The town is said to have been founded during the reign of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus in the 3rd Century BC, as a supply post during his war with Rome. After the Roman conquest of the island in 230 BC, many Emperors visited, most prominently Emperor Nero, who came to a Temple to Zeus here.
Much of a small headland to the north of the resort is taken up by a Byzantine fortress. The fortress was subsequently fortified further by the Venetians, and survived sieges from the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. Today parts of the fortress's walls can be seen from the coastal road around the headland