Antiquities

For those who love ancient history, the Lassithi prefecture is paradise without end. Those who have no special interest in archaeology, in turn, can also experience strong emotions walking through the ruins of ancient cities or medieval monuments and listening to history and legends, myths and traditions that never fail to accompany the former.

This region is where many of the first and most important centres of the Minoan civilization are located, such as the palaces of Zakros, the Minoan cities of Palekastro and Gournia, the maritime centres and ports of Mochlos and Psira.

Also, the Eteocretan cities of Pressos and Driros, where the last Minoans migrated; this people were the Eteokrites, the “true Cretans”, whom Homer called “megalitores”, i.e. warm-hearted and generous. Other well-known ancient cities are Latos and Itanos, the settlements of Karfi in the Lassithi Plateau, at Vassiliki in Ierapetra, in Tripito of Sitia, in Kserokambos and in Koufonissi of the Lefki Municipality. In addition, the fortresses of Spinalonga, of Kazarma in Sitia, of Kale in Ierapetra, the Venetian mansion of Etia and the medieval settlement of Voyla.

Some of the most important archaeological finds in the prefecture can be viewed by visitors at the two significant archaeological museums located in Agios Nikolaos and in Sitia respectively, but also at two rich and interesting archaeological collections, one in Ierapetra and one in Neapoli.