at 23.7km (SE) from Geráki village
Deep inside the valley of the river Sarantapihos is built the village Mythoi. Itis 22 km away from Ierapetra, it is a small village, in a verdurous landscape,with a beautiful square under the shade of age-old planes. It is said that thevillage took its name from the plant “Minthi”, or mint, which is abundant there.However, it may have been named thus because of its many legends, traditions,and myths (mythoi), the most prevalent one being the Sarantapihos’one. A mythical giant, forty ells tall, like another Talos or Akritas Digenis, heprotected the residents from raids. There are the place names “Tou Sarantapihoui Patounia” (Sarantapihos’ footprint) and “Tou Sarantapihou to Mnima”(Sarantapihos’ grave).There is evidence of ancient inhabitation at the site “Leniko” where traces ofwalls can be seen. Also, in an excavation, the head of a woman of the Romanperiod has been found. At the sites Kastelou Haraki and Orfanou to Spiliari claypots, oil lamps, e.t.c. have been found. The site called Sarakina above Mythoiwas a fortress, a hideout of Saracen pirates. The village’s modern history isrich in contributions to the struggles against the conquerors. It nurtured thechieftains Emmanouil Xenikakis, Ioannis Hatzakis, Emmanouil Christakis andothers. During the German Occupation, residents of Mythoi took part in theguerilla corpses of the United Resistance of Captain Bantouvas. In the battleof Symi, one of the most heroic figures was lost, Apostolos Vagionakis, whostood up to the enemy’s bullets for the ideals of our unsubdued Crete. Theypaid the price of their participation to the struggles during the German Occupation,as 4 persons were executed, including the old and bedridden NikolaosIoannou Christakis.The community of Mythoi is today a Local Department of the Municipality ofIerapetra, in 1900 it had 360 Christian residents, in 1951 it had 423 and in 2001it had 287. In the north of Mythoi, around 6 km away, there is the settlementKarydi with the famous Monastery of Panagia (Our Lady) Karydiani and nowabandoned summer residences. The mountainous settlement “Minos”, whichis situated in a verdurous small plateau below the Afentis peak of the Lasithimountains, also belongs to the Community of Mythoi.The village Mythoi is a lively village with a rich social and cultural life. It has acultural association, a football team and field, and a modern olive press. Thevillage’s square with its old plane trees, the mulberry trees, the old fountain,the traditional coffee-houses with the raki and the local dishes, is a place ofreference for the residents of Mythoi. The sights, the wild natural landscapes inthe north of the village, the famous gorge of Sarakina, a monument of naturalbeauty, attract a lot of local and foreign visitors. The gorge of Sarakina is onof the most beautiful in Crete. Its steep, vertical sides cause awe, and reach aheight of up to 250 m. Its widest opening is no more than 15 m while in someplaces it’s so narrow that its sides seem joined. Its rich flora and fauna, dittany,the wild birds that nest there and the route inside the gorge are breath-taking.Its promotion is a foremost goal of the Local Department and the Municipalityof Ierapetra, of the residents of the village, who head to the future with optimismand anticipation for the development of their place.
at 23.7km (S) from Geráki village
Three large pits, known as "kouloures" (rings), with stone-lined walls were built in the West Court during the Old Palace period (1900-1700B.C.). The excavation workmen gave them their name and A. Evans kept it. The function of the circular pits is not clear. They have been interpreted as rubbish dumps either for all the refuse from the Palace or just the left-overs from sacred offerings. Support has also been given to the idea that they were storing grain. In two of them, it is possible to see the remains of houses of the Pre Palatial period (3200-1900 B.C.). In the New Palace period (1700-1450 B.C.),the "kouloures" were covered over and out of use.
at 23.7km (S) from Geráki village
British archaeologist whose name is inextricably bound up with excavations and restoration work at the palace of Knossos. Born as the son of numismatist John Evans, he studied at Oxford and briefly in Göttingen. From 1875 to 1882 he travelled through the Balkans as a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. In 1884 he was appointed curator at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which post he held until 1908. One year later he became a university don. In 1894 Schliemman's excavations at Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns prompted Evans to visit Crete for the first time, in search of Bronze Age script. The following year he published his first book on Cretan pictographics and pre-Phoenician writing. He set about systematic excavation work after the island was liberated from the Turks (in 1898), having already located the wider area in which to dig. At the same time he toured the length and breadth of Crete. Evans worked at Knossos for no less than 35 years, bringing the palace and countless finds to light. The building's large surface area and shape led him to the conclusion that it had been the palace of King Minos. He thus gave the name 'Minoan' to the civilization he had uncovered, subdividing it into three major periods. In 1911 he was knighted for his excavation activity and extensive work. Alongside the excavations, Evans showed great zeal in restoring the palace and reconstructing the wall paintings that had come to light. For all the intense criticism this part of his work has often attracted, it still stands as a first approach to what is now known as the Minoan palace. The ensuing publications of material added many pieces to the puzzle of Minoan civilization and remain useful research tools to this day. In the course of his last visit to Crete, Evans was given the Freedom of the City of Heraklion.
