Moires is the seat of the Festos municipality. It is a large town of the former Kainourio district, 53 kilometers from Heraklion and built in the Mesara plain, 90 meters above the sea level.

Moires is also the see of Gortina and Arckadia Metropolis.

According to the 2011 census, 6305 people live in the town and their main occupations are agriculture and trading.

Administratively, the Moires district includes the small settlement of Agios Antonios, 180 meters above the sea level.


There are records for the habitation of the area, in 1543 (see Place Name).

Moires are stated in a contract of 1636 by the name “Megali Moira”.

The town is not mentioned in the Venetian censuses. It is found for the first time in the Turkish census of 1671 with 31 amerces.

The population growth of Moires is interesting and its peak is in 1900 and after.

From 1930 and then Moires had a great development and that is why now is the largest commercial, administrative, religious, educational and transport center of Mesara.


Moires took its name by the moires, i.e. the shares. According to Stergios Spanakis, in 1543, Ventians established the “epistotatoi”, the refugees from Nafplio and Monemvasia, in the area after the occupation of Peloponese by Turks. The area of Mesara was free and fell under the “Authentia”. It distributed the place in moires (i.e. shares) to the refugees.


The churches of Agios Georgios, Agios Rafail, Agios Nektarios, Agia Paraskevi and Agios Konstantinos are in the town.