The poet of Erotokritos
“In Sitia was he born, in Sitia was he bred. And there he labored hard to write all these words you’ve read’’. Vitsentzos Kornaros, the author of the epic Erotokritos, was born in 1553 in Trapezonda in Sitia. His romantic work, written in rhymed verse, between 1600-1610, is a masterpiece of Cretan and modern Greek literature.
About 9.6 km west of ancient Itanos, in a lunar landscape of stones and shrubs, you’ll find the Toplou Monastery. A fortified monastery built in the 16th century, the Ottomans named it Toplou after the cannon that it used to keep pirates at bay (‘top’ means cannon in Turkish).
The pure ingredients and traditional sweets of Sitia
The pure, natural products of Sitia’s soil are special: the award-winning extra virgin olive oil, the unique flavour of its thyme honey, delicious dairy products, excellent tsikoudia, the herbs, and traditional pastries, many of which you’ll find only here. Try the savoury kalitsounia filled with myzithra (a local cheese), koulourakia (sourdough buns), loukoumades (doughnuts) drizzled with thyme honey, and kserotigana – delicately wrapped sweet fritters that are a staple at traditional Cretan weddings.