Archaeological Sites of Crete - Chania

In the Prefecture of Chanià, one can visit ancient towns which still bear visible signs of their past splendour, as well as clear marks of all the successive civilizations that ruled over the island down the centuries; they were built on strategically selected locations of remarkable natural beauty.

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Ancient Aptera was one of the most significant and powerful city-states of Western Crete. Its ruins can be seen on the rocky elevation which dominates the scenery south-east of Souda bay, above the national road that connects Chania to Heraklion (16 kilometres from Chania). The notable size of the area covered by these ruins is indicative of the power that Aptera had during its acme. 

  • location Aptera, Chania, Chania
  • type Ancient City/Town
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

Kydonia, one of the most important and powerful cities of Western Crete, flourished right where the current city of Chania stands today. Kydonia prospered not only in the Minoan period, but also later, in the historical years. According to the myth, it was one of the three cities that were founded on the island of Crete by king Mίnos. The local hero Kydon, a son of the god Hermes and Akakallida (a daughter of Minos) is also mentioned in mythology. 

  • location At "Castelli" hill and at the district of "Splantzia", Chania, Chania
  • type Ancient City/Town
  • site condition/facilities Open-Scattered Monuments

Lissos was the port of ancient Elyros. Its pre-Hellenic name suggests that it was inhabited well before the Doric period. The natural harbour and the medicinal springs present helped Lissos flourish to a great extent, mainly during the Doric, the Hellenistic and the Roman period...

  • location Sougia, Kantanos Selino, Chania
  • type Ancient City/Town
  • site condition/facilities Open-Scattered Monuments

An ancient town which used to stand on the site of the current settlement of Agia Roumeli, on the eastern bank of the stream that flows through Samaria gorge. It was probably quite important, given the fact that it was mentioned by numerous ancient writers. Its name derives from the root tal-tar-taur, which means river gorge, and some scholars believe that the ancient town of Taranto, in Southern Italy, was a colony of Tarra. 

  • location Agia Roumeli, Sfakia, Chania
  • type Ancient City/Town
  • site condition/facilities Open-Scattered Monuments

The moment one sets foot at Polyrrinia, one instantly senses that it is a place with a history that can be traced back to the distant past. Historical traces from different periods can be seen everywhere, and architectural elements remain scattered throughout the site, either on their own, in the ruins of ancient buildings, or incorporated into constructions of subsequent periods...

  • location Polyrrinia, Kisamos, Chania
  • type Ancient City/Town
  • site condition/facilities Open-Scattered Monuments

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