Travel to Sitia and Richti Gorge

View of the marina in Sitia, Crete
The marina of Sitia

Sitia refers both to the port town, with 8,900 inhabitants and to the municipality with around 19,000 inhabitants in 2001 in Lasithi, Crete. It lies to the east of Agios Nikolaos and to the northeast of Ierapetra. Sitia port is on the Sea of Crete, which is a part of the Aegean Sea and is one of the economic centers of the Lasithi region. European route E75, which ends in Vardø, starts in Sitia. Sitia is served by the Sitia Public Airport. Sitia has not experienced the effects of mass tourism even though there is a long beach along the road leading to Vai and several places of historical interest. The town is visited by few tourists.

   
Coordinates: 35°12′N 26°6′E   (1) Agios Nikolaos (2) Ierapetra (3) Lasithi Plateau (4) Siteia
 
View of Sitia with the fortress on top, Eastern Crete
Sitia with the fortress on top

The earliest settlement of the town dates back to before Minoan times; excavations in the neighbouring site of Petras have unearthed architectural remains that date back to the end of the Neolithic period 3000 BC and continue throughout the Bronze Age 3000-1050 BC. In addition, there are several Minoan settlements unearthed in the various archaeological sites in the municipality, such as in Itanos and in Mochlos.

View of the tavernas in Mochlos village, Crete
The tavernas in Mochlos village
Street in Mochlos village, Siteia region, Crete
Street in Mochlos village, Siteia

Mochlos is an island in the Gulf of Mirabello in eastern Crete, and the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement. There is evidence that Mochlos was not an island in Minoan times, but was attached to the mainland and acted as an eastern harbor. The name Mochlos also applies to the small fishing village and resort located on the main island of Crete, opposite Mochlos island. Only 150 metres separates them. The island is administered from Tourloti which is only 9 km away.

Richtis Gorge (Faraggi tou Richti) refers to a gorge in Crete (Map of Richtis Gorge here). It is a state protected park near Exo Mouliana, Sitia, eastern Crete that starts at the traditional village Exo Mouliana, which is located on the national road between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia and ends at the secluded Richtis beach, just east of the village Kalavros. Richtis gorge is one of the most beautiful trails in Crete; the hiking trail is about 4 km in length of easy (spring/summer/autumn) to moderate (winter) difficulty. Rich vegetation (mainly platanus trees, wild berries and local flowers and herbs) and animal life (mainly local species of butterflies, small reptiles, birds and mammals) can be observed along the way, as well as old stone bridges and water mills before it culminates with the Richtis Waterfall and beach, making Richtis gorge trail one of the most diversified hiking experiences in Crete.

Photos of Richtis Gorge, Sitia
This photo of Richtis Gorge is courtesy of TripAdvisor