Sitia or Siteia
Sitia or Siteia 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.
Sitia 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.
The town of Sitia - Around Sitia
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 colour 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.
Sitia on the map
• Sitia on the map of Google
How to get to Sitia
To Sitia by airplane
As one of the most important market towns of Lassithi Prefecture, Sitia has an airport with daily flights to and from Athens, and connections to Rhodes, Karpathos, Kassos and Aktio.
There is also a limited number of charter flights to Sitia in the summer.
To Sitia by ferry
If you are in Athens or one of the islands in the Dodecanese or the Cyclades, you can take the ferry to Sitia. There is a daily boat to and from Piraeus.
To Sitia by car from other parts of Crete
There are two main ways of getting to Sitia by car:
The North Road Axis (Chania - Rethymno - Heraklion - Agios Nikolaos - Sitia).
Sitia is 82 kilometres (1 hour) from Agios Nikolaos, 147 km (2 hours) from Heraklion, 226 km (3 hours) from Rethymno, and 286 km (3.5 hours) from Chania.
The route from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia is a lovely drive along the coast. The road is generally good, but there are many twists and turns after Kavoussi. Improvements are in hand, however, so the route will soon be quicker and easier.
The South Road Axis, which is more of a provincial road than a fast road like the North Axis.
The South Road Axis starts at Tymbaki and Mires, passes through Viannos and connects Ierapetra to Sitia via Makry Gialos. The route provides travellers with an opportunity to enjoy the lovely villages of south Crete, the scent of thyme and the natural beauty of the landscape, full of olive groves and colourful oleanders.
Bus to Sitia
There are also buses to Sitia from all the large towns and cities of Crete, while there is a local bus to Zakros and Palaikastro.
Sitia is ideal for holidays for:
Sitia is ideal for holidays for those who want peace and quiet on their holidays, in a picturesque and welcoming place, full of Cretan tradition. Sitia has not been as badly affected by tourism and development as other parts of Crete.
Sitia is the ideal holiday destination for young people and couples in search of romantic moments and quieter holidays. Sitia is a truly beautiful town with many places to explore and enjoy.
Holidays in Sitia are ideal for families, as the town has everything on offer and an organised beach. The fact that it is a quiet town means that it mainly attracts individual tourists and families.