by Minoa.info / Juhani
The village also known as Mirtos, Myrtos village is far away from mass tourism, sheltered by the warm south-eastern coast and in the embrace of
the mountains, lies a little village, Myrtos, its peaceful life without street names, industry and rush. The village is located about half
an hour’s drive west of Ierapetra, which is the southernmost town
in Europe. Myrtos is close to the main road, by the beach. There
all local people know each other at least by sight. In the village
there are about 700 residents all year round. In the summertime
tourism brings wealth to the village that normally gets its income
from growing vegetables like in so many other villages on the
The climate in the south-eastern part of Crete is very warm
The mountains in the north keep the winds away from the village and they form a kind of pocket where Myrtos rests. From the south the Libyan Sea often brings warm air to Myrtos. The village is an excellent place for spending a summery, restful and quiet holiday. In the wintertime Myrtos is also very warm, the daytime temperatures are not very often less than 16-18 degrees Celsius and the night-time temperatures are at their lowest 12 degrees. In March and October the daytime temperatures are about 20-22 degrees and in those months there might be a short downpour on some days.
Myrtos is an idyllic village and its location guarantees a warm climate and a peaceful living. Music is a significant part of Mirtos, and the village has raised a remarkable number of nationwide and internationally recognized musicians. There are an unusual number of singers, composers and players.
The climate in Myrtos is more subtropical in climate than is normal for the south coast of Crete. The Dikti Mountains protect the village against the north coast gales and the village is warmer and sunnier than the north coast villages. Spring and summer are sunny and the midsummer is very warm.
In the evening Myrtos is at its most beautiful. The waves of the Libyan Sea burst onto the beach and if in your hotel room you have balcony doors open it is possible to fall asleep while listening to the sea.
In the evening, the taverns which are in the middle of the village spread out onto the streets. There is minor traffic and it seems that everybody knows each other. In the promenade and a little higher up there are numerous taverns and coffee shops. In the village there are about ten small hotels between one and two stars. Higher up on the slope there are three star hotels, and in the village there is also a small museum. In the mountains that surround the village there is beautiful hiking terrain. To the north of Myrtos is located the gorge of Sarakina. It is harder to hike than the average gorge but the start is a little bit easier.
On the second street from the beach, parallel with the beach,
there is the taverna Katerina. The friendly owner of the tavern,
Yiannis Zervakis, has studied in Finland to be a cook, and he
has also worked in Finland, in the Knossos restaurant in Tampere
and he speaks Finnish fairly well. In the taverna Katerina there
are also some tables outside and it is open all the year round.
Cooking course in Taverna Katerina. Yiannis on the left.
Tour operators don’t arrange any trips to Myrtos for the moment; on the contrary the visitors come to the village on their own. Because there are not so many tourists in Myrtos they integrate with the native population. The streets are quiet and there is only a little traffic; however there are surprisingly many local travel agencies that arrange trips to different parts of Crete.
Myrtos is off the normal tourist routes but it is easy to go there by local bus or rental car. It is easier to go down to the south coast via Iraklion; it is about 120 kilometres from Iraklion airport and it takes about two hours to drive there.
Here is a panoramic photo when arriving to the south coast near Myrtos from Iraklion (Mirtos is on the right, behind the hills).
Via Ierapetra it takes a little more than half an hour to drive from Ierapetra to Mirtos.
In the village there are no street names and the streets are narrow. It would be wise to leave the car on the outskirts of the village or drive through the village to its west side where there are some parking places close to the hotels. (See the video on video page, driving with a car through the Myrtos village).