Petra is a traditional settlement, 1 km east of Sitia. A small tower from the Venetian period can be found there. It bears the name "house of Kornaros" and belonged to the homonym family. On the hill over the tower, a small palace and a settlement have been brought to light by recent excavations. The rooms of the palace were luxuriously adorned and its walls painted with bright colours.
Etia probably took its name from the tree Itea (willow) The village seems to have been populated since the Byzantine period as one can see from the remaining churches of Aghios-Ioannis and Aghia-Ekaterini. During the Venetian reign it was on of the largest villages of the area with 563 citizens.
Recent surface excavations have proven that the area has been populated since the prehistoric times and is of great archeological interest. In the site of Katsounakia a large Minoan settlement was found but has not been excavated yet. In the hill of Trachelas a sanctuary was also found but had already been desecrated.
Itanos had been one of the most important coastal cities of eastern Crete from the Minoan years until the first Christian era. Nowadays it is known under the name of Erimopolis. Its citizens were dominating throughout the coast of Sitia, from the Samonion cape (today cape Sidero (iron)) to the Erythreon cape (what is today called Goudoura) and the island of Lefki (Koufonisi).
The sandy beach of Erimoupolis is situated slightly to the north of the magnificent palmforest of Vai. The visitor can combine a swim in the sea with a visit to the ruins of ancient Itanos, which used to be the one remaining Heteocretan city.
The beach of Kato Zakros is an hour's drive from Sitia and 25km south from Palekastro village. Here you can combine a swim with a visit to the ruins of the Palace of Zakro, the only Minoan Palace to have been excavated in Eastern Crete.
Kato Zakros, Eastern Crete
Kato Zakros is a coastal village 8 km away from Pano Zakros at a magnificent bay. Is the most impressive small fishing village, hidden away in the east corner of Crete. Anyone staying in Kato Zakros will want to walk down the "Valley of the Dead", approximately a 2-hour walk, which leads down from Pano Zakros, to the sea at Kato Zakros
The castle fortress known today as "Kazarma" (Casa di arma), is the most imposing historical monument in Sitia.
The Kazarma used to be a military and administrative centre which consisted of a Medieval dwelling surrounded by walls. The fortification of the town and of the Kazarma can be dated to the late Byzantine period.
At the beach of Palekastro, in the position of Russolakos, a great and big town of the Minoan period was excavated. It flourished during the post-Minoan period but some remains date back to the pre-Minoan period and the mid-Minoan period, mainly tombs with numerous bones very well preserved.
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The first excavation in Kato Zakros was performed by the British D. Hogarth, in 1901. Then, the remains of a Minoan settlement came to the surface, indicating a flourished society. The most important of Hogarth's findings were the about 300 clay stamps on coins, indicating some sort of bureaucratic system of control or a number of commercial affairs.
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