Siteia - The Lady of East Crete

Sitia is the best ‘ambassador’ for east Crete: genuine, unspoiled, friendly and picturesque. It is the home of ‘Erotokritos’ and the ideal base for the exploration of the easternmost parts of the island.

Η Σητεία είναι η καλύτερη εκπρόσωπος της ανατολικής Κρήτης: αυθεντική, αναλλοίωτη, φιλόξενη και γραφική

History of Sitia

Sitia got its name from the ancient city Iteia, Itida or Sitaia, which lay just east of the present town. Iteia was inhabited since the Bronze Age, and flourished during the 2nd century AD. It was also allegedly the home of Myson, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity. The city was inhabited by Eteocretans, i.e. the 'old' or ‘true’ Cretans, aka the Minoans, after the island's occupation by the Dorians

Learn more about Sitia Town History

Sitia Today

Σητεία - Η πύλη της Ανατολής

Leaving its troubled history behind, Sitia today is a picturesque enough seaside town with about 11,000 inhabitants, built like an amphitheatre on the hills around the lovely harbour.

The home of Vitsentzos Kornaros, who wrote the Cretan epic ‘Erotokritos’, it has retained its local colour and its leisurely pace of life. It offers a beautiful seaside promenade next to the multi-coloured boats and dinghies, but also a long sandy beach that gets flooded with locals and tourists.

The port and the seaside promenade every summer are full of life, as the area is filled with restaurants, taverns, cafes and, of course, the legendary taverns of the city that are very popular with the young.

It is worth visiting the fortress of Kazarma to partake of the view from up on high, or to attend an event at the ‘Kornareia’, the cultural festival of Sitia.

The city’s archaeological museum is a definite must, with exhibits covering a period of about 4000 years.

Sitia can be a good jumping-off point for quiet holidays and for the many available trips to explore the surrounding area. There are beautiful beaches (Vai, Erimoupoli, Xerokambos, Zakros), significant archaeological sites (Petras, Kato Zakros, ancient Itanos, Voila, Agia Fotia, Etia) and pretty villages (Sitanos, Ziros, Handras, amongst others).

  • Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
  • History, Culture
  • What to do (Activities)
  • What to see (Culture, Nature)
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