Sitia is a coastal town in eastern Crete in the prefecture of Lassithi. It is located in the northeastern part of the prefecture, in the western part of the eponymous bay, 70 km east of Agios Nikolaos Lassithi and is the seat of the homonymous municipality. It is the homeland of the poet of "Erotokritos" Vitsenzo Kornaros. Sitia has a small airport, through which it connects with Athens and the Aegean islands and is a tourist resort. The Kallikratikos Municipality of Sitia emerged from the merger of the Municipalities of Itanos, Lefki and Sitia. With the Government Gazette A '239 - 07.11.2011 the Local Communities of Pefka, Chrysopigi, Lithina and Pervolakia left the Municipality of Ierapetra and joined the neighboring Municipality of Sitia. Niki Sitias also has a football team.
The city is probably identified with the classical and Hellenistic Itia or Itida, or Sitia, mentioned by Strabo and Stefanos Byzantios] and which is probably the homeland of Myson, one of the seven sages of antiquity. According to Greek mythology, Hercules gathered from this city (as well as from all over Crete) warriors against the Laistrigons and, defeating them in central Italy, founded the new Sitia, just outside Rome.
During the Middle Ages, it was an important trading port of Byzantium. During the Venetian occupation it was incorporated in the Venetian Regno di Candia, and was characterized as "maximum statum et lumen ejiusdem insulae" (= maximum station and light of the island). To consolidate their rule, the Venetians built many fortresses in various parts of strategic importance of the province that still survive today (eg Kazarma). The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1508 and by a pirate raid in 1538. In 1651, the Venetians destroyed the city to prevent it from being handed over to the Ottomans. Sitia was rebuilt in 1870, under the name Avnie, but it did not prevail.
The economy of the province is based mainly on primary agricultural production with low yield due to the stony nature of its soil. Second, the economy relies on handicrafts, trade, construction, and tourism. However, the archeological sites and the natural environment have not been significantly developed for tourism.
In the city of Sitia there are 6 kindergartens and 4 primary schools. There are also 2 high schools, a day general and a vocational high school, as well as evening high school and general high school. Post-secondary training is provided by IEK Sitia, while in terms of higher education in the city operates the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics (ELMEPA).
The thirty showcases of the museum include exhibits from 3500 BC. until 500 AD coming from the wider area of Sitia. The museum is divided into five sections, which refer to respective chronological periods. Among others, the collection of pottery, clay tablets of Linear A found in the archive of Zakros, figurines from top sanctuaries, a grape press of the neo-palace period and a Hellenistic mill for grinding grain are on display. The ivory male figurine found at Roussolakkos near Palekastro is unique.
The fortress of the castle, or Kazarma (Casa di arma), was the barracks of the guard or the headquarters during the Venetian rule, ie one of the buildings of Medieval Sitia which was surrounded by a wall. The fortification of the city and the Barracks date back to the late Byzantine period. However, pirate raids, frequent revolts of the inhabitants during the Venetian occupation and even earthquakes caused successive damage to the walls and the Barracks, until the Venetians themselves were forced to destroy them in order to repair them, which did not happen. . During the Turkish occupation, the perimeter walls do not seem to have been rebuilt, but the Barracks was restored and today Turkish additions can be seen, such as the buttons on the ramparts, ie the outposts of the fortress. The Barracks has now been restored and is open to the public offering panoramic views of the bay and the city of Sitia. During the summer period, cultural events (Kornaria) are held in its specially designed space, such as theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, art exhibitions, etc.
An folklore museum was organized and operates on the initiative of the cultural association "Vitsentzos Kornaros". The exhibits, which belong to the 19th and early 20th centuries, include embroidery, textiles, wood carvings, local clothing, household items, icons and other items.
Museum - Exhibition of local products
The exhibition-museum of local products was created and operates under the responsibility of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Sitia and aims to promote local products, the economic development of the region and enhance local production. Dominant products are the olive oil "Sitia", the "Cretan local wine" of Sitia, and the tsikoudia Varvaki.
Beaches in Sitia
Road access to Sitia is provided by two main axes. The southern one leads from Ierapetra crossing the province of Sitia from the Libyan to the Cretan Sea. The northern road connects Sitia with the capital of the prefecture, Agios Nikolaos. With the rest of Greece, Sitia is connected by air and ferry.
The K.T.E.L. operates itineraries to all the villages of the province and other large cities of Greece.
The port of Sitia serves mainly small fishing boats and sailboats, but is -potentially- able to serve larger passengers. Sitia is connected to Piraeus by ferry with the passenger "Prevelis" of AN.EK. At the same time, Sitia is connected with islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.
Sitia Airport can accommodate small and medium-sized aircraft. Regular flights are operated to and from Alexandroupolis, Athens, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kasos, Aktio and Heraklion. The airport is also able to accommodate charter flights and private jets.