TertsaThe Hidden Paradise
The name Tertsa comes from the Arabic language and means disappeared or invisible. Centuries ago the sea was much higher and flooded into the valley where nowadays the little church of Agios Giorgios is located. The valley thus became a shelter for ships hiding from pirates at sea.
Findings from the Minoan period confirm that around 4000 years ago people were living on this place. The findings can be seen in the archaeological museum of Heraklion. West of Tertsa some remains of Venetian walls were found, built to protect the island from invaders during the Venetian occupation.
It is known that Tertsa was a small toll post, boats came from the bigger harbor of Ierapetra to take the local products of the farmers of Sykologos, the main village in the mountains. Important products were citrus fruits and carob fruits. In the early eighties of the 20th century the valley was full of little terraces with banana plants and free-land tomatoes. Like a small paradise.
The Dikti mountain range shelters the fertile valley from the cold North wind. This makes Tertsa to the warmest place of Greece during the winter months with average temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. A perfect climate for tropical fruits. Some young farmers already successfully experiment with Papayas and other fruits of this kind.
The sandy beaches ahead of the settlement and west of it are attracting visitors during the summer months to enjoy a swim in the Libyan sea , lay in the sand and relax from duties of daily life in a different, more slowly rhythm.
Along the sea side are a few taverns with sun beds at the beach for their customers, further some rooms to rent and a mini market. The visitor finds all facilities which are needed for a relaxed holiday feeling.