Visitors

  • The ancient settlement of Mochlos is located on an island 250 meters from the town of Mochlos. Good swimmers can reach the island in about five or ten minutes. Ask for advice on swimming across and do not try to swim around the island without a partner. If a small motorboat is attached to the dock, marked “Mochlos Boat Tours”, you may ask the owner to take you over and back for a fee. If you do not see the owner, go to the Kochilia tavern and ask them to call Tzanetos.

    The island from above

    The island is uninhabited and there is no fee to walk around. Once there, visitors will see a very small deserted church and plenty of ruins to enjoy. There are a few signs around the island to indicate the function of various areas. Visitors can acquaint themselves with various elements of the Mochlos settlement by visiting other pages of this website.

    Aside from the most prominent and visible parts of the island ruins, one can scamper to the top and find the remains of a Hellenistic fortress. Also one can climb to the west and up to see an impressive number of Prepalatial tombs. The boat can also take you to see some caves on the west side of the island. Do not jump off the top of the island; there are some very sharp rocks below.

    The Mochlos island used to be connected to the mainland by a land bridge which has since washed away. It is still visible from aerial photographs. Part of the settlement lies under the modern town and is not excavated. On the town side of the strait is a Mycenaean cemetery where many impressive tomb objects were found.
  • A very quiet and friendly town, Mochlos welcomes travelers from all parts of the world. There are a few restaurants and cafés but no great buildings or attractions that have an entrance fee. Mochlos is a traditional village with a population of 100 people, located 48km east of Agios Nikolaos and 35km west of Siteia. The village retains the traditional elements of Crete intact and is an ideal destination for a relaxing holiday. The villagers, mostly originating from the village Sfaka, are very friendly and welcoming to all visitors.

    Mochlos is one of the few villages on Crete where visitors can eat on the seafront without being disturbed by motor traffic. Actually, there is a little road running along the sea which the inn-keepers use as an extension to their terraces.

    The village has one small sandy beach situated beneath the tavernas and a slightly longer non-sandy beach a few hundred meters to the west. The bays around Mochlos are mainly rocky and good for snorkelling. You can also easily swim to the island, but swimmers are encouraged to wear sandals since the rocks might be sharp.

    If you want to stay isolated, you can also choose the sandy beach of Limenaria, located 400m west of Mochlos. There is the local harbor and the beach is well protected from the waves. In 1986 archaeologists discovered in Limenaria a Post-Minoan cemetery with several unlooted carved tombs.

    There are many hotels available on Mochlos. They can be booked on any travel site. Some are closed during the off-season.
  • Mochlos is located about 100 km from Heraklion, 35 km from Agios Nikolaos, and 5.5 km from Kavousi. Driving eastward, take the left turn to Mochlos (there will be a large sign). Another 5 km down the windy road, you will find tavernas at the water's edge and the island with its visible archaeological site.

    There are no public buses to Mochlos but you can take one to the village of Sfaka (not Sfakia) and take a taxi from there.
  • 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.

    Moni Toplou


    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.

    Richtis Gorge


    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.

    Other Locations


    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.