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The archaeological site of ancient Aptera is located 15 km away from Chania city centre or 24 km from Platanias. If you are visiting Rethymno city, Aptera it perfect for making a stop on the way there and explore this fascinating historical site with a great panoramic view. Alternatively, it can be a part of a day trip, if you combine this visit with a swim in one of Akrotiri’s delightful beaches – Seitan Limania, Stavros, Kalathas, Marathis or Loutraki.

Only recently Ancient Aptera has started attracting the attention in truly deserves and the local administration began to organise the site as the scene of great historical importance, as well as a potential major tourist attraction.

According to the myth, the beautiful name of Aptera comes from the time when the battle between Sirens and Muses took place on the hillside of this area. When Muses won the fight, Sirens shed off their feathers and remained featherless – “apteres”. These feathers turned white and fell into the sea, forming the small islets of Souda Bay – Lefkes.

Aptera’s history traces back to as far as IV century B.C. and it has been established that this settlement has turned into a prosperous commercial centre, continuing to flourish all the way through the period of Roman Empire (67 BC – 324 AD). Afterwards, the town of Aptera shifted its focus from trade to agriculture and gradually gave away its importance in the region to other emerging cities.

This Cretan archaeological site may not be as vast but it surely is rich on findings. Apart from the beautiful amphitheatre, taking a tour of Aptera you will discover the fortifications, Roman baths, monastery, parliament chambers, necropolis and remnants of private houses.

Ancient Aptera Chania Crete


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