The extremely rich and bright past of the region is certified by the many extendent archeological excavations and historical researches conducted by Greek and foreign researchers the last 100 years and on, and this fact is noted by the unforgettable Melina Merkouri. When she was the minister of culture in 1984, she performed the opening of the archeological museum of Sitia. Then, she said: "Sitia is one of the most priviledged places. Not only in terms of natural beauty but also in terms of history and culture. Few other places of the Greek land encompass within their borders so many signs of a bright. Eighty (80) archeological sites have been excavated in the region and more than a hundred (100) have been traced and wait to be excavated to enrich your wealth and pride".
Indeed, the Sitia province is one of regions of Greece and of the whole world with a large number of antiquities within its borders, with archeological sites such as: The Minoan palace of Zakros, the Minoan town of Palekastro, the Minoan settlements-naval centers of Mohlos and Psyra, the Minoan cemetary of Aghia Fotia, the Minoan palace and settlement of Petra, the Minoan villas in Sitia, in Zou, in Pano Zakros, Achladia, Aghios Georgios, Makrus Gialos, the residence Hamezi, the eteocretan Praissos, the Doric Itanos, the Hellenistic settlements of Trypiti and Xerocambo, the Roman Lefki (koufonisi) the medieval settlement of Voila, the Kazarma fortresses of Sitia, the Venetian villa in Etia, Liopetro, Monte Forte, ect; the monasteries of Toplou, Kapsa and Faneromeni, Byzantine churches, frescoes and icons, historical sites, folk architecture, traditional fountains, neo-classic houses, watermills, windmills, farms, and many more monuments of the local, national and global cultural heritage.
Petra is a traditional settlement, 1 km east of Sitia
Recent surface excavations have proven that the area has been populated since the prehistoric times and is of great archeological interest
Itanos had been one of the most important coastal cities of eastern Crete from the Minoan years until the first Christian era.
The castle fortress is the most imposing historical monument in Sitia
The ancient name of the island was Lefki and it played an important role in the Hellenistic and Roman history of Eastern Crete.
According to the findings of the excavations, the island of Mohlos developed to one of the most important centers of the Minoan civilization.
The region, located between the two arms, Kalamauki and Panteli, of the current river of Stomios (ancient Didymos), was occupied by the ancient big city of the Eteocretans, Pressos.
Minoan residense with unique style
At the beach of Palekastro, in the position of Russolakos, a great and big town of the Minoan period was excavated.
In the position "Plakakia", west from the village of Makry Gialos, archeological excavations revealed a villa that dates back to the post- Minoan period.
The Minoan villa of Pano Zakros was studied by N. Platonas, with the aid of his then associates, Giannis and Efi Sakellaraki, in the years of 1965 and 1966.
The palace at Zakros has two main building phases: the old palace was built in c. 1900 B.C., and the new one in c. 1600 B.C., but was destroyed in 1450 B.C. along with the other centres of Minoan Crete.
In a small headland called Trypetos, 3km to the east of modern Seteia lies a city of the Hellenistic period (middle of 4th - middle of 1st century B.C.), most probably identified with the ancient city of Eteia.
Numerous excavation works have been performed in two locations in Achaldia, where visitors can see two wonderful sites of the Minoan civilization, the unique domed tomb of Eastern Crete and the remains of a Minoan villa.