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.
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.
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
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
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
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.