Kissamos was the original name of the ancient community that once existed here in Dorian times (1100 to 67 BC).

Ancient Kissamos was one of Polirinia's ports.

Kissamos - A Bit of History

The name Kissamos was the original name of the ancient community that once existed here from Dorian times (1100 to 67 BC).

Ancient Kissamos was one of Polirinia's ports. (The other was Falasarna). In Roman times (67BC to 337AD) it became an important independent city.

During the early Byzantine period (337AD to 824AD) it continued to prosper and grow. Kissamos was often under attack, because of its wealth and location.

When the Venetians occupied the island (1204 to 1669 AD) they built a fortress or Castelo. It dominated the town and it was then it became known as Kastelli. You can still see many parts of the fortress walls in the town today. Because in Crete there are many towns with the name Kastelli, it was renamed Kissamos. (see about the 'Town Archaeological Museum' in Places to Visit)

 

The Town of Kissamos – Or Is It Kastelli?

Is it Kissamos or Kastelli? (We won’t mention the very many different spellings you will see on signs!).

The official answer is Kissamos according to the Town Hall, Post Office, police, banks and the official website of the Prefecture of Chania. However if you ask any of the local inhabitants where they live, they will usually tell you it is Kastelli. The road signs on the New National Road are for Kissamos - many road maps show the town as Kastelli. If you catch the bus from Chania then you need to look for Kastelli! Perhaps because of all this confusion the town is also often referred to as Kastelli – Kissamos.