Ierapetra is built on the longest beach in Crete and it has the reputation of been the southernmost town in Europe. It has the largest population in Lasithi and is the fourth largest town in Crete. The temperature rarely drops below 13 C all year long,and it has the most hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Greece. Ierapetra has much to offer its visitors: Sandy beaches, rocky mountains, a unique fauna, excellent food – the world famous Cretan cuisine, significant archaeological and natural beauties.
The Ottoman school was built in 1899 after the liberation for the Turkish children. Today it is restored and it is used as an archaeological collection. In the archaeological collection there are exhibited various objects found in the area and belonging to various periods. Among the most important are: ritual pots and other vessels, jars, axes, a clay potter's wheel, the Episkopi sarcophagus with twelve scenes depicted on it, Roman lamps, Greco-Roman statues found at Viglia, and the statue of the goddess Persefoni.
The medieval fortress "Kales", built at the edge of the mole of the ancient harbour, on the side of the old town. The fortress is reputed to have been built by the Venetian Genoese pirate Pescadone in 1212 and since then it has been strongly tied with Ierapetras history.
The Cathedral of St. Georgios, patron saint of Ierapetra, is three-aisled, with a hemispherical dome based on a high drum. Morphologically, it follows the rhythm of Orthodox churches built under the Turkish rule, and it is characterized by construction elements of the Ottoman architecture. It was built in 1856, according to a founding inscription preserved on the lintel of the south side of the church by a craftsman named Hatzimanolis, who was most likely Carpathian. However, on a map of the region of 1640, a church already appeared in its current position.
When the French general Napoleon Bonaparte was en route to Egypt, he stopped and spent a night in Ierapetra incognito. The event is supposed to have taken place on the 26th of June in 1798, a short while before Napoleon reached Egypt and signed his declaration of war against the Mamelukes. The old house still holds the pride of the historic visit.
The church of Afentis Christos is regarded as being the oldest church in the town. It was built in the 14th century. The church contains a number of fine icons and a beautifully carved wooden iconostsasis. It is an old custom for the metropolitan to celebrate the Resurrection and the burning of Judas at this church each Easter.
The mosque and the Ottoman fountain are still standing in the old town. They must have been built in the end of the last century. Today they have been restored, and the the mosque is used as a music school.