Discover Mirtos... on Foot
The sixth book in the series Discover...on Foot has 8 easy country walks in the area of Mirtos in the Prefecture of Lassithi. Walking in the area of Mirtos with this book gives you also lot of extra information about the villages, history and the area. Many beautiful pictures and detailed walking maps make this book complete. This walking guidebook has been published in cooperation with Angela Sturmayr of www.walkingdimension.com.
The village of Mirtos, in the municipality of Ierapetra is located on the south coast of the Prefecture of Lasithi. The village Mirtos has magnificent view over the Libyan seas and has about 600 permanent inhabitants.The village is built at the exit of the imposing Sarakina Gorge and the River Kryos. It has experienced a small amount of development in recent years, which fortunately has not affected its traditional style. Mirtos is primarily an agricultural community but also a quaint holiday destination, with friendly, hospitable locals. Mirtos has a wonderful climate. It lies on the Libyan sea, in a coastal area, with a micro-climate similar to a subtropical country, due largely to the protection of the Dikti Mountains behind it.
Signs of an organised community in the area, where the village stands today, dates back to the Minoan period, with evidence from the excavations carried out by the English Archaeological School of Athens in cooperation with the University of Cambridge, between 1967 and 1970. Two Minoan settlements have been discovered, early Minoan in the area of Fournou Korifi and late Minoan in the Pyrgos area.
The name Mirtos
Probably Mirtos got its name from the plant Myrtus communis, or Myrthia (myrtle), which is common to the area. Another theory in the village is that the name Mirtos comes from Myrtine or Myrto, the name of a woman from an aristocratic family who once lived in the area.
What makes Mirtos today such a special village? The main reason is that Mirtos is an "all year round village”, which does not turn into a ghost village during winter time. People actually live and work here, children go to school and elderly sit in front of their houses to keep in touch with fellow villagers. It is a hospitable village with plenty of accommodation from very simple to very luxurious. Plenty of restaurants and cafes in the village centre and the promenade have been added over the years, with attractive terraces overlooking the sea or the bustling streets of Mirtos. No hectic crowds, but real everyday life! All together Mirtos is a small gem in the south of Crete that is absolutely worth a visit!