Lassithi Neapolis

General information

The beautiful town of Neapolis lies 15 kilometers northwest of Agios Nikolaos, in the heart of a fertile valley covered with olive groves. Due to its strategic location between Heraklion and Lassithi, it flourished during the Ottoman times and evolved into a significant regional center. In fact, it used to be the capital of Lassithi till 1904, when Agios Nikolaos was chosen as the new capital city. Now, it is the seat of the municipal unit of Neapolis, and many public services are still located there. Visitors can find numerous accommodations of all categories, as well as restaurants, cafes, bars, and taverns.

Neapolis is a quiet town with fine edifices, picturesque alleys, lush gardens, and well-preserved Ottoman fountains. Its main square, with the Municipal Garden, the imposing Cathedral of Megali Panagia, and a number of neoclassical buildings, makes the town center particularly pleasing to the eyes. One of the most interesting monuments is the residence of the janissary Maslum Karakasis, which can be found in the Agios Dimitrios district, close to the old aqueduct.

The town also abounds in old churches and monasteries that were built between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Visitors can admire the fine churches of Agios Georgios, the Holy Spirit, and the Transfiguration of Christ, as well as the monasteries of Kremasta and Panagia in Petra. West of Neapolis, stands the Venetian Franciscan monastery of Agios Antonios Fraro.

Of great interest are the two museums that can be found in Neapolis, an Archaeological Collection with local findings, and a splendid Folklore and Historical Museum, whose exhibits include weapons from the Cretan struggles against the Ottomans, items that recreate the rural and urban life from the 19th century onwards, as well as a nice Iznik ceramics collection.

About 1.5 kilometers southwest of Neapolis, near the Fraro Monastery, stretches the Pashaligo Grove, which has been named after the Venetian feudal lord Filippo Pasqualigo, who used to live in a castle there. Inside the grove, it is still possible to see the remnants of the mills that Pasqualigo constructed for the irrigation of the area, as well as the ruins of the tower where he lived. The dense vegetation and a running stream create a magical scenery that contrasts with the otherwise arid Mirabello region so this forest has been a favorite spot of nature lovers ever since the beginning of the 20th century.

Around 2 kilometers from the present-day Neapolis, on top of Mount Kadistos, lay the ancient city of Dreros, which was founded during the 12th century BC and flourished between the Archaic and the Hellenistic times. However, after being destroyed in the course of a civil war, Dreros declined and little has survived of this once prosperous city.

Things to See & Do in Neapolis

Check out the things to see & do in Neapolis during your stay and explore what the area has to offer.


Neapolis Map

Explore our interactive map of Neapolis.


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