Sitia is the main town of East Crete. With 9000 inhabitants it is a lively little town and tourism is not a major activity, even though it has a lovely beach. Sitia is about 2 - 3 hours from Heraklion by car. There are buses to Agios Nikolaos about 5 times a day. Sitia is a working town with a busy atmosphere but also manages to stay laid back. It is also a very pretty town with a very pleasant sea front lined with cafés and tavernas.