Lithines is a village that has been rapidly gaining in popularity in recent years thanks to its unspoilt character and the fact that it produces the best olive oil in Crete. Moreover, it's studded with old Byzantine churches and chapels, some of them tiny and in out-of-the-way places. Lithines is famous for these churches, the most important being the church of Virgin Mary of Lithines which has its main small temple built out of stone and where, according to the legend, there is a miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. It is estimated that it was built around the 15th century a.C. when there was a full scale building renaissance in churches and monasteries in the area. Lithines has placed itself on the global tourist map without much effort. There are a few small hotels and clean rooms for rent, for that authentic rustic feeling. To get to Lithines from Sitia, drive south on the main highway for 37 kilometres, and the village will come into view. Or drive northeast from Ierapetra for about the same distance.