A short drive from Agios Nikolaos lies the archaeological site of Gournia on the north coast. Gournia – the ancient name of which is not known – is the most characteristic of the excavated medium-size settlements, dated to the period of the peak of the Minoan culture (Late Minoan I period: 1550-1450 B.C.).
Gournia gives a really good picture of what a Late Bronze Age town looked like. The name “Gournia” was given to it by the locals because of the stone basins (“gournes” in Greek) as a lot of the site was visible even before excavations started. Gournia lies on a small hill, a few hundred meters from the sea, the Gulf of Mirabella.
Excavations restarted in 2010 and 2014 was the last season, but study projects are ongoing. Though the site is large, only a small part of it has been revealed and the original town was much more extensive. At Gournia, you walk on the same paved small roads that the Minoans used. It consists of cobbled streets, some 50 houses, a central court, a palace and a cemetery.
More information on Ministry of Culture and Sports
- Open until 15.00
- Entree fee: 2 euro
- Parking: in front of the entrance
How to get there:
From Agios Nikolaos drive in the direction of Ierapetra/Sitia. Gournia is located just before Pacheia Ammos, on the right side of the road. Coming from Ierapetra or Sitia, you’ll find Gournia on the left side of the main road, just after the village of Pacheia Ammos.