Aptera Ancient City of Crete, Grece

Aptera Ancient City is an interesting archaeological site in western Crete. It was inhabited since Minoan times, but only became an important city around the 8th century BC. It is located around 13 km away from Chania. Furthermore, it was once a very powerful and wealthy city. Aptera Ancient City had amassed massive wealth from trade. The ancient city was probably the leading centre of Minoan Crete. Aside from traders, most of its residents own ships. In those years, most trades were made through the sea. Aptera Ancient City had its own coin, depicting God Zeus and a woman on the other side, and an ancient soldier on the other. During the ancient Minoan years, Aptera was in alliance with Kydonia, the most powerful city in the region. A massive earthquake hit the Aptera Ancient City in the 7th century, which caused most of its residents to abandon the once renowned city. A monastery, dedicated to St. John the Theologian, remained amidst the ruins. The enclosed part is only a small area of the very large site which surrounds the whole hill. Aside from its archaeological interest, the Aptera Ancient City offers a scenic view of the Bay of Souda, and the White Mountains. In winter and early spring, the mountains are covered in snow.

Most landmarks, tourist spots, historical ruins, and archaeological sites in Crete can be accessed by hiking. It is one way of exploring the gorgeous island while enjoying the health benefits of walking. There are available hiking trails and routes for hikers. When one is not the adventurous type, opting for a car drive going around the area is typical. Tourists must be aware that there are no public buses available in Aptera Ancient City. Car rental in Crete is the most ideal way of touring the island. Many companies offer car rental services in the area. When deciding to try Car Rental Crete, it is important to note that there are some things to consider before availing of a car rental service. When renting a vehicle in Crete, one must be 21 years old with a valid licence. The driver must also present a credit or debit card with its name on it. There are different car rental packages available for everyone depending on their needs. A family of 5 can opt for a larger vehicle to explore the Aptera Ancient City. While some may prefer smaller cars when driving in Crete because of its challenging roads.

What is the history of Aptera Ancient City?

Aptera Ancient City’s history begins in the Minoan Period. However, there are also traces dating back to the Geometry Period, the Hellenistic Period, and the Roman Empire. The Aptera Ancient City was once Crete’s most important city. It was completely destroyed during a major earthquake in the 7th century AD. It was partially rebuilt during the 10th century. According to Greek mythology, Aptera was the location of the epic competition between the Sirens and the Muses. The Muses were victorious, while the Siren’s wing feathers vanished, and, having thus become white, cast themselves into the ocean. The name of the city means “without wings”, and the nearest island, Leucae means “white”. There are several structures inside the square monastery enclosure. An ancient theatre and a Roman galleria villa have also been discovered on the site.

Where is Aptera Ancient City located?

Aptera was an ancient city located in western Crete and a kilometre inland from the southern shore of Souda Bay. It is about 13 km east of Chania, in the municipality of Akrotiri.

How many people live in Aptera Ancient City Crete?

The Aptera Ancient City, now an archaeological site, is located in Megala Chorafia, Souda, Crete. Souda has a population of 6,477. The total male population is 3,229 (49.9%). While the female population is 3, 248 (50.1%).

Amphitheater at the ancient-city of aptera

What to know before going to Aptera Ancient City?

Aptera Ancient City is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in western Crete. Aptera was destroyed in the great earthquake of 365 AD. Afterwards, it was only sparsely inhabited, and a monastery dedicated to St. John the Theologian remained. It is important to know more things before going to Aptera Ancient City. Visitors may want to check  the Crete Travel Guide online before going. A part of the Aptera Ancient City is fenced off and visitors must pay a small entrance fee of around 2 euros. It is closed every Monday. It is open from 8 am to 2:30 pm. Within the site, one can visit the impressive Roman cisterns, and ruins of Roman bath houses. When visiting the site, choose a pair of comfortable shoes to walk the uphill part of the Aptera Ancient City. There are few tavernas and cafés in the village on the way to the site. Tourists who wish to stay for the night can book a villa or cottage at nearby places offering great accommodation.

Is Aptera Ancient City safe?

