The Ancient City of Aptera

East of the city of Chania, near the village of Megala Chorafia is where ancient Aptera is perched.

It was founded in the 7th century BC in a prominent position where it towers above the gulf of Souda and the plain of Armeni, having at its south the huge bulk of the White Mountains as an impressive setting.

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The city flourished from the classical era to the Hellenistic period (330-68 BC) thanks to its strategic position and came into the hands of the Roman conquerors during which it found itself thriving once again.

In 700 AD, it suffered serious damage during an earthquake and was abandoned for good after the Arab invasions.

Aptera FortAptera Roman BathAptera RuinsAptera Inside Cisterns

Today the visitor can see only a part of the Hellenistic walls of the acropolis hemming in the hill and many ruins which date back to the Roman rule with the highlight being the arched reservoirs and the hot springs.

Antiquity gave its place up to the Byzantine Empire, while Aptera went early on into the Holy Monastery of Patmos. A fort near the site probably dates to the period of Venetian rule.