For those who explore the area will find that eastern Crete has remained the most unspoiled area of Crete, the extreme eastern coast being the most wild and beautiful on the island. There are 45 villages to discover in the area of Sitia, a region renowned for its hospitality.
The town was rebuilt amphitheatrically in the corner of the bay of Sitia in 1870, having been previously destroyed by earthquakes and pirates. The Venetian fort still stands high up in the town, offering a magnificent view over the bay. It is especially beautiful on summer evenings when the fort is used as an outdoor theatre, a venue for the many cultural events organized for the “Kornaria” festival.Sitia is a lively town with approx. 11.000 inhabitants.
The district is famous for its considerable olive oil production and for the excellent quality of its olive oil and wines. There are numerous local festivals in traditional Cretan style held in villages throughout the summer, which are well-worth attending, as well as cultural events in the town.
Within easy reach of Sitia, there are many places to be visited, such as the Toplou Monastery, the fourth in size Minoan Palace of Kato Zakros, and other important archaeological sites at Palekastro, Itanos, Pressos and many more. There are two fine museums in Sitia, archaeological and folklore, with many fascinating exhibits.The town itself boasts its own beautiful beach, stretching the whole width of the bay and with many more secluded areas within easy reach by bus or car.
For the walker, the hills are covered with aromatic plants and hundreds of beautiful flowers, especially in the springtime