Sitia, 18 km from Palekastro and 60 from Ierapetra, with a population of 9500 people, is the easternmost city on Crete and perhaps the least developed. Even during the busy summer peak, Sitia retains a certain charm and laid-back style.
It has been inhabited since the Minoan period. At Petra, to the east of the town, a section of ancient settlement has been excavated. There is a waterfront with restaurants and cafes, a large public beach, and an archaeological museum which holds many of the findings from Palekastro. Sitia is the seat of administrative and public services for the county and has road and sea connections with various places in the island and with Pireaus and other Aegean islands.
There is also a small airport with connection to Athens, Kassos, Karpathos, Rhodes. During the Venetian occupation the town of Sitia was destroyed three times. In 1508 by a terrible earthquake, in 1538 by the pirate Barbarosa and in 1651 by the Venetians so as not to fall in the hands of the Turks. For two centuries Sitia ceased to exist as a town, until 1869. The present city was built in 1870.