Gastronomy – local products
The mild terrain of the area, the soil components, the dry and warm climate, and traditional production methods enable the development of a small, high quality agricultural production. For centuries, Sitia has stood out for its agricultural products, especially its excellent quality olive oil and wine. Many of Sitia’s products have received designations like PDO, PGI and international qualifications.
The olive variety cultivated here is almost exclusively Koroneiki, because of its high yield in quantity and quality. The final product is the extra virgin olive oil of Protected Designation of Origin “Sitia Lasithi Crete”.
Events – festivals – traditions
The area of Sitia has a long tradition in music, poetry, and feasts. Important musicians and mantinada poets, mainly from the region of the plateau of Ziros, have left a great legacy in the arts and culture of the island.
The typical musical instrument is the lyra (a pear-shaped string instrument), accompanied by a daouli (a large double-headed drum) and the violin, which dominated from the middle of the 20th century onwards. This tradition continues today in the villages, with feasts, religious and other festivals. Both the music and the dance of eastern Crete have special characteristics. Lassithiotikos and Stiakos pidichtos are two of the most important local dances that survive to this day. People dance it in a circle, where the first dancers make moves in pairs. Local celebrations are an excellent opportunity to experience and directly understand the culture of the area, through dance and music.
The celebrations associated with the religious cycle of life are an occasion for entertainment, both for locals and visitors. They are the following:
Arts – production
To ensure the quality and sustainability of small-scale professional activities, the Sitia Geopark has created a quality pact with local businesses.
Through it they promote local products and traditional cultivation and processing methods. Businesses with local products, restaurants offering local cuisine, accommodation, alternative tourism activities, wineries and farms hold the quality sign of the Geopark, given to them to certify their quality.