Port Town in Crete
lies at the western end of the bay of the same name, in the far East of Crete's north coast. Counting some 9,000 inhabitants, the town is after Ierapetra and Agios Nicolaos the smallest of the three cities in the governmental district of Lassithi. Crete's easternmost town spreads from the port up the slope of Vamvakia peninsula. Above there is the international airport of Sitia (JSH) which however is used only for domestic flights as yet.
From the port, a narrow sandy beach runs along the bay to it's eastern tip. Excavations in the town's surroundings show that the area is inhabited since about 3,500 B.C. The foundation of Sitia falls into the first Byzantine epoch.
The small fortress named Kasarma was raised during the Venetian epoch. In 1651, Sitia was conquered by the Turks and almost completely destroyed. More than 200 years later the first new inhabitants began to rebuild the town. Today there are a number of modern holiday villas for rent along the bay, which enjoy most beautiful views not only of the sea but also of the mountains which frame the bay of Sitia.
The promenade that flanks the port was re-designed some years ago, and today ranks as one of Crete's most beautiful ones. Whenever a ship to Rhodes or other islands leaves the port, the sirens' echos resound from all the mountains around the bay. Sitia's surroundings present the most diversified landscapes in Crete It is therefore recommended to hire a car e.g. at Eurocars straight from the airport, as this way one will also be independent from the very long rides in the transfer buses.
Text by Ingo H. Dietrich
Photos by Matthias Konopka & Ingo H. Dietrich,
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