Itanos is located 96 km east of Agios Nikolaos and 26 km east of Sitia in the Lassithi prefecture.
Itanos flourished in the historic Greek and Roman period. It was established in the Prehellinic period. It became powerful and wealthy from conducting trade with Syria, Palestine and Libya.
The city had its own coins and buildings covered with marble. The temple of Dictaian Zeus at Palaikastro belonged administratively to the city of Itanos and that was the reason of the constant wars between Itanos and two other cities, Praison and Ierapytna, that wanted to take the temple under their rule. The city was inhabited until the 15th century AD when the pirates forced the inhabitants to move to the hinterland of Crete.