Medieval Greece: Fortresses and Castles on the Greek Islands

Greece is more than a Mediterranean summer recipe for success: Sun, sea, and sand. It’s a country that is ever so diverse, with a historical significance that spans thousands of centuries. From the ancient times that put Greece on the civilization map, lighting the way for others to follow; through the Medieval times. A period that saw Greece as the center of conquest. A never-ending story until we reach modern times, attracting many tourists eager for a fantastic climate and gorgeous landscapes.

Medieval Greece: Fortresses and Castles

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GREECE ESSENTIALS
Last-minute plans? Check these top picks

Where to stay in Greece
If you’re looking for accommodation in Greece, compare hotels, BnBs, and home rental offers on Booking.com and Hotels.com. If you prefer to stay in an Airbnb, here you can find great deals. You can also check alternatives directly on Tripadvisor.

Top-rated tours in Greece
Athens: Acropolis Small-Group Guided Tour with Entry Ticket (Top pick from US$ 71.23).
Crete: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos (From US$ 29.65).
Santorini: Guided Winery Tour (From US$ 72.50).
Mykonos: The Original Morning Delos Guided Tour (Traditional best-seller from US$ 65).
Kos: Full-Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands (From US$ 35).
Corfu: Day Cruise to Paxi Islands & Blue Caves (From US$ 35.50).
Zakynthos: Navagio Shipwreck Beach & Blue Caves Tour (From US$ 53.25).

Value for money
Athens: Combo Ticket Pass for Museums & Hop-On Hop-Off Bus (City card from US$ 65).
Athens: Athens Airport: Private Transfer to or from City Center (From US$ 49.79).
Chania: Pre-Booked Dinner Card Menu at 4 Restaurants (Pick up included, from US$ 127.97).

Touring Greece by car?
By far the best way to discover the country. I use both Discover Cars and Rentalcars.com to reach far off places where my old jalopy won’t take me.

Are you covered?
For complete peace of mind, it’s always better to have travel insurance. Check quotes on World Nomads.

Three items you need in Greece
Don’t forget your daypack for beach days and excursions. Add the Lonely Planet Guide or get a copy of my own guide if you’re visiting West Crete!

Need more info? Head to this page with my favorite resources or join my Facebook Group!

Medieval Greece

The ancient heritage is largely known, but the Greek Medieval era is less so. Not many know that Greece has numerous fortresses and castles. These, combined with their island setting, are in fact attractions worth visiting on your next Greek island escape. Here are some suggestions including the best examples of Medieval Greece.

Koules, Heraklion.

Medieval Greece on Crete: Venetian walls (Heraklion)

Crete’s capital, Heraklion, is essentially a coastal city encased by a series of Venetian Walls. These walls create a fortification around the port, making it a wonderful and unique scene for visitors. Due to these walls, Heraklion is considered one of the largest cities enclosed by such fortified walls.

During the Venetian period around the 13th century, the walls were used to protect it from sieges but today they stand in amazing condition, towering over the city, offering popular walking routes coupled with beautiful scenic views. You can discover them all, leading down to the most impressive monument, the Koules fortress by the sea, on your next visit to Crete.

>> Visiting Heraklion for a couple of days only? Check this short itinerary <<

Medieval landscape in Heraklion, Crete.

A very convenient choice for accommodation in Heraklion is staying in a city location that also guarantees peace and quiet from all the city’s hustle and bustle. We personally love this hotel, and it’s one of our best memories in the city.

>> Check The Tiny Book’s Accommodation Guide to Heraklion <<

Medieval Corfu: Fortresses & castles

Corfu is another island that has been in the midst of Medieval conquest and came under Venetian rule between the 14th century until the 18th century. Four hundred years of Venetian influence left their mark on the island in the form of some stunning fortresses and castles that are the main attractions for many visitors to admire.

GREECE-CORFU-oldtown-1
Corfu town.

Specifically, the Old Venetian Fortress and the New Fortress in Corfu Town are the main highlights.

They are part of the culture of Corfu and garrisons of the charm of the island.

Corfu is also home to some gorgeous castles such as Angelokastro and Kassiopi castles of the Byzantine era. Paying them a visit will fill you with awe and will surely create within you visual memories to last a lifetime, with the incredible views that come with them.

>> Read more about Corfu in this post <<

Choose between a stunning Airbnb on the island or a family seaside resort in Corfu for your stay, and plan a day to explore the aforementioned landmarks from there!

The Fortified Kastro of Folegandros

Folegandros is a striking island destination in many ways. It provides a refreshing alternative for holidays in the Cyclades with wild natural beauty and a quiet atmosphere. A dramatic island with clifftops and sharp peaks that will leave you utterly amazed.

The Kastro (which means castle in Greek) integrates all the natural characteristics of the place, even when the area is not really medieval… nor a proper castle in itself. But, come on! Who really cares?

Folegandros is one of those islands well worth a visit.

In Folegandros, the Kastro is in the Chora and is right on the edge of an astonishing cliff. Once there, sauntering around its alleyways of cobblestone streets you will not feel the same adrenaline, rather, this settlement creates a sense that it is very enclosed and protected from the elements.

white and blue landscape Folegandros Island, Greece

As this is mostly a local settlement, with small Cycladic houses that retain their traditional character, a design, seaview hotel in Folegandros, can offer you totally relaxing holiday.

>> You can also check the best places to stay in Folegandros here <<

Are you ready to explore Greece? It can be the trip of your lifetime. