Aptera (Ἄπτερα or Ἀπτερία; more anciently, Ἄptaϝra) also called Apteron was an ancient city, now an archaeological site in western Crete, a kilometre inland from the southern shore of Souda Bay, about 13 km east of Chania in the municipality of Akrotiri. It is mentioned (A-pa-ta-wa) in Linear B tablets from the 14th-13th centuries BC. With its highly fortunate geographical situation, the city-state was powerful from Minoan through Hellenistic times, when it gradually declined. In Greek mythology, here was placed the scene of the legend of the contest between the Sirens and the Muses, when after the victory of the latter, the Sirens lost the feathers of their wings from their shoulders, and having thus become white, cast themselves into the sea, whence the name of the city Aptera (literally meaning "without wings"), and of the neighbouring islands Leucae (meaning "white"). It was at one time in alliance with Cnossus, but was afterwards compelled by the Polyrrhenians to side with them against that city. The port of Aptera according to Strabo was Cisamos. In the third century BCE Aptera was at war with Kydonia, a prominent ancient city on northwestern Crete. In much of the Greek Archaic Period, Aptera was under the control of Kydonia. It was destroyed by earthquake during the 7th century. By the 12th century, a monastery of St. John Theologos had been built on the site; it continued in operation until 1964. The site is now maintained by the Greek Ministry of Culture, Department of Antiquities. The hilltop, about 150 metres above the sea, commands views of Souda Bay and the Akrotiri Peninsula to the north, the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) to the south, and Kalives and the Turkish Itzendin Castle to the east; the city of Chania is not quite visible to the west. There are several structures within the square monastery enclosure, including a chapel and a two-story block of monks' cells. The surrounding site is notable for a two-part temple from the 5th century BC, a large three-vaulted Roman cistern, Roman baths, and parts of several Doric temples. An ancient theater and a Roman peristyle villa have also been discovered on the site.Wikipedia
Overview of Aptera
Welcome to the page of Aptera. This is a place of interest in the city of Crete in Greece. Missed by most of the visitors, Aptera is unique in its own way.
Home to bountiful attractions like Samaria Gorge, Palace Of Knosos, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Hania and Aquaworld Aquarium, there are many things to do in Crete that you can explore on your visit.
Crete tours ideally do not include a visit to Aptera.
More about Crete
Try the best Crete trip planner to visit this Aptera as well as many others.
Fine Accommodation options like Mamas-villas (roussakis), Hariklia Rent Rooms, Ellinospito and Traditional Rooms Elena will meet your requirement of where to stay in Crete.
Check out the best Crete vacation packages that include a visit to Aptera or create your own today!
Explore the gems of Crete with the best Crete tours! Check out the list of top Aptera tickets and tours today!
Visit the most beautiful and historical area of Chania.
Gorgeous ruins that you can walk up and into. Unlike the more known Knossos, very little here has been reconstructed, giving it a much more authentic feel... you aren't left wondering what is "real" or not! Not to mention that it has one of the best views in Crete! A must!
Virtually untouched, unlike some of the other archaeological ruins in Crete. You can really immerse yourself, especially if you don't mind wading through shoulder- high weeds. The baths and cisterns are especially interesting.
Wonderful setting overlooking Souda Bay and with the White Mountains to the south. Impressive cisterns and beautifully restored
Better than Knossos and the entrance fee is only 2 EUR!
The most interesting historic place we went to (we did all the big ones in Chania, Rethimno, Agios Nikalaos and Heraklion). Really good value for money and helpful staff at the office too. Side note: don't miss Rethimno.