Historical and archaeological sites

Aptera: The ancient city of Aptera is in one of the most impressive positions in Crete, with an amazing view. Aptera reached its greatest peak in the early Hellenistic Period (end of 4th – beginning of 3rd century B.C.) and was one of the most important city-states of Crete. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 7th century A.D. From Kalyves drive onto the national road in the direction of Chania and follow the sign to Megala Chorafia after about 10 km.
Opening times 08:00-20:00.
More info: "Discover Almyrida & Kalyves... on foot"

Karydi Monastery: Worth visiting is the Monastery of Agios Georgios in Karydi. Here you'll find the remains of a beautiful olive press built in 1860 and consisting of 12 stone arches. The renovated monastery provides an information room with photographs and interesting objects and contains a well-preserved 500 year old silver icon. Just before you reach the monastery, you can also take a right turn onto a dirt road to visit the beautiful church of the Koimisis of Theotokou. The door is closed but not locked, so you can just open the door to see the beautiful frescoes dated from the 11th – 14th century.
Visiting hours are 08:00-20:00.
More info: "Discover Vamos... on foot"

Agios Nikolaos: This church located in Kyriakoselia village is one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches of Crete and belongs to the Second Byzantine period. It is a typical cruciform church with apse and a central tower, and with an interesting later addition at the west end. There are traces of frescoes and engravings from 1362, 1382, & 1388-1397. It was probably built at the end of the 11th or early 12th century.

Venetian stone wells: In the village of Gavalochori, situated under old plane trees, are igloo-shaped Venetian stone wells dating back to the 11th century, and a bridge from the Venetian era. Pottery found on the site can be seen in the folklore museum of Gavalochori. The wells can be reached after a 1 km walk from the sign in the village that directs you to all the sights. The road goes steeply uphill until you reach a T-junction. Here you turn left and walk a little further to reach the site.

Folklore museum of Gavalochori: Here you'll find exhibition halls featuring The Arched House, Silk, Pottery, Lace-making, Masonry and Stone-carving, and Church and Wood-carving. In the historical part of the museum you'll find guns and swords, paintings, coins and medals.
Visiting hours are Monday-Saturday: 09:00-19:00, Sunday: 11:00-18:00.

Roman bridge in Vrisses: At the junction of the road from Vrisses and the national road, in the Rethymnon direction, there is the chief historic landmark of Vrisses: The "Elliniki Kamara", a bridge over the Vrissanos River that dates from the Greco-Roman era. The bridge is in use even today, and is made from stones, which fit together side by side without the use of mud or any other substance to hold them together. Its height is about 6,5 metres.

Minoan settlement: An important Minoan archaeological settlement dating to the Early Minoan Period (3000-2100 B.C.) was discovered during the 1960s. Since the site is not far from Aptera, it has been suggested that the settlement was originally called A-pa-ta-wa, which is referred to in Linear B tablets. Another building on the site has been dated to the archaic period (7th-6th century B.C.). Four large rooms are aligned in a row. The narrower of these may have had a staircase leading to the second floor.
More info: "Discover Almyrida & Kalyves... on foot"

Church of Panagia Zerviotissa: It is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in Crete, named after an icon of Virgin Mary holding baby Christ in her left hand (zerviotissa means in Greek "left-handed"). It was built by monks from Patmos in the 12th century, and its architectural style originated in Constantinople (Istanbul). The church has a cruciform plan based on an equidimensional 'Greek' cross and a dome
whose supporting drum is on the intersection of two aisles. The church was restored in the early 21st century. Location Stylos.
More info in the walking guidebook: "Discover Almyrida & Kalyves... on foot"

Ancient Lappa and Argyroupolis: Argyroupolis is a picturesque green village, built on the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Lappa. There are many interesting sites to visit, such as an old mosaic floor and Roman graves. At the lower part of the village, under the shade of plane trees, you can visit the small waterfalls and eat at one of the plenty taverns where they also have fresh trout!

For more interesting buildings or monuments, please ask at our Tourist Office.