|Mochlos the Site||Mochlos the Town||Getting There||Nearby Sites|
Vai and Itanos
Located at the North/East of the island and Mochlos, there is the famous sandy beach of Vai and its palm grove. If you love beach, do not miss it but more importantly, the highlight is undoubtedly its palm grove which is unique in Europe. The only problem is that in the summer the beach is crowded and parking is not free. If you prefer more quiet places, not far from Vai, there is the beach of Itanos which is very wild. It is accessible by car or walk along the sea on the left from Vai.
Located 53 km from Mochlos and between Sitia and Vai, Moni Toplou (Modern Greek: Μονή Τοπλού) is a fifteenth-century monastery. The monastery was originally called Panagia Akrotiriani (Virgin Mary of the Cape), after the nearby Sidero cape. Its current name literally means “with the cannonball”, thus called by the Turks for the cannon and cannonballs (Turkish: top) it had in its possession for defensive purposes.
This gorge has beautiful walk through a “Mediterranean jungle”, where water flows in abundance throughout the year. The Richtis’ Gorge is located below the village of Exo Mouliana and only a few miles from Mochlos. The easiest way to access is to come from Mochlos (towards Sitia), pass the village of Exo Mouliana, and after 300-400 meters you will see a plaque on the left indicating the throat. The starting point is the stone-arced bridge of Lachanas. The focus of the location is arguably its waterfall of 15 meters which flows all year. The walk is roughly 4.5 km by 350 meters of ascent to reach the pebble beach of Richtis.
Gournia Archaeological Site
Gournia, the ancient name of which is not known, is the most characteristic example of an excavated medium-sized settlement, dated to the period of the peak of the Minoan culture (Late Minoan I period: 1550-1450 BC). It is called “Pompeii of Minoan Crete” because of the good state of preservation. It occupies a low hill, close to the sea, at the Isthmus of Hierapetra. The first inhabitants settled here in the Early Minoan III period (2300 BC). In c1600 BC, the palace was erected but was destroyed along with the surrounding town in 1450 BC, at the same time with all the other palatial centres of Crete. The excavations at Gournia were carried out in 1901-1904 by the American archaeologist Harriet Boyd-Hawes and her colleagues. The ruins of the settlement were visible before the excavation, hence the name “Gournia” given by the villagers because of the stone basins (“gournes” in Greek) preserved in the area.
Azoria Archaeological Site
Azoria is an archaeological site on a double-peaked hill overlooking the Gulf of Mirabello in eastern Crete in the Greek Aegean. Located about 1 km southeast of the modern village of Kavousi, and 3 km from the sea, the site occupies a topographically strategic position (c. 365 m above sea level) between the north Isthmus of Ierapetra and the Siteia Mountains. The Azoria Project excavations have recovered evidence of an Archaic Greek city, established c. 600 BC, following a long period of continuous occupation throughout the Early Iron Age or Greek Dark Age (1200-700 BC) and Early Archaic (700-600 BC) (or Orientalizing) periods. The city was destroyed by fire early in the 5th century BC, to be subsequently reoccupied on a limited scale c. 200 BC, probably a single tower constructed on the peak of the South Acropolis.
If you come to Mochlos, it is worth visiting the nearby villages Sfaka, Lastros, Tourloti and Myrsini. The villages retain their traditional style and are home to some very old chapels. Moreover, on a hill south of Mochlos you can visit the picturesque chapel of Holy Spirit (Agio Pneuma in greek) which has panoramic views to Mirabello Gulf. Lastly, near the village of Myrsini you’ll meet the Venetian Tower of Kornaros with the chapel of St. Anthony.