Arvi is a quaint seaside village located 79km to the southeast of Heraklion and 35km to the west of Ierapetra, nestled in a small valley formed in front of the imposing Arvi Gorge. Agriculture is the primary industry of the region, as the climate of the area is perfect for growing bananas, olive oil, and various fresh vegetables. The town has gained more popularity in recent years due to its proximation to stunning beaches. It is the ideal destination for tourists looking for a tranquil, family-friendly experience.
West of the village’s harbor lies the main beach of the area, boasting coarse sand and some pebbles in certain places. It is well maintained and equipped with umbrellas, water sports, and a plethora of dining and accommodation options. Further along the same road lies the long pebbly beach, offering a secluded atmosphere for those who wish to relax away from the crowds. Likewise, the sandy beach of Meakis/Vahoudianos Xerokambos is a mere five minutes away. This serene bay is characterized by its fine sand and crystal-clear waters, and is rarely visited.
The village has been inhabited since at least 2600 BC, as evidenced by neolithic findings from the region. During the Roman era, Arvi was a major port in the Mediterranean and was home to a Roman bath and several tombs, although they were unfortunately looted. The most remarkable archeological discovery made here is the marble sarcophagus with Dionysiac scenes, which was found near the sea in the 19th century. Sadly, it was broken apart by locals in search of gold and had to be restored by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. A second sarcophagus belonging to the Roman ruler of the region also met a similar fate. Finally, some scholars believe that Arvi was the point where the Saracens disembarked when they conquered Crete in 828AC.