The archaeological site is perched atop a steep hill on the way to Vathy from Apollonia. The climb is steep (have plenty of water handy) but those who attempt a visit are rewarded with excellent views and an archaeological site where excavations are ongoing. A small church dedicted to Saint Andreas provides a recognizable landmark for the site along with a conspicuous sign on the side of the road.
The site is hard to reach via a “donkey” path that zig-zags up the steep face of the cliff for about 427 meters. The climb is challenging and it takes about fifteen or twenty minutes to complete. The ancient town that has been unearthed is Mycenean.
Built in the 13th century BCE, it was inhabited for about one hundred years before being abandoned in the 12th century BCE. It was once again inhabited in the Geometric era (second haf of 8th c.), at the same period when the nearby town of Kastro was founded. The site was occupied with few periods of abandonment until the beginning of the 4th century BCE.
The town was naturally fortified by the steep hill that also provided good visibility for miles, and it was further protected by a double fortification wall all around. The wall was constructed in the Mycenaean era and was later repaired by the new inhabitants of the Geometric period (8th c. BCE).
Some parts of the walls exibit the massive “cyclopean” construction of the Mycenaeans. The ruins of buildings and pottery from the different eras of habitation have been unearthed, and excavations are ongoing.
An ancient wall reconstruction and numerous Roman era sarcophagi decorate the narrow streets of Kastro as testament to the town’s importance in antiquity. A small archaeological museum houses artifacts from various excavations.
The Syphnians built an elaborate network of watch towers in an attempt to establish a communication system that would warn against a seaborne invasion. These towers were round and tall and provided early warning through fire signals, and 55 of them have been located around the island in various states of ruin.
Near the town of Platis Gialos, at the position called "Akrotiraki", excavations began in 1896 by Polak and are ongoing for the exploration of a prehistoric cemetary dated to the second half of the 3d millennium BCE.