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Livre d'or

 

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Sitia (Crète)

Crete de l'est (Carte)

The town of Sitia is unique. Located at a considerable distance from major towns of Crete, Sitia has developed a unique character. The locals wallow in this knowledge. In summer Sitia is the only location on Crete where tourists number more than the local population. Sitia is the hometown of Vintsentzo Cornaro. It offers ideal conditions for relaxation and uneventful holidays. Guests who need to feel their adrenalin running in their blood stream would better look for other resorts, west of Sitia. The locals are warm-hearted, friendly and hospitable.

 

CAFES

A pedestrian zone extends along the waterfront of Sitia. It is an ideal location for a leisurely walk where you can meet a lot of beautiful local girls that might accept your invitation for coffee or a treat at a nearby coffee or pastry shop. There are a lot of such shops by the waterfront that have successfully integrated with local culture. For example the MITSAKAKI shop, which is intricately connected to the history of the town, specializes in “loukoumades” and traditional pastries. The TZELESSOU shop, next to a string of restaurants by the waterfront, is a favourite meeting place for most young people of Sitia. Other well-known shops are CAF? ITANOS, and CAF? VAI. At THEMIS shop you will find an excellent selection of ice-cream flavours products of the Cretan company by the same name. Finally, the KALABOKI pastry shop offers quality cakes, a tradition that lasts for almost half a century.

 

RESTAURANTS

For a taste of the Mediterranean cuisine your choice should be the BALCONI restaurant. At MICHOS the emphasis is on roast meat. Right on the waterfront you will find the restaurants of REMETZO, KOLIOS, KASTRO, ZORBA. Rabbit in lemon sauce is the specialty of KLIMATARIA restaurant located just outside the town. Near the Roussa Church, upon the hillside lies the PLATANOS tavern, a charming family restaurant. The NEROMYLOS, a watermill converted to a restaurant, specializes in grilled meat and offers a wonderful view to the town of Sitia. At Chiona location there are three fresh-fish taverns. A very tasty starter is the fish soup. On the way to Makris Yialos you will find the DRAPANOI restaurant (also known as “The Spring of Paradise” to tourists; God knows why). It is rather isolated but with a very interesting menu. This restaurant features also two dancing floors and live folk music. The same restaurant offers reception services for christenings, weddings and other social events. In addition to the restaurants, there are numerous Greek coffee shops in villages that also offer homemade specialties.

 

NIGHTLIFE

Sitia is not the clubbing center of Crete and we are far from crying over spilt milk for that. However, Sitia is not without nightclubs. For example, GLYFADA at the waterfront offers a wide range of drinks to warm up the senses and the proper environment for a chat and soft music. The STATUS, at the entrance to the town on the way to Piskocephalo is an interesting “joint” for young people in their thirties. To the east one can find the BYZANTIUM for high decibel entertainment. The PLANETARIUM is built on a hill inside the town.

 

BEACHES - GETTING AROUND

A fine sample of the wild nature of Crete stretches from Sitia to Makrys Yialos. Remote beaches and secrete routes create an out-of-this planet atmosphere: sun, dust, stone and sea. The beach bordering the east side of town, stretching up to Petra, was polluted in the past. Now, by dint of private initiative, the beach is clean, with shower installations dotting the fine sand. This beach is conveniently placed near the town and attracts young people who enjoy surfing in its crystal clear waters.

Now, lets have a look at Vai, the renowned palm forest of Crete. A true paradisial spot had it not been for the umbrellas and deck chairs, a modern eyesore around Crete. If you must see Vai, then you had better visit it off-season. The locals would rather bathe at ERIMOUPOLIS, known also as ITANOS, the name of a submerged ancient town the ruins of which are visible from the shore. Moving south from Vai, on routes reminiscent of Mexican landscapes, you will come across the Medieval Monastery of TOPLOU endowed with a very large estate, PALAIKASTRO with the CHIONA beach, KOUREMENOS and ROUSOLAKOS beaches.

KATO ZAKROS is known for its Minoan palace and fish taverns. XEROKABOS, although difficult to access, offers one of the last idyllic spots of Crete: white sand, absolute serenity, and wild lilies growing on sand dunes. Unfortunately, this is going to change with the installation of a power plant at nearby ATHERINOLAKOS location. Now, if you also enjoy boating, you could hire or rent a boat and row or speed to KOUFONISSI from cape Goudoura. The isle, rather a rock, is deserted but with interesting Minoan ruins, sand dunes, wonderful beaches (unfortunately you will come across umbrellas and deck chairs here, too, during the summer). The isle is ideal for camping as well. In addition, there are organized excursions to the isle from Makry Yialos. More information about daily trips to KOUFONISSI is available from the boat owners at Makry Yialos.

Source: Stigmes, Crete's magasine

Nikos Papadogeorgakis


 

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