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The prefecture of Lassithi lies on the easternmost part on the island of Crete. It is an area ideal for alternative tourism, full of contrasts combining the wild beauty of its mountains with the lush, fertile plains and quaint villages with contemporary infrastructure. The prefecture has three major cities, capital Agios Nicholaos which has all the elements of a modern city with the preservation of its traditional identity; Ierapetra, the bride of the Libyan Sea; and Sitia boasting a beauty unaltered by time or man.
There are several small islands that belong to the prefecture, all of them interesting. Spinalonga, the island-fortress once hosted one of the last active leper colonies in Europe; Agioi Pantes, home to the Cretan wild goat roaming freely around the island; Kolokytha, Psira and Dionysades with interesting archaeological finds; Elasa, Koufonissi and Chryssi where an endemic species of cypress tree is flourishing.
There are various versions regarding the origins of the prefecture's name, nevertheless, two versions are most valid: one of them is linked to Sitia which was written by the Venetian occupiers as