The coastal settlement of Lentas, of the Gortyna municipality, is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Levin ( «Λεβήν»).
Lentas is in the southern sides of Asterousia mountains, 74 kilometers from Heraclion and its stone lion protects the Libyan sea.
The access to Lentas can be either from Agioi Deka or from a narrower road, from the Miamos village. Both roads are asphalted. The village can be also accessible through a dirt road from Tripiti.
79 people live in the settlement according to the 2011 census.
In the wide area of Lentas there are many beautiful and peaceful beaches. An organized beach is in front of the village. There are taverns, coffee houses and rooms to let near it.
The Psamidomouri cape is in the east and the Liontari cape is in the west of Lentas.
The protected Caretta- Caretta lay and hatch their eggs in the area.
The neighboring Ditikos, Loutra, Tzigkounas and Trafoula beaches can be visited for more tranquility. The coastal settlement of Platia Peramata is a bit farther, on the road that connects Lentas with Kaloi Limenes.
The beautiful beach of Ditiko is on the road that connects Lentas with Tsigkounas. It is also known as the colony of hippies. Nudism and camping are allowed there.
There are restaurants and rooms to let in Ditiko and beach parties are thrown very often.
If you follow the small southern road from Lentas along the coast, you will end up in Tzigkounas beach.
The landscape is rough and wild but the beach is ready to welcome the friends of camping. There are taverns and rooms to let there.
The magnificent beaches of Gerokampos are between Lentas and Tzigkounas.
The small port, which was in Lentas, is now in Loutra. Loutra is 5 kilometers in the east of the settlement. Some fishing boats, sailing boats and crafts are usually in the Loutra bay.
There is a hotel above the bay and some restaurants and rooms to let.
The area is lonely and so, during the high season of the summer, you can find a lonely beach.
The most impressing landscape of the area is certainly in Trafoulas. In order to reach the Trafoulas beach, you should go through the Trafoulas gorge a few meters in the east of Loutra.
The rocks are in a marble shape. The visitors say that “It is like you are in another planet here”. The crocodile of Cleopatra is said to be petrified here.
( See myth)
The beach is not organized.
Excavations prove that there was a proto-Minoan settlement of 2.500 – 1.900 B.C. in the area. It is observed that the settlement had commercial relations with Egypt.
Many stone and earthen pots in unprecedented shapes (scarabs etc) were found in proto-Minoan vaults.
During the Hellenic-Roman years, the ancient city of Levin flourished as a port of Gortyna but, also, as a holly city, where Asklipios and Igieia Soteira were worshipped.
Thisavros is the most ancient monument of Levin. It is a squared well with 1.090 meters depth from the 2nd or the 1st century B.C. An altar is preserved in the back of the temple of Asklipios, where the monuments of Asklipios and Igieia were put, but the villagers broke them as they were searching gold in them.
A spring of water with therapeutic virtues was found in 3, 30-meter depth in the east. There were also fonts that were connected. The patients bathed in there.
Levis was desolated in the 7th or 8th century, as many other coastal cities, due to piracy.
The name is pre-Hellenic and comes from the Phoenician word “Lavi” («Λάβι») that means lion or from the pre-Hellenic word Levinthos («Λέβυνθος»).
The myths of Lentas are related to the shapes of the rocks in the area. In the Liontari cape, a head of a lion is shaped, which can be seen from miles away. One of the lions that dragged the carriage of Rea was petrified in that place.
Another myth describes that Cleopatra visited the area, having a lion, an elephant and a crocodile with her. She was so stunned from the area that she left her animals there to protect it. The rock that looks like an elephant is opposite the Psamidomouri cape, while the Trafoulas cape looks like a crocodile.