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Archaeological Site Of Aptera

Archaeological Site Of Aptera

Archaeological Site Of Aptera

Chania Prefecture – Aptera


Details / Information  Overview:

Archaeological Site of Aptera – Uncovering the Ancient Marvel of Crete

Nestled on a picturesque plateau 200 meters above Souda Bay, just 15 kilometers away from the charming city of Chania, you’ll discover the remarkable Archaeological Site of Aptera. This historical gem was one of the most influential city-states in Crete, with a rich tapestry of history spanning from the Minoan Period to the Roman Empire.

Aptera Through the Ages

  • Minoan Period (3500-1070 BC): The roots of Aptera trace back to the Minoan Period, where the city’s foundation was laid.
  • Hellenistic Period (4th – 3rd centuries BC): Aptera reached its zenith during this era, making its own coins and becoming a hub of economic and political power. Coins from this time depicted the goddess Artemis and the city’s rulers.
  • Roman Empire (67 BC – 324 AD): As the Pax Romana set in, Aptera’s influence began to wane, but agriculture flourished.
  • Byzantine Era: While occupied during the Byzantine years, Aptera didn’t experience the same prosperity as during earlier periods.


The Enigmatic Name “Aptera”

The origins of Aptera’s name are cloaked in myth and history. Some believe it refers to “Artemis Aptera,” while others attribute it to a legendary king named Pteras or Apteras. According to a charming myth passed down by Stefanos Byzantios, the name derives from a mythical battle between the Muses and the Sirens on the hill of Aptera. In this tale, the defeated Sirens lost their feathers and remained “apteres,” giving their name to the city.

A Journey Through History

When you visit the Archaeological Site of Aptera, you embark on a captivating journey through Crete’s past. Ongoing excavations continue to reveal new insights, drawing more visitors to this enchanting place. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll encounter:

  • City Fortifications: The well-preserved fortification walls, stretching almost 4 kilometers in length, speak to Aptera’s prosperity during Hellenistic times.
  • Roman Cisterns: Explore the arched Roman cisterns that once supplied water to the city’s public and private baths.
  • Parliamentary Chamber: Discover a triple-arched arcade building associated with the parliamentary chamber.
  • Ancient Temple: Explore the “double-parted sanctuary,” a small two-room temple dating back to the 5th – 4th century BC.
  • Ancient Theatre: Marvel at the limestone-built ancient theater, located at the southeastern entrance of the city.
  • Private House: Stroll through part of a large private house, a Roman-style manor with a peristyle courtyard and a tiled roof gallery.
  • Necropolis: Journey outside the city walls to the ancient necropolis, where tombs from various historical periods await discovery.
  • Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos: Admire the partially restored monastery constructed with materials from the ancient city.
  • Historic Fortresses: Near the site, you’ll find two significant fortresses built during the Ottoman period, “Palaiokastro” (Koules) and “Itzedin” fortress at Kalami.


Additionally, the Archaeological Museum of Chania showcases various artifacts from Aptera, including vases, coins, burial figurines, inscriptions, sculptures, and miniatures.

Explore the mysteries of Aptera, where history and legend intertwine, and where the ancient world comes to life.

Address  Address:

Aptera, Apokoronas, Chania

Location (City, Village, Area)  Location:

Aptera, Apokoronas, Chania

Telephone number  Telephone:

(+30) 2825033425, (+30) 2821044418, (+30) 94487

Fax number  Fax:

(+30) 2821044418 & (+30) 2821094487

E-mail address  E-mail:

[email protected]

Website Url Url:

Operating Period  Operating Period:


Operating Days & Hours  Operating Days & Hours:

From 16 April to 30 August: 08:00 – 20:00
From 1 to 15 September: 08:00 – 19:30
From 16 to 30 September: 08:00 – 19:00
From 1 to 15 October:08:00 – 18:30
From16 to 31 October:08:00 – 18:00

Admission Fee  Admission Fee:

• General admission: Full: €4, Reduced: €2

Notes  Notes:


 Media  Media:



* The above information, is subject to change without prior notification from the institution. In any case, has no responsibility for any occurred changes.

 Last update 30/10/2023

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