at 44.1km (SE) from Phourni Archaeological Site
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 44.2km (SE) from Phourni Archaeological Site
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 44.5km (SW) from Phourni Archaeological Site
One of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Crete, extends from a clump of rocks riveted in the shallow waters in the south to the Kalamaki settlement in the North. In Minoan times there used to be the ancient port of Phaistos. The antiquities lie just a few meters away from the sea.
at 44.5km (SW) from Phourni Archaeological Site
The monastery of Odigitria is a monastery of great importance and historical value and one of the oldest in Crete. It is located at the west edge of the Asterousia mountains at an altitude of 250 m. The monastery was surrounded by walls, part of them still stands. The temple of the monastery is dedicated to the assumption of Holly-Mother and to the Saint Apostles (Peter & Paul). Inside the temple there are valuable frescoes, icons of famous painters and iconostasis. The monastery is connected with the legendary freedom fighter 'Ksopateras' (1788 - 1828) In the area of the monastery at Agioi Eftihianoi was found an ancient (Early Minoan) cemetery.
at 45.3km (E) from Phourni Archaeological Site
Kritsa is one of the most picturesque towns in Crete, built amphitheatrically on a rock hill. It is located 11 km from Agios Nikolaos and has 2000 inhabitants. The people keep the old Cretan customs and the traditions and the town is considered one of the most important centers of the Cretan folk and weaving art.
at 45.6km (E) from Phourni Archaeological Site
Lato (Gr: Λατώ) was an ancient city of Crete, the ruins of which are located approximately 3 km from the small town of Kritsa. The Dorian city-state was built in a defensible position overlooking Mirabello Bay between two peaks, both of which became acropolises to the city. Although the city probably predates the arrival of the Dorians, the ruins date mainly from the Dorian period (fifth and fourth centuries BC). The city was destroyed ca. 200 BCE, but its port (Lato Etera or Lato pros Kamara), located near Agios Nikolaos was in use during Roman rule. There is some suggestion that the city was named after the goddess Leto (of which Lato is the usual Doric form) and may be mentioned in Linear B tablets as RA-TO. Lato also minted coins in antiquity, bearing the likeness of the goddess Eileithyia who appears to have been the one particularly worshipped at Lato. Nearchus, admiral of Alexander the Great, was born at Lato.
at 45.8km (W) from Phourni Archaeological Site
A seaside town of the municipality of Agios Vassilios. It is a well organized tourist resort with comfortable hotels, apartments, camping sites, tourist agencies, car-renting offices, restaurants, tavernas and other recreation centres, as well as all the facilities required by tourists and locals alike. There is also a port and port - custom authorities.
at 46.4km (SW) from Phourni Archaeological Site
Matala was the ancient port of Phaistos and Gortys and a former fishing community which has developed into a modern holiday center. It is located 4 km south-west of the village of Pitsidia and 75 km from Iraklion. It is built on the coast line of the Messara bay inside a small and picturesque inlet. During the 60's the caves of Matala were hosting a hippie commune.
at 46.6km (NW) from Phourni Archaeological Site
Panormo is a small coastal village with ~400 inhabitants, located 25km east of Rethymnon in a small distance from the national road. The village has developed to a tourist resort providing quite a few tourist facilities such as hotels, apartments, lovely taverns and bars. There is also a small fishing harbour that serves mostly the locals. It is an nice place for swimming as its beaches - with umbrellas , sun beds etc - are with fine sand and clear water. Early-Christian basilica in Panormo In 1948 the archaeological axe brought to light the largest early-Christian basilica of Crete southwest of the village of Panormo. The basilica of Aghia Sofia had a wooden roof and dates back to the 5th century.
About 25km from Panormo to the mainland is the archaeological site of Eleftherna.
at 46.9km (W) from Phourni Archaeological Site
Sivritos (GR: Σίβρυτος) was an important and autonomous city of the ancient Crete. The city was built in the location that today is the village of Thronos. It was located on a hill dominating the valley of Amari. The name Sivritos is derived from the words si, that in the ancient eastern languages meant water, and the word vriti, that is of prehistoric origin and meant sweet. Therefore, Sivritos in the Minoan period meant sweet water. The derivation is also verified by the fact that near the hill where the city was located there are numerous sweet water springs.