History of Myrtos

History of Myrtos
The area surrounding Myrtos was already inhabited in the Minoan period, but the current village dates from the first half of the twentieth century.
Before that it was the location of a small port, where inhabitants from higher surroundings traded for local products, which they shipped to Ierápetra. Only when threats from piracy along the Cretan coast diminished and it became safer to live there did the village of Myrtos develop.

On September 15, 1944, during the Second World War, the occupants of Myrtos were ordered by the German occupiers to leave the village. Many refused to do so, resulting in the massacre of eighteen inhabitants as a reprisal, and the almost complete destruction of the village by fire. In the central square of Myrtos there is a monument to commemorate that event. Near this monument, every year on October 28, Ohi Day is commemorated.

Tourism started at the beginning of the 1970s. Initially Myrtos was especially popular amongst hippies, but later also 'regular' tourists started to visit the village. Since the 1980s some apartment complexes have been built in Myrtos, but tourism in Myrtos is still relatively small-scale and nowhere near as developed as the tourist centres which one finds, for example, on the North coast of Crete.
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