A farming village south of Vai 9km/5.5miles. There are some decent beaches here and some inexpensive rooms as well as camping options. There is a small folk museum here (May-Oct Tues-Sun 8:30am-1pm;free).
Due south of Vai about 20km/12.4miles from Paleokastro. There is an Ano (upper) Zakros and a Kato (lower) Zakros, the Minoan palace found at the lower one (8km/5 miles) further down. In between the two, you can walk to the Valley of the Dead, which is a gorge (pic right center) which had Minoan tombs (2600BC) carved into its sides. The Palace of Zakros (open April- Sept, Tues-Sun 8am-7pm;Oct-March 8am-3pm;1.45euros) is the fourth largest palace complex in Crete, dated around 1700 BC.
It was probably the Minoan's chief port for Egypt. Destroyed (like so many other Minoan palaces and settlements) during the disasters around 1450 BC, but unlike many others, was not looted or rebuilt, and the first major excavations during the 1960s, yielded up cult items and a lot of unworked ivory, everyday items of all kinds, food, pottery, etc.
Heading to the south coast from Sitia and then west towards Ierapetra, one comes across a fishing village with one of eastern Crete's nicest beaches, at Makryialos, but predictably it has gone the touristic path, and become a pricey place to stay. After that, the coast is rocky and plastic greenhouses cover the coastal plain, but there are sandy beaches, including Long Beach, with a good campsite. Aghia Fotia has a good beach and many rooms.