The superb site at Eleutherna (pronounced ‘Eleftherna’) is a must for anybody interested in ancient history and/or archaeology. It is probably the best site in Rethymnon to visit. Situated just south of the village of Margarites, it has yielded Early Minoan artefacts dating back at least 4,000 years, but was at its pomp during Dorian through Byzantine periods (c980 BC – 13th century AD), and continued to be settled under Venetian occupation. The Roman/Byzantine walls here are superb, and there’s a real spirit of place about the site
What one sees now, dates from the 8th century BC to the early 16th century AD, though the most impressive structure remains the Roman built walls, which are still standing. It has in the past gone under the name Apollonia and Prines until the late 19th century. Whilst Minoan artefacts have been found here, it rose to prominence during the Dorian period or Early Geometric in the 10th century BC.