In the Prefecture of Rethymnon, one can visit important archaeological sites of the Minoan era; the Idaeon Andron (the cave where Zeus was born, according to Mythology), and several significant ancient towns are counted among them.
This archaeological site, where an extensive Minoan cemetery of the Postpalatial period was discovered, is located a little before the village of Armeni, 8 kilometres after Rethymnon, on the way to Spili, amongst tall oaks.
Ancient Eleftherna was built at the site where the current village of Eleftherna (formerly known as Prines) is to be found today. Its ruins were brought to light after systematic excavations.
Ancient Lappa was built on the site of the current village of Argiroupoli, in a verdant, fertile area, which is run through by two streams. Its dominion extended to current Rethymnon, Apokoronas, Agios Vassilios and Sfakia. Idramia (current Dramia) to the north and Finikas (near Loutro Sfakion) on the Libyan Sea shore, were the two ports of Lappa.
An important Old Palace settlement has been unearthed outside Monastiraki, in the region of Amari. At the centre of the settlement, there is a large two-storey building complex with palatial characteristics. It was possibly built around 2000 BC and was destroyed in a violent manner, like many of the old Minoan palaces, circa 1700 BC, most likely due to an earthquake and/or a fire.
A Greek-Italian excavation team has recently brought to light a very important Minoan settlement of the Old Palace period (19th century BC – 1600 BC). It was unearthed near the current village of Apodoulou, on the southern side of an elevated location named Gournes, in the southern part of the Amari region.
Syvritos was acity-state that flourished in Antiquity. It was located on Kefala hill, which dominates the landscape in the northern part of the Municipality of Amari, west of Thronos village. The advantageous, naturally secure location of the city gave it control over every transaction handled between the northern and the southern part of the region of Rethymnon.