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|The village of Tertsa and the beaches of Tertsa on Crete|
The small village of Tertsa lies hidden behind the Dikti mountains in a protected bay in the south of Crete, not far from the better known tourist resort of Mírtos. It is a very small village, located in a fertile valley where most people still live from agriculture. All kinds of crops are grown in Tertsa and here and there and you see a small plastic greenhouse where tomatoes or other vegetables are grown. There are also greenhouses with banana trees. The people that live in the village are mostly farming families and there is a number of old ladies that make regular walks up and down the only path in Tertsa that leads inland from the sea. This makes it all very rural. There are pomegranate trees along the road and there is a relaxed atmosphere, as if nothing ever really going on: "If the sky is falling down, we all have a blue hat and we will see than what we will do."
I thought it was very quiet in the village of Tertsa, although I was told by several people that Tertsa was expanding. There is indeed a bit of building going on but the village is still small and intimate and there are so many beaches in and around the village Tertsa that it will not get too busy for a long time.
The people who live in Tertsa and are not farmers are all working in the tourism industry because there are a number of tavernas / kafenions and there are a few buildings where you can rent a room, a studio or an apartment. There's even a tiny mini-mini-market that is packed with anything and everything (but they do have fresh bread every day). Whatever people in Tertsa do, if they work in a restaurant or in the supermarket, and whether they come at the end of the day to pick tomatoes or walk up and down the village path all day long with a walking-stick in one hand and a bucket in the other, they are all very friendly. There are about 70 of them in total (residents).
|Why do people go to Tertsa?|
The village of Tertsa is a little bit off the beaten track and here it is still relatively quiet. There is not much to do and especially not much to do in the evenings. There are no bars or discos so the options are to just sit in a taverna and have something to eat and drink a glass of wine while you are watching the sea, or you do the same on the balcony of your accommodation (if you have one). It is therefore primarily a place for people that are looking for peace and quiet. In Tertsa you will find yourself a couple of steps back in time. It is still a bit like what Crete was in the past (and I know because my first time on the island was in 1974).
There are also people who come specifically to Tertsa to have something to eat in Taverna Lambros, which is really great. The biggest attraction I believe are the beaches that you can find in Tertsa. If you drive from Mírtos to Tertsa you already see a lot of beaches along the side of the road, but just past the village (that is net to the village beach which has a number of beach umbrellas and sunbeds - also a good and quiet beach by the way) are four fantastic beaches where it is quiet and where naturists can also lie down. They are good beaches where you can easily go into the sea and where there are no rocks on which you can hurt yourself. These beaches are much nicer than the beaches that are in between the two villages because they are beautiful to look at, they are also more private and there are no cars driving past. In short: Tertsa is a top destination for naturists.
By day there are also some people that are visiting from Mirtos to lie down in the sand here, but in the evening they all return and total peace and quiet returns to the village again. Summarized Tertsa is ideal for people who really want nothing (no shops, no night life etc) and only look for silence (although there is a dog that will bark from time to time) and beautiful beaches to relax and enjoy. For good food you also don't have to look any further because Lambros Taverna on the beach is really very good. So if you like to do nothing at all besides packing your towel, your sunscreen lotion, some water and your book in a bag and then walk to the beach to take in the sun this is a perfect place. Of course, you can also make walks in the area or go to the village Mírtos (five kilometers away) where there is some more life. This walk along the coast is also very beautiful.
|How do you reach Tertsa?|
Tertsa is actually not so difficult to reach. You can drive to it through an exit of the road which runs between Pefkos and Mournies, but if it is your first visit to Tertsa than perhaps it is too complicated and you might get lost. It is easiest if you come from the side of Ierapetra in the east, and then drive into the village of Mirtos. All you need to do is keep driving in a straight line through the narrow access street of the village Mirtos. This street leads to the beach and here you just keep driving straight ahead along the coast. At a given moment, the asphalt turns into a path (in 2008, you never know whether they will asphalt this part as well). This path is pretty wide, so easy to ride. In between Mirtos and Tertsa is the village of Vatos and here the path begins and the normal road ends with a pile of asphalt, so here you have to do some very careful driving. After a while the path changes to a paved road again that runs down to the village of Tertsa. The length of the route from Mirtos to Tertsa is about five kilometers.
