Ierapetra Lasithi Crete

The town of Ierapetra (in the local dialect: Γεράπετρο Gerapetro) is located on the southeast coast of Crete, situated on the beach of Ierapetra Bay. This town lies south of Agios Nikolaos and southwest of Sitia, and is an important regional center. With 16,139 inhabitants (in 2011), Ierapetra is the most populous town in the regional unit of Lasithi and the fourth most populous town in Crete. Ierapetra is nicknamed “the bride of the Libyan Sea” because of its position as the only town on Crete’s southern coast.

Ierapetra is the largest in population city of Lasithi County and one of the most mesmerizing cities of Crete. It is also the fourth largest city of Crete and the most Southern in Greece. Ierapetra today is one of the most productive regions of the Country. The source of its wealth is tourism and the production of vegetables, flowers and olive oil. It constitutes the main economic and commercial center of the county as well as an agricultural exportation center towards Europe.

Economy

The area’s main economic activities are agriculture in the winter and tourism in the summer. Agricultural production in the area can be divided into two main parts. Whereas olive oil has been produced throughout the municipality since Minoan times at the latest, for the last thirty years large quantities of fruit and vegetables have also been exported. These are grown in plastic greenhouses, which cover an area of 15 square kilometers between the town of Ierapetra and Neos Myrtos. They also exist in Psari Forada in the western part, as well as, to a lesser degree, between the town and Goudouras in the eastern part of the municipality. The greenhouses were introduced by the Dutchman Paul Kuypers. The inhabitants of Ierapetra used to be on average among the richest on Crete due to their greenhouse exports.