Greece Travel Secrets discovers Sitia, the main town in eastern Crete,
with its relaxing waterfront, inexpensive hotels, good food, and nearby ancient
The Harbour at Sitia in Eastern Crete
We loved Sitia right from our very first visit. We'd driven
there from the wonderful Istron Bay Hotel, which we were sad to be leaving as
we think it's one of the best hotels on Crete. It's only an hour's drive but
it's a beautiful one with good winding roads and views of the mountains and
occasionally the sea.
Hotel Elysee in Sitia in Eastern Crete
We'd booked a room for a few nights at the Elysée Hotel,
right on the waterfront. Its two-star rating didn't bother us as we know that
in Greece you don't judge a hotel by how many stars it has. Two-star hotels can
be just as good as three-star and four-star hotels, and much cheaper.
The Elysée was perfectly clean and comfortable, we got a
room at the front with a balcony overlooking the sea, and the owner immediately
took us under his wing, introducing us to his delightful wife and young
children. It was the Easter weekend and he invited us to watch some of the
processions with him and his family, giving us a better insight into Greek
Mountain Scenery near Sitia in Eastern Crete
Where to Stay in
The Elysée was excellent and we'd definitely recommend it,
but to be honest there were two other two-star hotels along the same seafront
promenade - the Itanos and the Flisvos - and I bet we'd have been happy in
either of them.
We were soon wandering along the seafront and looking
forward to having Sitia as our base for a while. Even though it was Easter, the
town seemed very quiet, certainly compared to bigger places like Agios Nikolaos,
where we'd been earlier in the week. Sitia has a much more-laid back and
relaxed feel to it than most places. It's got a bit busier since we were first
there, but not much.
What to Do in Sitia
Sitia's Archaeological Museum is excellent, helped by the
fact that there are a number of fine Minoan sites in the area. That's another
reason we chose to stay there for a few days, as Sitia makes a good base for
touring this part of Eastern Crete.
There's information about the Palace of Zakros, too, which
is about an hour's drive from Sitia on the east coast. It's one of our
favourite spots on Crete.
Scenery near Sitia in Eastern Crete
This was founded in 1975 and is in a beautiful building.
It's worth a look-in to see its collections of traditional costumes, textiles, icons,
kitchen items, furniture and especially (for us) musical instruments.
Taverna Tables in Sitia
Where to Eat in Sitia
Our absolute favourite place to eat in Sitia was a
restaurant called The Balcony, but we won't tell you how good it was because it
closed not long ago. Very sad.
When we didn't eat at The Balcony we simply walked along the
waterfront and checked out the menus and daily specials. We liked Sitia because
no-one was standing outside the restaurants trying to persuade you to come in,
which can become an irritation in bigger and busier places like Chania and
Sitia Tourist Office
Tel.: +30 28430 28300
Some other Crete pages
Chania is the main city in Western Crete with a lovely setting and a beautiful harbour as well as several museums.
The Samaria Gorge is one the longest gorges in Europe and doing the hike is one of the best and most popular things to do on Crete.
Agios Nikolaos is a pretty and popular town on the north coast of Crete and this page on Greece Travel Secrets covers its history, museums and beaches.
Greece Travel Secrets goes hiking in southwest Crete with Ramblers Walking Holidays based in Paleohora and hiking the E4 footpath and to Anidri and Azogires.
The area east from Paleohora along the south-west coast of Crete includes resorts like Agia Galini, gorges like the Imbros Gorge and quieter towns like Sfakia.
The Battle of Crete during World War 2 inspired several books and took place with an airborne invasion over Maleme on the north coast of the island.
The Byzantine Church of Panagía Kerá near Kritsa and not far from Ayios Nikolaos is one of the most famous in Crete, and close by is the site of Ancient Lato.
Greece Travel Secrets visits the Crete Botanical Gardens near Chania and finds a wonderland of colourful plants, trees, and flowers filling a lovely valley.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in western Crete, including both luxury and inexpensive hotels in Chania, Rethymnon, and Paleochora.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Irakleio, the capital of Crete, including nearby beach resort hotels and accommodation in the city centre.
Sir Arthur Evans is the archaeologist famous for the excavations he made at the royal palace of Knossos on Crete.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in Central Crete including hotels in Matala, Ayia Galini, and Zaros.
The Snails House in Plouti near Phaistos in southern Crete serves the Cretan delicacy of snails, cooked in several different ways.
Greece Travel Secrets chooses ten of the best beaches on Crete including the beautiful beaches at Vai and Elafonisi.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete has four ENUESCO sites, which are Sitia, Psiloritis, Asterousia, and the Gorge of Samaria.
The Stilianou Winery near Knossos on Crete uses only Cretan grape varieties, with every bottle numbered, and aims for quality rather than quantity.
Driving central Crete in three days gives you time to see the highlights including the Minoan palaces at Knossos and Phaistos, the beaches and the Diktean Cave.
Matala Beach on Crete is a guest blog for Greece Travel Secrets from the We Love Crete website, inviting you to Awaken Your Inner Hippy in Matala, Crete.
Western Crete in five days allows time to visit Chania and Rethymnon, enjoy the beaches, hike the Samaria Gorge and see the monasteries at Arkadi and Preveli.
Cretan music is part of the island’s soul and visitors will hear live music wherever they go, with several distinctive Cretan musical instruments and songs.
Margarites is known on Crete for its pottery, with ceramics shops and workshops lining the streets of this charming small town not far from Rethymnon.
This Airbnb in the quiet village of Malaxa, a 30-minute drive into the hills above Chania, is a peaceful retreat with a delightful and thoughtful artist owner, with wonderful views and amenities.
Ancient Gournia is a Minoan archaeological site between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia in Eastern Crete where the visitor can see evidence of a maze of back streets.
Visiting Knossos near Iraklion is one of the best things to do on Crete, and this page has a history of the site with visitor information.
This olive grove walk from Limnes to Vrises on Crete also takes you through orchards and gives close-up views of some of the island’s windmills.
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