Ancient Elyros

Ancient 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.

Elyros was also important during Roman and Byzantine times.

A Roman statue of the Philosopher of Elyros was excavated here and is now in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

It also was the seat of an Archbishop and the remains of the bishopric church, a sixth century basilica, can still be seen in the centre of the old city.

A larger, modern church marks the site of Elyros on a small hill, just after the bypass of the branch to Rodovani. Very little is to be seen at the site itself.

However, you have a superb view of the valleys below that belonged to Elyros as far as Sougia. The Elyrians could see their boats in Sougia from their city.

The highest peaks of the Lefka Ori are visible to the east. The olive trees and the villages situated among them dominate the north view.