|The village of Tertsa on Crete|
Tertsa is a tiny village on the very sunny southeastern coast of Crete. There are approximately 70 people living in the green valley where the village is situated. This valley is absolutely unique. The climate is sub tropical, and even bananas grow in the open air. And they are tasty too. Tertsa has some lovely beaches, where you really have the space. On some of the beaches nude sunbathing is allowed. In the village there are a few restaurants, two kafenions and a mini market. But there is no further bakery or butcher in the neighbourhood. The daily shopping you do 5 kilometers away in his Mirtos.
During the day the restaurant Lambros at the beach is a meeting place. People from Tertsa, but also guests from Mirtos meet each other under the tall trees of the terrace on the beach. Here drinks are served or dinner with delicious fresh ingredients, literally, from the backyard. In the high season during the daytime it can get quite crowded. At night, when almost everyone is gone, the residents and the tourists that are staying in Tertsa have the kingdom alone. Out of season it is daytime it is quiet and very relaxed. At night you hear only silence, the crickets and then silence. Tertsa is a place for people who can truly appreciate this.
Tertsa is a place for lovers of peace, space, the small daytime Cretan life, and sometimes a little stir by eating Greek day people. In the morning you wake up and just walk to the sea or have breakfast on the balcony. After that you go to the beautiful nature or relax on the sandy beaches of Tertsa. If you are looking for more distraction, a wide choice of restaurants, a pub for the evenings or daytime or many tourist shops? Then Tertsa is not your holiday destination. If you want this than it is better that you stay in nearby Mirtos.
Erna sent me a photo and her findings on Tersta: Hans, a quick picture of the beach of Tertsa at the tavern. Here you can eat really well. Deserted beach, super hospitable Greeks. The most beautiful place on earth (?). There is also an apartment, Villa Lambros that you can reserve through Dick, but that we find that just a little too remote. There is now a mini market, but for more restaurants you are still dependent on Mirtos. The road to Tertsa has been pretty amazing. We have been here 3 times now and it has done something with us, we always want to go back.
|Lambros Taverna in Tertsa|
At the beach of Tertsa there are 3 tavernas and also one more on the right side of the street that leads from the sea into the village. To us Taverna Lambros had been recommended. This taverna is named after the son of the owner. We got the impression that all the other tavernas were a bit ignored by the locals and the tourists. Everyone wanted to eat at Lambros and there were even people from villages around Tertsa that came to this taverna because it is so good. In fact, the days that we stayed at Tertsa we have only eaten here, because it was great: delicious food and nice people. You can not only have lunch and dinner here, but they are also open early in the mornings for breakfast. The dishes are spicy and have much flavour. We have therefore tried everything: spinach-cakes, feta saganaki (fried feta cheese), lamb chops, shrimp saganaki (flambéed shrimp) and green beans. The Greek salad consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onion, olives, feta and herbs. At Lambros they use fresh products and herbs. The bread is nice and fresh too.
Our verdict: a 9.5 from 10
|Villa Lambros in Tertsa|
Nearby Mirtos in the southeast lies the village of Tertsa. It is very quiet and with great beaches, that are also ideal for the naturists. In the village itself is the large sand beach with sunbeds and umbrella's and on either side there are a large number of beaches. The ones on the west side of the village are super, quiet and excellent for naturism. Dick and Siemon from Villa Mertiza (see above) run a small apartment building here, Villa Lambros. The village is very small, with 70 residents, and yet with a couple of tavernas and a mini market - one of the tavernas, Lambros Taverna, is very, very good and the people are so friendly and hospitable. If you like to spend a couple of days in real peace and quiet (except for the occasional dog bark) in a place and enjoy the sun, the nature and of course a delicious glass of ouzo on the balcony this is a spot for you. No rush, everything relaxed and no noise.