Sitia, 18 km from Palekastro and 60 from Ierapetra, with a population of 9500 people, is the easternmost city on Crete and perhaps the least developed. Even during the busy summer peak, Sitia retains a certain charm and laid-back style. On the other hand, this means that it is not deserted in the winter, like other tourist resorts of Crete.
During the Venetian occupation the town of Sitia was destroyed three times. In 1508 by a terrible earthquake, in 1538 by the pirate Barbarosa and in 1651 by the Venetians so as not to fall in the hands of the Turks. For two centuries Sitia ceased to exist as a town, until 1869. The present city was built in 1870.
Sitia is the seat of administrative and public services for the county.
- Olympic Air from Alexandroupolis, Athens, Karpathos and Preveza-Lefkas
- Sky Express from Athens and Heraklion
- Athens Airways from Alexandroupolis and Preveza-Lefcas
- Hamburg International from Hamburg (begins summer 2010)
- XL Airways Germany from Düsseldorf and Munich (begins summer 2010)
Sitia has road and sea connections with various places in the island and with Pireaus and other Aegean islands.
It has been inhabited since the Minoan period. At Petra, to the east of the town, a section of ancient settlement has been excavated.
- Vai forest and beach, the largest natural palm forest in Europe.
- Moni Toplou, founded in the mid 15th century, is one of the most significant monasteries in Crete.
- Kazarma fortress, a 13th century Venetian fortress.
- Gorge of the Dead (at Kato Zakros).
- Richtis Gorge and Waterfall (at Exo Mouliana village).
- Ha Gorge (at Ierapetra).
- Various archeological sites with ancient Greek and Minoan settlements, such as in Itanos and Mochlos.
- There is a waterfront with restaurants and cafes, a large public beach, and an archaeological museum which holds many of the findings from Palekastro.
Strolling on the streets of Sitia
There is not too many tourists in Sitia, therefore you can really observe daily life of Sitians by walking through the town. You can pick into the small shops, and stores, listen to old ladies gossiping, watch old men sipping their coffee.
Sitia has beautiful harbor full of colorful small fishing boats, and good restaurants , tavernas and cafes. This harbor is much different then the one in Rethymno or Chania because it is not too commercialized yet. This harbor serves more Sitia's citizens and their families rather than tourists and that's what is good about it.
Information Center on Sitia's harbor
There is a little building on the corner of K.Karamanli and A.Papandreou, right on the harbor.
You can get there lots of information on where to go and what to see. You can get there a list with all the events for July and August, like shows, fiestas, concerts etc.
The lady at the Information Center was very helpful, she can show you on the map where are the best beaches and good tavernas.
You can get there a phone number to Hotel Union of Sitia 2843 0 28428. They can help with finding a room in Sitia, especially if you are on the budget and want to have your room booked ahead.
Phone: +30 2843028300 Address: corner of K.Karamanli & A.Papandreou- on harbor Directions: little building on the corner of K.Karamanli and A.Papandreou, right on the harbor.
Kali Kardia Tavern
Kali Kardia Tavern is located two blocks from Sitia harbor. You don't get a view of the Sitia bay, but you also don't have to pay for it. What you get is fantastic food, honest portions, and honest prices, not to mention the street scene which is always interesting to observe. Phone: +30 2843022249 Address: Foundalidou street 22 Directions: Foundalidou street between N. Kazantzaki & Metaxaki (2 blocks from the harbor)
Place to go to for your morning orange juice or coffee fix. Great atmosphere. Coffee and orange juice superb and not overprices. Bathroom clean. The place also had an internet but it was not always working....perhaps in the future the problem will be fixed. Address: K. Karamanli street, Sitia Directions: on the corner of K. Karamanli street and A. Papandreou street
This place is busy with greeks enjoying their late dinner. This food is a fusion of greek cuisine and fast food, meaning, that it was still greek food, but mostly deep fried, greek salads however are huge and superb.
Address: the corner of E. Venizelou and Kapetan Sifi - right on the harbor
People go there for meat dishes. The whole place has nice decor with beautiful view.
Address: E Venizelou & N. Kazantzaki corner - right on the harbor
There are a lot of choices for accommodation in Sitia. There are some hotels near the harbour of the town. There are also one or two luxurious hotels, category A. But you can find cheap and expensive rooms or apartments as well. Some of them are new built and there are ideal for spending your holidays. Either in town or a suburb all of them are very close to the sea and keep the conditions for a good stay either you choose a cheap or an expensive solution.
- Hotel Krystal (Crystal). It is a nice building, conveniently located and easy to find. Front desk person is very nice and professional. Corner rooms on the 4th floor have nice view of the entire Sitia bay. Rooms are nice and clean, and have long balcony with great view. Nice size bathroom, TV and AC. Breakfast is more than enough, although boring after 4 days. Prices: US$20-40. Phone: +30 28430 - 22284. Address: 17 KAPETAN SIFI 723 00, SITIA Greece. Directions: Hotel KRYSTAL is located in the center of Sitia, 70 meters from the sea and few blocks from Sitia boardwalk. Website: http://www.ekaterinidis-hotels.com/en/krystal.html. Other Contact: email@example.com.
- Olive Coast Suites, Agathias, ☎ +30 28430 28953. Olive Coast Suites is located in Palekastro just 18 km from Sitia. 65-98.
- Lassion Golden Bay, Agia Fotia (5 km from the center of Sitia on the way to Vai), ☎ +30 28430-28950. Category B’ superior hotel, began working from the summer of 2004 and is constituted from 20 bungalows (of which 3 apartments) and 8 rooms that are spread in an extent area of 16 km. above sea. Each room contains autonomous unit A/C, for heat and cold, satellite TV, mini bar/refrigerator, safe, bath/WC (with hair dryer), veranda or balcony. Also provides swimming pool (thalasso), tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court, playground, pool bar, central bar, 1 pool bar, 1 central bar, tavern, lounge with central TV/DVD/home cinema, breakfast room (breakfast buffet), Internet connection in the reception area.
- Corina apartments (one-star), Petras , Sitia (1.2 km opposite Sitia), ☎ +30 2843028320. This complex comprises 7 Mediterranean style bungalows/apartments , fully furnished and equipped , very close to Petras beach(just 130 metres), opposite the town of Sitia. Ideal for families with children. The bungalows are built on 4 different levels of a hilloc. (Website:www.hotelcorina.com)
- Hotel Elysee, 14 , Karamanli Str. , Sitia (At the beginning of the beach , 150 metres from the town square.), ☎ +30 2843023427. Boutique-like , 4 floor hotel at the very sea-front of Sitia , a stone-throw away from the beach , immaculately clean , modern , nicely-decorated rooms. Spectacular view of the harbour and the sea , really friendly staff!