3 gorgeous beaches in ancient Itanos (Erimoupolis)
Updated: Jul 27
The place is wonderful, and actually is the locals' choice for beach, who call it Erimoupolis (Ερημούπολη). The name camed after the architectural remnants at the archaeological site of Ancient Itanos, one of the most prominent towns in Crete in the Antiquity, who flourished from the Archaic to the Late Roman periods. The area of the ancient town, the landscape and seascape is listed as an archaeological site. Our point is that this protection scheme allowed the beaches of that place to be authentic and secluded. Let's take a look on them.
The first beach is in front of the parking area at the end of the road leading from Sitia to the archaeological site of Ancient Itanos. There are some tamarisks where you can find shadow. The beach is not large but scenic enough; sandy and rocky at the same time.
The second beach is also reached walking south behind the archaeological site, at the headland between the first and second beach, where you can go following a path and find a small palm tree grove and find shadow under the few palm trees. The area of this beach, according to researchers of the site, and the land behind were a cove in ancient times, where the main port of the ancient city was located.
The third beach of Erimoupolis is behind a low hill north of the parking lot, about a two minute walk. This beach is long enough with amazing crystal clear water, fine sand, and secluded spots behind the rocks. Probably this one is the best among the three beaches.
The place is located in a NATURA 2000 area. There are three small coves, within the larger cove of Erimoupolis, and between them headlands consisting of phyllites. Especially the south headland, fortified by its ancient inhabitants, is very scenic. At the central and south beach there are tamarisks and cretan date palm trees.
Man made environment
Ancient Itanos flourished from the Archaic to Late Roman periods. Archaeological findings are visible in the headlands between the small coves. Prominent monuments are the Hellenistic walls of the acropolis and the Late Roman basilicas.
Pros The three beaches, in the three small coves respectively are scenic, a hidden gem, with crystal clear water and white-greyish sand. Moreover, they ars sheltered by the prevailing northelies (the place was the old port of the ancient city). Those beaches are not organized as the whole area is a listed archaeological site, both on land and underwater. Cons The central, "first", beach has partially rocks and pebbles on the sea bed. The whole place, and especially the northern, "third", beach usually become overcrowded in summer time.
Take into account to pack everything you will need later on the beach. For example, unless you manage to find shadow under a tamarisk, a palm tree, or a rock, you have to take with you an umbrella; of course don't forget to take water and everything else you wish.
Do you want to find out more about sheltered beaches in Crete, available to visit even in windy days? Read about our top 5 beaches in Crete for 2019!
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