Sitia

Sitia Port Marina

Sitia Municipality

Sitia municipality in Lasithi, is in the far east of Crete with a population of 19,209 inhabitants which has many sandy beaches, some of them completely deserted. The actual winter here is very short, with the middle of December still seeing many sunny days. Out of season minus tourists the island retains a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Sitia lies to the east of Agios Nikolaos and to the northeast of Ierapetra and the south-east of Sitia is also comparatively quiet, with many sandy beaches bordering the Libyan sea. Sitia offers the unspoiled calm of Greece’s southern-most island and the exotic charm of the east, now easily accessible by the extension of the airport.

The roads in some of the more deserted spots can be a bit rough and this saves the areas from being spoiled, but even the small seaside villages have good roads leading a couple of kilometers inland to completely untouched Cretan villages.

Sitia Beach CreteVisit the tropical beaches of Xerokampos in the south of Sitia province and you’ll be able to smell the ‘Lilies of the Desert’ which grow in August when the temperature can surpass 42 degrees. Xerokampos is also a natural planetarium, the night sky there revealing the spectacle of all the galaxies.

The same natural beauty lies in Makri Yialos and the areas around it with the same tropical landscape, the sea of the south with its special characteristics: warm, flat, absolutely clean and full of fresh fish. In Makri Yialos you can combine natural beauty and comfort. Organized hotel units and smaller ones offer high quality accommodation together with warm local hospitality.

Inland and uphill from its beaches, in the mountain areas you can discover a variety of traditional treasures. If you stop at the scattered villages you will find the inhabitants following their fathers’ methods of farming and shepherding, and that life there has different rhythms from those we are familiar with in the city.

In Palekastro you can visit the unique palm-tree forest of Europe, Vai, with fantastic beaches, archaeological sites with rare discoveries, and the Toplou monastery with its icons, gems and engravings. Going down the picturesque seaside village of Kato Zakros you will come across an imposing spectacle at dusk. The sunset there with its magic atmosphere has inspired the work of many artists.

During summer you will no doubt find yourself at one of the festivals that occur in the districts, always in honour of a Saint. Of course you will be welcomed and have the opportunity to taste the original Cretan cuisine.

Sitia Port Town

Sitia is a port town on the north-eastern coast of Crete with a population of 8,900 inhabitants. It is built amphitheatrically on the side of Boda hill at the north of the homonymous bay. It is a very picturesque and quiet town with a vivid flair. It has inherited a long historic and cultural tradition. There is a Minoan city in the wider Sitia area at Petra and a town of the Hellenistic period at Tripitos. The centre of Sitia today is built on the ruins of Sitia in the Byzantine and Venetian period. Sitia has played an important role in east Crete as an administrative body and cultural centre especially in the Venetian period and modern times. Today it is a developing town with great perspectives. Myson, one of the seven wise men came from the ancient Sitia (Iteia) as well as Vitzentzos Kornaros the poet of Erotokritos. The Sitian people were always distinguished for their love of and performance in literature and the arts.

Sitia Airport CreteSitia is the capital of Sitia district and seat of the municipality of Sitia with public authorities, hospital, schools, university, port, airport, banks, production units and other authorities. Sitia is connected by a road network (National road and the south axis) with the rest of Crete, by air service with Athens and by ferry boat from Agios Nikolaos, Milo and Piraeus as well as from Kasos, Karpathos and Rhodes. The tourist development is mild with mostly small hotels, rooms to let, fish taverns, restaurants with traditional cuisine and many others. There is a stunning sandy beach and is ideal for a summer vacation as well as for holidays throughout the whole year because of the mild climate and the life there.

The town itself is also a good base if you intend hiring a car to drive around the province and explore. The surrounding area is full of villages with houses of real character for sale at a wide ranging price level.

Sitia has become even more accessible since the recent extension of the airport, with regular flights from Athens of just 65 minutes’ duration.

There is a cluster of four small islands, the Dionidades, 9 km away from Sitia that according to mythology were created by god Dionysos. There is the biggest colony of Eleanor’s falcon over there. Moreover the long naturalist and cultural route of Sitia district begins and ends in Sitia.

By following this route you can enjoy all the natural beauty and magnificent landscapes of the gorges, caves, forests, biotopes, mountains and beaches, the fauna and flora, as well as the rich cultural heritage of the archaeological sites, monuments, traditional settlements, rural buildings etc. You may also visit the wind parks and the other units of mild energy sources and the organic farming of this area which are two sectors very important for the environment. Sitia is a pioneer of these sectors in Europe.

sitia port town crete

One of the best district archaeological museums is situated in Sitia with many folklore exhibits, a show-room and selling-point of exceptional local products, and the Venetian castle of Kazarma. The alleys around the castle of Kazarma transfer you to older times and show the paradoxical coexistence of old and new that sums up Sitia’s style. Furthermore there are many cultural authorities with wonderful activities. Kazarma today is a fabulous place for cultural events (theater, concerts etc.) and is the centre of the town’s cultural life in the summer when the “Kornaria” festival is organized, a series of theatrical, musical, other arts and literary events. Every year in August is also organized the “sultana feast”, one of the biggest celebrations on Crete while many traditional feasts and parties take place in the scenic villages of the district throughout the whole summer.

Very close to Sitia is the modern architectural masterpiece of Soe, a complex of stores, restaurants, pools and night life, ready to offer hospitality for a long stay or just for a coffee. But Sitia has a memory, it doesn’t forget that it is the birthplace of the poet Vitsentzos Kornaros, and that art and poetry were inseparable parts of ancient Sitia. The folklore traditions are many and varied and their purpose is not only to entertain but also to preserve the place’s rich history.

Photo Source:commons.wikimedia.org

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One Response to “Sitia”

  1. Nurqalisha says:

    “I am finding it hard to accpet the Paleolithic humans were capable of seafaring even over flat shallow seas using islands to hop to Crete”. I am too. Especially seeing that humans didn’t manage to reach most other Meditarranean islands, including many that were much closer to any mainland. “I’m inclined to be very skeptical, particularly in the absence of marked change in fauna in the fossil record upon Homo arrival”. That’s another aspect that promotes doubt. “it only has to happen once and isn’t impossible”. That could explain Flores as well. On Flores humans survived for some time but on Crete they failed, presumably indicating a fairly small group.

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