Noted for its beauty, Handras has kept its quiet dignity, even though they are just 27 km short of Sitia. Here minoan ruins have been discovered in Plakolonia, Gras and Katrani.
In between Handras and Kasteliona, 705m high, there is a peak sanctuary hill called Xykefalo and many artifacts have been found here and placed in the museum in Sitia. In 1583, in the first recorded venetian census there were 399 inhabitants. (source: interkriti)
Handras also incorporates Voila, Agios Pantelimonas and Pano Panteli. There are also caves and the remains of a venetian villa in Voila. Apparently the name Voila means land owner in Latin.
According to Alex at Interkriti website, he mentions the below details.
'In a census carried out by Kastrofilaka in 1583, the village of Voila had a population of 301. Many elements show that the village belonged to the venetian family of Zenos which during the Turkish occupation adopted the Ottoman religion and was renamed.
The tradition says that he was the owner of a Castle in Voila which has an external inscription with the date 1153 equal to 1742 of the Christian diary. At the south of the castle there is a ruined church known as the church of Ginali.
Other attraction at the area is the old painted church of St. George dated back to the 15th century. From the inscription it is obvious that there is a family tomb of Salamons. The Solomons of the island of Zakynthos where our national poet Dionisios Solomos comes from, are believed to having been descended from the Salamons of Sitia.
At the top of the hill overlooking the village there is a fortress dated back to the Venetian occupation of the island of Crete.'