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At first glance

Themost well-preserved city of theclassical-hellenisticerainCrete, as well as one of themost important Doriccities-states on the island, the city of ancientLatoisbuilton the saddle between two hills at a strategic area which is protected by mountains all around it. The city served as a lookout for monitoringthepassagefromcentraltoeasternCrete, overlookinguponpart of Mirabello bay. Situated in a short distance from Agios Nikolaos and approximately 3 kilometersnorthofKritsa, Latowasnamedafter Leto, the mother ofApollo andArtemis. Nevertheless, the maingoddess worshippedin the citywasEileithyia, depicted on coins minted in the city. In addition, Lato was thebirth-placeofNearchos, an admiral of Alexander the Great (360 to 312 BC).

Places to visit

From theLatoacropolisin the northto the highest hill, atanaltitude of 395 meters, the entirety of theterritorycould bekept under surveillance. Surrounding the city were graveyards, smallfortresses, shrinesandfacilities forfarmersorshepherds. Kamara was the port of the city, located where modern-day Agios Nikolaosisbased.


Even thoughdiscernibleancient ruinson-sitebelong tothe4th and3rdcenturiesBC, a time when the city was flourishing, an organisedsettlementhad already been established since the7thcenturyBC,whereasthe extendedareahad been inhabitedever sinceMinoan times.


Overall, there is a lack of essentialinformationtoestablish a full historical background of the city throughout the ages. Nevertheless, betweenlatethird century BCandearlysecondcentury BC, possiblydue to thedevelopment of commerce andshipping, the ancient harbour Kamara began gainingmorepowerandimportanceand Lato was graduallyabandoned.


Arthur Evans conducted a small-scale excavation (1894-6) whereas systematicarchaeologicalresearchhas been completed bythe FrenchSchool at Athens.

Not to be missed

Visit thearchaeological site and you will see, among other things, fortification walls, theAgora, thePrytaneion, theancient theatre, publicbuildings, cisterns etc. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Mirabello bay from the ruins of the ancient city of Lato.


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More Information

  • Accessible for people with special needs: YES
  • Location: Kritsa, Mirabello
  • Fax: +30 28410 22462
  • Email:
  • Operation Hours: 08:00-15:00
  • Ticket Price (€): 2
  • Reduced Ticket Price (€): 1




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