Information about the Mirtos Village - Ierapetra - Crete - Greece - Myrtos

Mirtos Village Information

Mirtos History

Myrtos Village - Archaeological Site of Pyrgos



The area surrounding Myrtos was already inhabited in the Minoan period, but the current village dates from the first half of the twentieth century. Before that it was the location of a small port, where inhabitants from higher surroundings traded for local products, which they shipped to Ierápetra. Only when threats from piracy along the Cretan coast diminished and it became safer to live there did the village of Myrtos develop.
On September 15, 1944, during the Second World War, the occupants of Myrtos were ordered by the German occupiers to leave the village. Many refused to do so, resulting in the massacre of eighteen inhabitants as a reprisal, and the almost complete destruction of the village by fire. In the central square of Myrtos there is a monument to commemorate that event. Near this monument, every year on October 28, Ohi Day is commemorated.
Tourism started at the beginning of the 1970s. Initially Myrtos was especially popular amongst hippies, but later also 'regular' tourists started to visit the village. Since the 1980s some apartment complexes have been built in Myrtos, but tourism in Myrtos is still relatively small-scale and nowhere near as developed as the tourist centres which one finds, for example, on the North coast of Crete.

Climate

Myrtos has a subtropical climate. The temperature in the south of Crete is a couple of degrees higher than in the north, because colder winds from the north are blocked by Dikti mountain (whose highest point is 2,150 metres or 7,050 feet).
The average temperature in the warmest months of the year (July and August) is around 30 degrees Celsius (85 °F), though sometimes it can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (105 °F). The temperature in the coldest months of the year (January and February) averages about 8 degrees Celsius (46 °F), and it can also sporadically snow in Myrtos.

The beaches

Mirtos Village BeachMyrtos has a long beach, consisting not just of sand, but also of finely grained pebbles. The beach has received the "Blue Flag award", which requires the beach to satisfy a number of criteria in order to retain it. The nearby village of Tertsa has a very long beach. On the two outlying beaches of Tertsa nudism is tolerated by the authorities.

Points of interest

Myrtos is also the location for two Minoan archaeological sites, at Fournou Korifi and Pyrgos, which provide evidence that the village and its environs have been inhabited since the neolithic period. There is also a Roman villa, although the ruins are now largely covered or lost due to coastal erosion and local building.
In Myrtos is a small museum, dedicated to the local history, which features a scale model of Fornou Korifi created by John Atkinson, a British potter resident in the village who is the current Museum Curator. Near the small village Mithi, about 3 miles (5 km) from Myrtos lies the Sarakina Gorge.

View a slideshow with photos from Mirtos Village