Aptera is located about 15 km. away from the city of Chania and above Souda Bay, and during the Minoan period was one of the most important city-states of Crete. It is located on en extended plateau with altitude 200m and astonishing view of Souda Bay.
Its history begins from the Minoan Period (3500- 1070 BC), however, the most visible archaeological traces in the ruins belong to the Geometric Period (1000- 685 BC), the Hellenistic Period (323- 67 BC) and the Roman Empire (67 BC – 324 AD).
Fortification, aqueducts, public baths, and graves are some of the findings the visitor can see. The most impressive of the preserved ancient buildings are the groups of Roman reservoirs that together with many wells and tanks served the needs of the city and supplied the facilities of the public and private baths. The city had a theater, which is not completely revealed yet.
There was a wall for the protection of the city, while today has survived a length of about 4 kilometers. During the period 1866-69 the Turks built the castle in order to suppress the Cretan Revolution.
Two castles of unique historical interest are located in a small distance from antiquities. The first is Palaikastro that was built by the Turks for the Revolution of 1866 and the second one is Itzedin castle that is located in Kalami. Itzedin was built in 1872, allocated barracks, hospital and other facilities, while it was used up to recently as a prison for political prisoners.
During the past few years, the 25th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities carries out extended excavations in the archaeological site of Aptera and the surrounding area.