fourth largest in all Crete. In 2011 it had almost 28,000 inhabitants.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

The KTEL intercity buses connect Ierapetra to Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, to Sitia and other towns.

By plane[edit]

The closest airport (58 km) with frequent domestic and charter flights is Sitia airport (JSH IATA). There is also a ferry line from Athens (Piraeus) to Sitia.

Get around[edit]

Map of Ierapetra


The visitor can take a leisurely walk in the vivid city centre, along the coast, in the small municipal park near the Town Hall, or in the quiet picturesque narrow streets of "Kato Mera" - the old part of the town.


  • Walk with Donkeys Sanctuary, Anatoli (15 minutes drive from Ierapetra. Phone for directions and time), +30 697 6088547. appointment. A sanctuary for unwanted, injured and abused donkeys. Situated in a beautiful area just below the village of Anatoli there is a sanctuary for donkeys. Offering guided walks with the donkeys to carry the delicious picnic that is provided. Donkey rides for children. Farm visits to see donkeys and other animals. Get away from the tourists and enjoy the mountain air and peaceful nature and beauty. Phone for an appointment. tba.


The character and charm of the old warm neighborhood has been retained, whilst it has been given new life as a shopping and eating experience for the visitor. A tempting variety of shops, open-air cafes, bars, restaurants and traditional taverns, makes Ierapetra the ideal place to relax, enjoying shopping, eating, drinking or simply wandering around.



The prefecture of Lassithi produces probably the best "raki" in Crete, a white spirit made from grapes. Try it at some local "taverna" or "kafenio", together with "meze".


Huge, luxurious hotel complexes have been built in the last years inside and around Ierapetra. There are also lots of small guest houses and rent rooms.


Mid range[edit]


Go next[edit]

The street near the Town Hall is where most bars and small night clubs are gathered. They are popular with locals, especially during the holidays (July–August, Christmas and Easter), and on Friday and Saturday nights.

Eating and drinking is a major part of the Cretan merry-making, and can make a great night out. You get find some excellent food in taverns in the villages around Ierapetra, either on the sea side, or further higher on the surrounding mountains.

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