Cretan History


Ancient Lato
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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. The name Lato is taken after the Dorian pronunciation of the goddess Leto, who probably was worshiped here. However, the patron of the city was the goddess of childbirth, Eileithyia, who is depicted on the coins of Lato. moverer in Lato was born the admiral of Alexander the Great, Nearchus (360 to 312 BC). His father Androtimos was the ruler of Lato and moved to Macedonia, where he became adviser to King Philip II. Young Nearchus followed him and grew along with his friend Alexander, also having Aristotle as tutor.

The town existed in the Minoan period, but actually flourished after the Dorian invasion. It as inhabited till the Roman era, when it started to decline. Lato was one of the strongest cities in Crete, as evidenced by the agreements (inscriptions have survived) with other towns. The port of Lato was on the site of today’s Agios Nikolaos and was named Kamara. Kamara at the 3rd-2nd century BC took the lead from its mother-town Lato, like most seaside places on Crete due to the development of maritime trade.

Lato is a visited archaeological site which is considered the best preserved town of the classical - Hellenistic period in Crete and one of the most complete in Greece. Here you will see the fortifications, the market, the prytaneum, the little theater, temples, public buildings, cisterns, etc.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient City
  • Peak Period: Roman Era (69 BC - 395 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Opening Hours: 8:00-15:00, except Mondays
  • Entrance Fee (€): 2€, Reduced 1€
  • Website:
  • e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Phone: +30 2841025115
  • Fax: +30 2841022462
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