Sitia with a population of 8500 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. Sitia 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 archeological museum which holds many of the findings from Palekastro. Above the city is a Venetian castle where they have concerts, in fact we were lucky enough to see Ross Daley, an Irishman who single-handedly has popularized traditional Cretan music, on one of his rare visits to the far end of the island. There is a weekly boat that goes to Karpathos and Rhodes and returns to stop in Santorini, Ios, Sikinos, Folegandros, Milos and Sifnos before going back to Pireaus in case you are interested in a long and scenic return. The Archaeological Museum in Sitia is worth a visit. Local finds span neolithic to Roman times, with an emphasis on the Minoan civilization and the ruins from nearby Zakros. Sitia is known for it's production of sultanas and if you're lucky enough to be travelling in late August, you'll enjoy the Sultana Festival where wine and food abounds and traditional Cretan dances are performed. Sitia is also home to the Kornaria Festival from mid-July to the end of August. Concerts, dance and theatre productions will be held throughout the town. Outside the city is one of the wonders of nature, a beach that attracts plastic from all over the aegean. By some miracle of sea currents, this tiny beach seems to be Mecca for every bit of plastic that has been tossed or blown into the sea and though they try to clean it up continuously, it is a losing battle. On the bright side though, it is a beautiful site at sunset when the light reflects off every piece of plastic and engulfs the beach in a prism of beautiful colors like sparkling jewels. Recently the headlands next to the beach have been bought and developed into a large resort community and one must assume they have a plan to challenge nature and restore the beach to all it's pristine glory.