In the west of Ierapetra, at 15 km of road, at the estuaries of the river Sarantapihos, in a verdurous valley with olive and orange trees, the beautiful, tourist, beach village Myrtos is built. It took its name from common Myrtle that grows in the area. Its beaches, the deep blue waters and the breeze of the Libyan Sea, the mild climate, have long ago established Myrtos as an ideal summer resort. A place to calm one’s soul, according to locals and visitors, as if unknown powers give it a positive, vitalizing and therapeutic charge.
An old historical village, it suffered during its history by pirate raids, conquests, devastations. It has important antiquities, such as a proto-minoan settlement at the site “Fournou Koryfi”, at 3.5 km in the east, where a lot of pots and clay artifacts, utility items, baking ovens, statuettes and offerings were found, “Pyrgos”, at 0.5 km in the east of Myrtos, where a “villa” of the post-minoan period was discovered. Also, in the west of the village buildings and mosaics, baths and traces of Roman inhabitation can be seen. The archaeological findings of the Myrtos antiquities are exhibited in its Museum, the life work of the teacher Georgios Dimitrianakis, in the Museums of Aghios Nikolaos and Heraklion.
The old churches and chapels have also historical interest, with their most important being Saint Anthony of the Byzantine period. The old bridge, in the north part of the bed of Myrtos’ stream, is an important stone-built architectural work. The old watermills, which used to grind the cereals, the preserved plumbing and irrigation installations bear witness of the progressiveness of the Myrtos’ residents.
Myrtos, a former Community, today a Local Department of the Municipality of Ierapetra, in 1630 it had 28 residents, in 1881 it had 127 and in 2001 440 residents.
A transit center for the products of the wider area, which were traded by sea, it had important successes in the financial, developmental and intellectual sector. It is a village of scientists, of individuals distinguished in the Arts and letters.
Myrtos, the sea emerald of west Ierapetra, green, with a good town-planning, paved picturesque streets, coffee houses and restaurants on the wave, with beautiful and organized beaches, it satisfies every visitor. Its important infrastructures, the archaeological Museum, its antiquities, the mild climate, make Myrtos a center of attraction of local and foreign resorters. The high qualities of the provided tourism services, the residents’ hospitality, the friendly family environment of the social and cultural life of Myrtos, by winter and by summer, makes Myrtos everyone’s village. Houses, trees, emotions, ideas, legends, traditions in the beautiful bay, the bosom of the Libyan Sea, left “quietly on the grass”, according to the poet of Myrtos Manolis Pratikakis.
Source:The municipality of Ierapetra