Aptera, is an ancient city of Crete, now in ruins, located about 8 Kilometers from Almyrida Sands.
It is one of the most beautiful sites of Crete still not well known.
The visit is only allowed for 2 years and much research remains to be done to highlight it.
Aptera was founded on the hill of Paliokastro at an altitude of about 230 meters and overlooks the entire bay of Souda, about 15 km east of the present town of Chania.
Founded in the 8th century BC. At the end of the Minoan period, the city reached its peak in the Hellenistic period.
Aptera, with its strategic position in the Bay of Souda, had two ports: Minoa (the present Marathi) and Kissamos (near the present Kalyvès).
Aptera continued to be an important city during the Roman period and then in the early days of the Byzantine Empire, before being destroyed by two earthquakes in the 4th and 6th centuries and then by the Saracens in 823.
The Venetians then built a fort on the site of the city. It was destroyed by pirates in 1583.
The strategic position of the site was also exploited by the Ottomans who built a fortress overlooking the entire Souda Bay to the north of the site as well as by the German troops who positioned themselves on the plateau of the old city during the Second World War World.
Robert Pashley was the first to establish a link between the ruins discovered on the hill of Paliokastro and the city of Aptera, confirming this identification with the currencies found on the site.
The archaeological excavations began in 1942. They were then conducted by the Germans who occupied the island.
Further excavations were carried out in 1986-1987 and then in 1992-1995. Excavations continue today.