at 23.7km (S) from Geráki village
Born in 1843 as the youngest son of Andreas Kalokairinos. Having completed secondary education on the island of Syros, he matriculated at the University of Athens School of Laws and attended for one year, but was forced to abandon his studies after his father fell seriously ill and died. Thereafter his interest turned to his father's estates, which he initially managed together with his brother Lysimachos. Kalokairinos later went into soap manufacture, winning awards at world exhibitions. Unfortunately, however, his business enterprises were not destined to be successful to the end; in 1895, having taken out numerous loans at exorbitant interest rates and mortgaged all his estates, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and was thus deprived of the right to engage in commerce. In 1903 he decided to resume his legal studies at university, and was later awarded a a degree. In 1878 his passion for archaeology and classical studies led him to attempt the first systematic excavations at Knossos, which brought the first finds from the Minoan palace to light. These comprised the Kalokairinos private collection, held at the site where the Kalokairinos Mansion (the present-day Historical Museum of Crete) was later built. The finds were destroyed when the first mansion was burnt to the ground during the 1898 riots. In 1869 Minos Kalokairinos married Skevo Kyriazi, with whom he had five children.
at 23.7km (S) from Geráki village
This area, sited at the north-west edge of the palace, was called the "Theatre" by Evans because its shape reminded him of later theatres. It is a platform and rows of steps that form a right angle. At the base of the stairs is the end of a narrow elevated road that crosses a paved court. Evans believed that the court was used for ceremonies watched by the standing viewers. The elevated paved road continues in the opposite direction. It passes underneath the modern road to Heraklion, connecting the Palace with the Minoan town, which extended to the West and North. Evans named the road the "Royal Road". Along the length of the road are town houses with workshops on the ground floor and residential areas on the upper floor.
at 23.8km (NW) from Geráki village
At Amnissos, 6km east of Iraklion city, by the sea. The taverna offers Cretan traditional specialties, fresh fish and sea food. Home made sweets and ice cream. Very popular both with tourists and the locals.
at 23.8km (SE) from Geráki village
Mournies (GR: Μουρνιές - meaning: mulberry trees) is a village of the western Ierapetra. It is located north of Myrtos, and 25 kilometers away from Ierapetra at 275m (elevation), built on the southeastern outskirts of the Lasithi mountains, with beautiful views of the Libyan Sea and the plains of Ierapetra. It has a mild climate, without extremes, ideal both for permanent residence and for holidays. The landscape is hilly plenty of olive trees. In the 2001 census it had 83 residents. Mournies is a beautiful, historic, picturesque and traditional village with cafes, a square with a war memorial, an old fountain, and narrow streets branching off the main street of the village. Mournies was named after the Mulberry tree which however is not abundant in the area.
at 24km (S) from Geráki village
Villa Ariadne was built at Knossos, Crete, by Sir Arthur Evans soon after he discovered the Minoan palace, when the site was his own private property. The villa became home, in turn, to John Pendlebury, who used it as a base for his excavations at Knossos and his explorations of the island. After Pendlebury's death at the hands of invading German paratroopers, the Villa Ariadne was taken over by General Karl Kreipe, who was living there when he was kidnapped by Patrick Leigh Fermor and his team. Ariadne villa is surrounded by the only existing Greek Edwardian garden, a large oasis of Cretan and other flora and shrubs in specific formations. The garden has been fully studied by the British School of Archaeology with the participation of special architects and agronomists from Heraklion.
at 24.4km (NW) from Geráki village
This 2 km long sandy beach was for years and still is the favorite beach of the people of Heraklion town. It is named after the river "Karteros" which outflows at the west end of it near the airport. The water is clean, the seabed is sandy with smoothly shelving and swimming is safe. The access is free in most parts except for some areas that are reserved for military personnel and the municipal beach "Akti" where visitors should pay an entrance fee in order to use the facilities. At the east end there are some very good taverns offering fresh fish among their specialties and are very popular with locals and tourists alike.
at 24.4km (W) from Geráki village
10th June- I packed up the tent early after a noisy night of competing dogs and was on the road by 0615. After 3 or 4 kilometres on a mix of dirt roads and tarmac roads, I managed to find the concrete road which is the official E4 (marked with paint on a concrete watertank) up from Pirgos and a couple of hours later I was in Venerato having a frappe in the café by the turn to Kerasia.. Distance:35.8km Time: 13.75 hrs. Mov av 3.9 km/hr Height overnight: 945m. Max. height: 1600m