The Archaeological Sites of Chania
For the lovers of ancient Greek and Cretan civilization, but also for the uninformed who seek to satiate their thirst for knowledge of the past, the prefecture of Chania offers a unique trip back in time.
Beyond the ancient Minoan remains and the scattered historical discoveries of ancient Kydonia
that are located beneath the modern city of Chania,
there are also more cities of classical Greek antiquity and of the Roman world that crop up in every corner of the prefecture.
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.
Elyros - The site of the ancient Greek city of Elyros is located 500 m above this village on the Kefala hill, above the road to Sougia, and is presently unexcavated.
Elyros was one of the most important Greek cities in western Crete. It was an industrial and commercial city which had factories for weaponry production. Sougia and Lissos were its harbors.
Fort of Itzedin - The Byzantine Empire was followed by the Turkish rule which became all the more crushingly felt as a result of the imposing presence of the Koule in the northern edge of the hill which is positioned above the fort of Itzedin.
Lissos - Ancient Lissos, which may be likened to a lost city, can be reached either by boat from Sougia or on foot; a hike that takes about an hour.
The latter option entails an traversing a beautiful, scenic and relatively passable gorge and climbing a mountainside before a descent to the lovely pebble beach.
Phalasarna - On the westernmost edge, adjacent to one of the most beautiful beaches of the prefecture, is where the remains of ancient Phalasarna are situated.
Secure behind powerful Hellenistic walls, the city had an enclosed, well-fortified port which made it one of the strongest naval and piratical cities of Crete.
Polyrhenia - West of Chania and south of Kisamos is where the ancient Polyrhenia, another ancient city of Crete, founded at an impressive location, dominates above the plain and the gulf of Kisamos.
Ancient Polyrhenia was a rich and powerful city due to its strategic position; its acropolis has views of both the Cretan and the Libyan seas.
Archaeological remains can be seen in many other places of the prefecture like ancient Minoa
in Marathi of Akrotiri,
the temple of Diktynna in Menies,
the Hellenistic remains in Rokka,
the Roman residences with the mosaic floors in Kissamos,
the agrarian sanctuary of Poseidon in Tsiskiana, ancient Elyros in Rodovani
and ancient Tarra at the exit of Samaria Gorge.