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A few words about Sitia region

Sitia is a town situated in the far east of Crete, in the prefecture of Lasithi. It lies to the east of Aghios Nikolaos and to the northeast of Ierapetra. It lies in a region unspoiled by mass tourism. Even during the busy summer peak, Sitia retains a certain charm and laid-back style. In the town but especially in the region's villages you will enjoy authentic Cretan cuisine made with quality local olive oil and other local produce. During the day you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing in Sitia beach or in the numerous untouched beaches lying towards the Eastern tip of the island.

What to do in Sitia

For history and archaeology enthusiasts, Sitia's archeological museum display's exhibits dating back to the Neolithic era in 3,500 BC while the medieval fortress of Kazarma, situated at the top of Sitia is a reminder of the town's medieval past. Furthermore, the folklore museum exhibits items from the past century such as weavings, woodcuts and other everyday life items.

During the evening you can visit one of the numerous small restaurants ("Rakadika") situated along the town's fishing port, which serve delicious variety plates along with Cretan spirit "Raki". And if you are up to it you can continue your night out until the early morning hours in one of the local bars and clubs.


What to do in the region

Archaeology / History / Religion

On your way to Vai and Erimoupoli you will pass from the monastery of Toplou. Here you can visit the monastery's museum with items dating back to the Ottoman empire period up to the Second World War. In Erimoupoli bay you can visit the ruins of the ancient town of Itanos. Further to the south east, Zakros is one of the four major Minoan palaces unearthed in Crete. The ruins of the palace await you at the lower entrance of the Zakros gorge.

Beaches

To the east of Sitia lies Europe's only natural palm forest of Vai. In a short distance from Vai lies the bay of Erimoupoli with the ruins of the ancient town of Itanos. To the south east of the region lie the long sandy beaches and warm waters of Kserokambos . There are numerous other deserted beaches we can help you discover.

Sports

For windsurfing enthusiasts the world renowned Kouremenos beach is a must visit. The club offers equipment hire and lessons. For the hardcore athletes, the Faneromeni bay offers excellent wave conditions (depending on the weather). Here you will need to bring your own kit. Mountain bikes are a fun way to explore the region's endless olive groves. Spring and autumn is the best period for this since the weather is cooler during the day.

Hiking

The areas rugged terrain offers numerous gorges that are walkable with no special equipment. First and foremost the 4km Richti gorge, near the village of Mesa Mouliana will dazzle you with the year-round waterfalls and dense vegetation all the way down to a deserted beach. The 4.5km gorge of Zakros starts at the village of Ano Zakros and meets the sea next to the archaeological site of Kato Zakros. It is one of the most impressive gorges in Crete with steep sides and dramatic rock formations. It is also known as the Gorge of the Dead because ancient Minoans buried their dead in caves high up on the gorge's sides. The 3.5km Chochlakies or Karoumes gorge ends in the magnificent and isolated bay of Karoumes.

Culinary Delights

In Sitia's "Rakadika" and small taverns scattered in villages throughout the region you can try, apart from local meats, also some delicacies of the region cooked in locally produced olive oil, like "chochlious" (snails cooked either with tomato or vinegar and rosemary), "omaties" (stuffed pig intestines), "anthous" (stuffed courgettes) and other. When you visit Toplou don't forget to grab a bite in the monastery's small tavern and purchase organic products from the monastery's extensive agricultural produce (honey, olive oil etc).