A few minutes up the road from the ancient olive tree lies the archeological site of Azoria, at 365 meters above sea level. Azoria is an Early Iron Age (or Greek Dark Age) and Archaic site (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) that is still being excavated. The city was destroyed by fire early in the 5th century BC, to be reoccupied again on a smaller scale around 200 BC.
Most visible are the houses and communal buildings from the Archaic Period. Climbing up the hill, you walk among the many remains, and just sit and imagine life there such a long time ago.
From up on the hill the views are amazing on both sides, towards the Bay of Mirabella on one side and towards Thrypti mountains on the other side. Besides the ancient olive tree, just down the road, there’s also a gorge close by, worth a visit: the gorge of Mesona, a 4km long gorge which takes about an hour to walk. From Azoria you can drive back down, or onwards and upwards, with the right car to Thrypti or Chrisopighi.
More information about the Azoria Project can be found here.
How to get there:
Coming from Ierapetra drive past the Ha gorge to Kavousi. Or from Agios Nikolaos drive to Kavousi. In the middle of the village is a sign on the right side of the road. If you come from the direction of Sitia, it’s on the left in the beginning of the village. Follow that small road up, and up, untill you get to the olivetree. Azoria is about 500m higher up, past the little church.
You can park down from the hill and climb up. No entrance gate or fee.