Sivas is a village and homonym Municipal District of the Municipality of Festos in the Pyrgiotissis province of the south-western edge of the plain of Messara. It is situated at an altitude of 110 meters and is 62 kilometres from Heraklion. Near the village there is the well-known Monastery of the Virgin Odigitria.
The village is the birthplace of St. John the Hermit or St Sir John. He worked for the resurgence of Orthodoxy in Crete after its liberation from the Saracens by Nikiforo Fokato 961. This means that the village existed already at this early age.
There are several versions about the origin of the name. The dominant version is the one explaining that the name “Sivas” derives from the presence of abundant natural resources in the area (the Arabic word “siva” means “source”). Another version claims that the village took its name from the Indian God. Others say it took his name from “Siwa”, the famous oasis of Egypt. This oasis is the place where the temple of Ammon Zeus is build, one of the place visited by Alexander the Great.
In the village of Sivas the visitor can enjoy the tranquillity and hospitality of the local people and the natural beauty of the environment. Don`t take it as a coincidence that a lot of locals after being abroad or away from their homes returned to settle in their village permanently now.
Near the village of Sivas you can find beautiful beaches of the southern part of the island like Matala, Kommos beach, Kali Limenes, Kalamaki. The beach in Agiofarago is worth a visit, Agia Galini and off course the magnificent beach at Preveli. From the village you also have the chance to visit and admire the ancient sites of Phaistos and Gortys. A must see is the beautiful Monastery of Odigitria, situated close by to the village. The view from the village to the magnificent mountain, taking the magical colours of the evening with the sunset, is just simply unique.