Yes, Aptera Ancient City is definitely a safe place to visit. Tourists can enjoy their walk within the area without fearing for their safety. The island of Crete in general is safe to visit. There are minimal serious crimes recorded on the island.

View on the Venetian Fortress in Aptera

What is the best season for visiting Aptera Ancient City?

The best season for visiting Aptera Ancient City is during summer. It is open from 8 am to 8 pm. From the start of the month of September up to the end of October, its closing time shortens by half an hour every couple of weeks, from 8 pm to 6 pm.

What is the best vehicle for visiting Aptera Ancient City?

There are no public buses available in Aptera Ancient City, but renting a car is the best vehicle for visiting the monastery. Tourists can go to many beautiful spots on their own using a rented car. Just make sure to always check the requirements for renting a car. Tourists may want to use a van, especially for bigger groups. A motorcycle may be used for solo travellers. Driving a car, and going to Aptera Ancient City, which is one of the most ancient cities in Crete, is the most convenient way to explore the area. There are several car rental services in Crete. It is best to look for the one that offers the best packages and affordable prices.

Can you rent a car going to the Aptera Ancient City?

Yes, you can rent a car to go to the Aptera Ancient City. There are no available public buses to Aptera. It is recommended to rent a car, especially for tourists. Renting a car in Crete will give tourists the freedom and flexibility to travel on their own.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance. Insurance is important when renting a car in Crete. It includes insurance for Collision Damage waiver, and a driver’s credit or debit card is required as a guarantee. Car rental insurance protects a driver against the cost of damage that may happen when renting a vehicle.
  • Driver’s age. The minimum age to rent a car in Crete and Rental Center Crete is 21 years old. A driving licence valid for at least 12 months is also required.
  • Driver’s gender. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving regardless of gender is allowed in Crete. A female driver can drive anywhere in Crete. While some believe that men are generally better drivers than women. At Crete Car Rental, both genders can rent and drive a vehicle.
  • Car type. Opting for a smaller car is best when driving in Crete.  The main reason is that Greek roads are narrow. There are noticeable smaller cars on the roads too.
  • Documents needed for renting a car. Most car rental companies in Crete will require a credit or debit card with the driver’s name on it. Others may think that the only document needed for renting a car is a driving licence.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

The car rental cost in Crete varies depending on the location, the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, and duration. The average cost of renting a car in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day. Renting a car for a whole week will cost on average €250, while renting for the weekend will cost around  €78. Affordable Crete car rental varies depending on the car type.

What is the contribution of Aptera Ancient City to Crete Tourism?

The tourism industry, especially on the island of Crete, has become the fastest-growing tourism market in Greece. It has recorded a 60% growth in the last six years. Crete is known to have several traditions and history, especially in culture. It is also very safe for tourists from around the globe. There are many great places to visit in Crete, and one of them is the Aptera Ancient City. A tourist who loves history and likes to visit archaeological sites will definitely appreciate the Aptera Ancient City. Aside from its archaeological interest, Aptera Ancient City offers majestic views of the Souda Bay. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry has been greatly affected globally. People are advised to stay home and limit their travels. The tourism industry in Crete has declined drastically, and there are no tourists visiting the island. Now that the world has opened its way, especially in travelling, the tourism industry is expected to be back in Crete.  A total of 4.55 million international tourists visited Greece between January and July 2021. This is good that people are now back to travelling and spending their holidays in beautiful places. Travel restrictions are also improving, but some areas in Crete are still observing Covid-19 health protocols. Wearing masks is still observed, especially in public indoor areas.

What are the movies about Aptera Ancient City?

There are no movies about Aptera Ancient City as of this time.

Is Aptera Ancient City in UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

No, Aptera Ancient City is not included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Crete. It is, however,  an archaeological site in Crete. At present, it is still being excavated and features some very well-preserved structures.

Why is Aptera Ancient City considered an archaeological site?

Aptera Ancient City is an archaeological site because the site continues to bring light to new significant finds through ongoing excavations. A visit to the archaeological site will get one acquainted with Crete’s history. Written sources show that the city’s prosperity was during Hellenistic times, when it started to cut its own coins.

Ruins of the Ancient City of Aptera