Lissos and Syia were the harbours of the city of Elyros, the most important ancient city of the area, located near the village Rodovani. It was established in the Classical period and flourished until the Late Antiquity. The early history of the city is unknown. Based on inscriptions and coins of the 3rd century BC, we know the city allied with King Magas of Cyrene, and joined the League of Oreians. Lissos had powerful trading and fishing navy.

There were discovered ruins of theatre, aqueduct, cemetery, and baths of the ancient times, and Palaiochristian basilicas. In the area, there were also found many votive objects, which are now exhibited at the Archaeological Museums of Heraklion and Chania. In no other city of Crete, apart from Gortys, there were found so many pieces of sculpture. This fact testifies the prosperity and the power of the Asclepieion of Lissos. Lissos has its own coins with the images of Artemis and dolphin and the word LISION (of the Lisians).

Beside the Asklepieion and the Roman necropolis there are also two Greek Orthodox churches: Agios Kyrikos has some nice frescoes, and the chapel of Panagia is built with ancient marble blocks.

The small beach is a coarse pebble beach. Nobody lives in Lissos nowadays. You can reach it from Sougia by boat or by foot (90 minutes walk).

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Founded: 400 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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Martine DA SILVA (8 months ago)
Nice, no frills hotel close to everything. Great welcome from the owners. And good advice.
Jesse D (16 months ago)
Super warm welcome. Room sufficient & clean. Ideally located for exploring Sougia & surrounding hills.
_.tzo.tzo._ _ (2 years ago)
An terrible experience
Christine Bold (2 years ago)
Very comfortable and clean with air con and free wifi. Large mountain view balcony was overlooked by others but for one night this did not matter. We would come here again.
Clive Morris (2 years ago)
Lovely friendly welcome. Rooms are not the latest thing but are clean and functional. The garden is a riot of colourful scented flowers. Close to beach, shop and cafe. Very good value. Safe quiet location.
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Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.