Ministry of Culture and Sports

Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania


Founding myths

Archaeological Site of Aptera


The various founding myths of the city are inextricably linked to the beliefs surrounding its name.

The most prevalent attributes the name of the city, Aptera (meaning ‘wingless’), to an epithet of the goddess Artemis. According to Pausanias, the name is derived from the mythical hero Pteras of Delphi, who built the laurel temple of Apollo.


Stephanus of Byzantium, however, reports the most attractive myth in his Ethnica. According to this, the name arose from the legendary singing contest between the Muses and the Sirens on the hill. The defeated Sirens turned white, stripped their wings from their shoulders and cast themselves into the sea. Their white wings became the Leucae (‘White’) islands in Souda Bay.


Monday: 08:00 - 20:00
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday - Sunday: 08:00 - 20:00

Full price: €4
Concessions: €2

Megala Chorafia, Souda, Crete 730 03
2825033425, 2821044418 & 94487

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