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Crete's Lasithi Prefecture Overview continued Page Thirteen


the ports squaremap sitia and vaiThis main town and port of the eastern isthmus of Crete is also amphitheatrically-arranged, like Aghios Nikolaos, but unlike the latter, it has the reputation of a town that has not succumbed wholly to tourism, despite the fact that it has a long sandy beach (and one accorded the 'blue flag' of ecological purity). The beach is also popular with wind-surfers, and there are plenty of seaside restaurants. There are inexpensive rooms available as well as a good youth hostel in Sitia (on the main road coming from Aghios Nikolaos) with some private rooms and tent space as well in a garden. Another good beach is found at Aghios Fotia, 5km/3.1miles to the east. Camping on the beaches is an option as well, but safest a little ways out from town.

the limani of sitiathe castel of sitiaThere is a large cultural festival here on 24 June, and in mid-August a three-day wine and sultana festival (big products in this area), with traditional dancing. There is a Venetian fort (left) , a folklore museum (open Mon-Sat, 9:30am-5pm 1.45 euros); Roman fish tanks; an archaeological museum (open daily July and August 8:30am-3pm; September-June Tues-Sun, same hours;1.45 euros). The latter includes a wine press, Linear A tablets from Zakros, finds from Petras. There is a Minoan cemetery (pre-Palatial) of 250 chamber tombs was found near the east end of Aghios Fotia, but the area is fenced off. An important figure born here was the seventeenth-century Creto-Venetian Vicenzo Kornaros, who wrote the famous Cretan epic poem , the Erotokritos, which consists of 10,000 lines written in Cretan dialect. It is still sung today, accompanied by lyra and laouto.

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