Home News & Interviews Kostis Lymberiou, Deputy Mayor of Sitia

Kostis Lymberiou, Deputy Mayor of Sitia

by Hello From Greece

If you would give one title to Sitia.

“The authentic Crete”

Accommodation, food, entertainment; are those “weapons” in order to keep the tourist?

Of course are those important to our visitors. Sitia has the Unesco Geopark which, together with the local products (PDO oil, honey, wine, “xygalo” a PDO cheese product) is the main reason for someone to visit Sitia.
Our festivals throughout the summer await visitors to experience Cretan hospitality.

What do they have to choose between? Regarding accommodation: (hotels, rentals, Airbnb). Regarding entertainment and food (taverns, restaurants, night clubs, bars, etc.)

Sitia is a destination that has all types of accommodation. In recent years, the development of airbnb in our villages has been important, which helps the development and uplifting of local communities.
The traditional taverns throughout the Municipality of Sitia are an attraction for visitors all year round. Of course, the traditional cuisine and the Mediterranean diet make them outstanding.

What do you think are the advantages of your region over other regions?

Sitia is a virgin place with many development possibilities. The advantages of our area include the following:

– The Unesco Geopark of Sitia
– Its beaches (Xerokampos, Zakros, Erimoupoli, Kouremenos, Chiona)
– The uniquely protected Palm Forest “VAI”
– Its hospitality
– The authenticity of the residents
– Our villages
– Our products
– Our story
– Our Culture

How busy is Sitia airport? Flights and connections.

In recent years, it has been on the rise with connections from abroad (charter), with daily flights from Athens, with connections to European cities with low cost companies.

Is the hometown of “Erotokritos” a pole of attraction? How about the poet Vitsentzos Kornaros himself?

Of course Erotokritos plays an important role for attracting visitors. The culture in Sitia has stood out for hundreds of years. Throughout the summer, many events take place both in the city and in the villages of our Municipality, which are included in the “Kornareia” festival program, honouring Vitsentzo Kornaros.

How long is the duration of your tourist season?

The tourist season lasts from May to the end of October.

During the Middle Ages, it was an important commercial port of Byzantium. What keeps your harbour from this glory?

The port of Sitia has preserved its character and its picturesqueness, under the shadow of the castle of Kazarmas.

A rural area with the oil as its ‘strong suit’. To what extent have the archaeological monuments and the natural environment been exploited for tourism?

Most of the monuments are utilized and highlighted in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities and the Ministry ofCulture.
The natural environment within the Sitia Geopark is protected, highlighted and displayed everywhere.

What is worth visiting for the tourist. Which of the attractions is a magnet?

The visitor should visit all areas of the Municipality of Sitia. However, we would distinguish the following points:
– The Unesco Geopark of Sitia
– The Richti Gorge
– The Gorge of the Dead in Zakros
– The Museum of Natural History of Zakros
– The beaches of Xerokampos, Zakros, Erimoupoli, Kouremenos, Chiona, Diaskari
– The uniquely protected Palm Forest “VAI”
– The isle of Mochlos
– The archaeological museum of Sitia
– The folklore museums of the region (Siteia, Hameziou, Handra)
– Our villages
– The archaeological site of K. Zakros
– Koufonisi

The famous beach Vai, with the homonymous palm forest, the largest and most famous native palm forest in Europe. Is there a time when it gets crowded?

From June to September.

Do nearby areas such as Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Spinalonga bring tourists to Sitia, or does a visitor use up his time in the most famous and prominent ones?

Depending on ages, nationalities and season YES.

Are the people working in the tourism sector efficient and relevant to the requirements and needs of visitors?

Yes, they are effective and essential.

In your opinion, what are the services that should be offered to the modern tourist?

– Ηospitality
– Authenticity
– Local products
– Security
– Cleanliness
– Information

How high do you think you can raise the bar of benefits and in which areas?

The bar can be raised very high, in the tourist, commercial sector, catering and the services of the Municipality

From which areas do tourists mainly come? For a family or for solo vacation?

We are mainly chosen by families from France, Germany, Scandinavia and of course Greece

From your trips abroad such as the one in Scandinavia what experiences did you have? Tell us about it. Which of your travels opened up your horizons and in what way?

In all visits abroad, our priority is the search for good practices of Municipalities and local communities, with the aim of sustainable development. Of course, the protection of the environment is our priority.

What kind of tourism are you targeting?

We aim at soft tourism, with small accommodations, traditional hospitality and of course supporting local products.

Is there a common understanding in the field of tourism with the other regions of Crete?

Through the Region of Crete there is cooperation at all levels, with the aim of highlighting the special characteristics of each region.

What activities, cultural, sports and other events have you planned to attract visitors?

Every year we hold a series of events aimed at promoting the area. More specifically:
-Mountain running race in Zakros
– Running race in the city of Sitia
– 3×3 basketball tournament
– Beach Volley tournament
– Aquathlon
– Festivals in the city of Sitia and in our villages
– Festivals in the villages of Sitia

What are you planning for this summer?

Many events are planned for this summer as well, which will be included in the Kornareia 2024 program.

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