With about 6,500 inhabitants, Mires is the largest town on the Messara Plain, known as the “plain between the mountains.” Over 50 km in length and up to 8 km wide, it stretches between the Psiloritis Mountains, towering up to 2,456 m in height, and the Asterousia Mountains reaching inland from the sea at half that height. The plain is fed by the Geropotamos River and numerous small streams. Well drilling provides additional water for irrigation.
The Messara Plain has been intensively farmed as far back as 4,000 years ago. It was here that the Minoans built the Palace of Festos, and the Romans even built their Cretan capital here, the city of Gortys. These days, mainly olive trees flourish in the Messara, but wheat, vegetables and tropical fruits are also grown here. Numerous sheep and goats will also graze the harvested fields in summer and autumn.
Be sure to visit Mires on a Saturday morning! That’s when the largest traditional market on the whole island takes place. You will find far more Cretans than tourists at the market, and the whole affair is still run with traditional, Cretan flair. Market stalls line the broad main street for over 2 km, selling everything that the rural population could need, and much else besides.
Saturday morning, however, is not just the time when Mires is transformed into a heaving marketplace. It’s also the time to meet old friends and acquaintances who haven’t seen each other since last market day. Cretans will sit together for hours in the cafés, BBQ restaurants and tavernas, talking, eating and drinking – and listening to Cretan music practically non-stop.
To the right of the road towards Festos, still in the municipal area of Mires, you will find the extensive Kaliviani Convent. It was founded as recently as the 19th century and accommodates a retirement home and an orphanage run by the church. The convent shop also contributes to the running of these services. Here, you can purchase handmade souvenirs and groceries prepared by the nuns and the home’s residents.
An island full of surprises
A holiday destination for bathing enthusiasts, nature lovers, hikers, and those interested in history and culture. Today, Crete is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean - cosmopolitan and mysterious at the same time.
Popular hotels on the sandy beach
The Corissia Hotels are situated within the tranquil, picturesque village of Georgioupolis right on the sandy beach. An ideal seaside resort both to relax and explore the island, because that is just what holidays on Crete are all about.
Let yourself be pampered