Ierapetra is a laid-back seafront town and the commercial centre of southeastern Crete’s substantial greenhouse-based agribusiness. Hot and dusty in summer, it offers a low-key, authentic Cretan experience and is also the jumping-off point to the semitropical Chrissi Island (also called Gaïdouronisi or Hrysi).

The city's grey-sand beaches are backed by tavernas and cafes where the nightlife is busy in summer. Though few visible signs remain, Ierapetra has an impressive history, with interludes as a Roman port and as a Venetian stronghold, as attested to by the harbour fortress. The narrow alleyways of the old quarter (Kato Mera) flash back to the Ottoman period.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ierapetra.