After the destruction of Mycenae by the Dorians 1120BC, Crete was conquered by this new Greek race. With the descent of the Dorians in the island, new customs were introduced, such as the use of iron, cremation and new ways of clothing (a large piece of cloth fastened with a buckle on the shoulder). This period lasted until the conquest of Crete by the Romans in 69AD.
In the 7th century BC, Cretan colonies were founded in Sicily, Marseilles, Cyrene and the Cretan trade flourished again.
Ancient Eleftherna is located 25km southeast of Rethymno, close to the Monastery of Arkadi. The town is the most important archaeological site in the prefecture of Rethymno, which has not fully been excavated and it is expected to give archaeologists many more discoveries. The first organized excavations here started in 1985 by the University of Crete.
The ruins of ancient Lato are located approximately 3km north of Kritsa, scattered between two hills at an altitude of 380m. This site has stunning views over the bay of Mirabello.
Ancient Itanos (Erimoupolis)
The ancient Itanos was one of the strongest cities in Crete, especially during the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman times. The name comes from its founder Itanos, who came from Phoenicia. Its territory, during its peak, stretched from Cape Samonio (current Cape Sidero) to Cape Erythrae (current Cape Goudouras). The city flourished due to glass trade, fishing and trade of Tyrian purple, the red dye coming from shell extract. Koufonissi Island, which was owned by Itanos, was famous for the production of purple. Also, in Palekastro was located the temple of Diktaean Zeus, which brought big profits in the region.
Praesus (or Praesos, Pressos, Praisos) was built on three hills located about 13km south of Sitia and 2km from Nea Pressos. The city was founded by the Eteocretans (= genuine Cretans) who abandoned the Minoan towns and found refuge in the inaccessible areas of Crete after the Dorian invasion (1100BC). It owned two ports, one in Sitia region (Etea) and one on the south coast (Stiles).
Trypitos by Sitia
The archaeological site of Trypitos is located on a small peninsula, 3km east of Sitia, near the beach Karavopetra, which has stunning view to Sitia city. It is considered to be the ancient city of Sitia, Itia, which was originally the port of Praesus. The city flourished in the Hellenistic period (350pCh-50BC).
Ancient Dreros (or Driros) was built on the Mount Kadistos, next to the current church of St. Anthony, 2km northeast of Neapolis town. The town was inhabited by Eteocretans and Dorians (who arrived in Crete in 1100BC) and flourished in the Classical - Hellenistic Period.
Elyros was the most important town in southwestern Crete during the Doric and Roman Period. Ruins are conserved 500m far from the village Rodovani atop the panoramic hill Kefala. The town had two harbours: Syia(current Sougia) and Lissos. The exact location of the town was verified by an inscription with the phrase in Greek "Glory to the people of Elyros".
The ancient town of Falasarna (or Phalasarna) is located at the west base of the peninsula Gramvousa and was one of the major towns of Crete during the Hellenistic Era. The city was famous for its port, the only natural harbor in western Crete, built in a small lagoon.