Sitia refers both to the port town and to the municipality of Lasithi in Crete Greece. It lies to the east of Agios Nikolaos and to the northeast of Ierapetra.
Sitia port is on the Sea of Crete, which is a part of the Aegean Sea and is one of the economic centers of the Lasithi region. European route E75, which ends in Vardø, starts in Sitia. Sitia is served by the Sitia Public Airport.
Sitia has not experienced the effects of mass tourism even though there is a long beach along the road leading to Vai and several places of historical interest. The town is visited by few tourists.
Sitia is a small but charming market town in Lassithi Prefecture, Crete, laid out in a horseshoe shape on the side of a hill in the northeast of the island. Siteia is the seat of Sitia Municipality and one of the most pleasant and attractive towns in Lassithi, retaining its peaceful atmosphere in spite of tourism and development. This is aided by the wonderful landscape of Sitia, with its pretty bay, small harbour and mountain peaks on the horizon south of the town.
Sitia general information
One of the main reasons people visit Sitia has to be its excellent beaches, on the eastern coast past Agios Nikolaos the coastline becomes more rugged and beaches are harder to find. Sitia beach is well catered for with showers, beach service and of course sunbeds available for daily rental.
Visiting the town for a meal you will find some excellent little Taverna´s, one of the most recommended is Cafe Aroma, sitting on the harbour side. Also find Zorba´s sitting just down from Cafe Aroma which is always full of locals grabbing a bite to eat or sitting down for a family meal.
For those interested in exploring the area of Sitia then there is a lot to do, including exploring the local cave systems, of which the best of these has to be Peristera, Pelekita and Oxo Latsidi. Pelekita and Oxo Latsidi complexes are over 300 meters long.
If exploring the cave systems are not enough the try visiting the gorge of Kato Zakros or the “Valley of the Dead”, so called due to the amount of Minoan burials found in the area. This is a great place for all budding archaeologists to explore and for those who have visited the palace of Knossos it’s an excellent place to see the other side of the Minoan culture.
Another excellent place to visit is the Toplou Monastery which can be found on the way to Vai beach. Toplou Monastery was built in the 15th century and was rebuilt after a huge earthquake that shattered the island of Crete.
Toplou Monastery has some amazing paintings, fresco and icons dating back from the 15th century including portraits of amazing battles holding off invading forces.
You can get into Sitia on the newly built airport that currently only accepts domestic and military flights, or to drive into Sitia from Agios Nikolaos or catching a ferry into Sitia Port.
Town of Sitia - Around Siteia
The whole area around Sitia is a land of contrasts, with high mountains, hills and valleys, caves and sandy beaches with their little coves. The landscape is a combination of Mediterranean and African, with hot, dry areas alternating with cooler, milder spots.
Sitia town has a very good harbour, serving both the ferries connecting it to Piraeus and other islands, and the fishing boats which add a picturesque note to the scene. The seafront with its palm trees and lovely promenade along the harbour makes the town even prettier and more romantic, ideal for moonlit walks. Even the beach, to the left of the town, is a permanent temptation for a dip, with its fine sand and clear waters.
The inhabitants of Sitia are famous for their kindness and warm-heartedness. It may be the living traditions and peacefulness of the area which color the lives of the inhabitants, but the Sitians are considered cheerful and hospitable people, always ready for fiestas and fun, both good company and hard workers. This may the reason why Sitia has more Greek than foreign tourists and visitors - something rare in Cretan tourist resorts.