Ierapetra. Crete, Greece
From the centre of Ierapetra take the road to Sitia and after passing the hospital at the northern exit of the town you will reach a fork (no road signs posted) where you turn right (east). The road continues along the coast, which for the first two kilometres from Ierapetra is pebbly and with enough trees to offer shade. The beach is wide and clean, but not the best choice for a swim, as the busy road running alongside it causes a lot of noise.
Even more disturbing is the ugly landscape beyond the coast that has suffered horrible defacement from the agricultural over-exploitation and the vulgar and haphazard tourist development. The ugly scenery continues for many kilometres to the east until the village of Analipsi. Hence it is better to ride through without stopping.
In the village of Makrigialos you will see a sign that says “Minoan Villa”. If you wish to get a good idea of the meaning of utter negligence on the part of the local authorities, the neighbours and, certainly, of the Ministry of Culture, turn left (north) at this point and visit this archaeological site. We are not dealing here with a medieval chicken coop or a broken Roman column, we are dealing instead with a wonderful Minoan villa of 1600 BC, miniature of the Knossos Palace, the residence of the local lord. The elementary steps that the local authorities or the Ministry of Culture should have taken, is to pave the 300 metres of road to the site and spend a pittance per year to keep it clean.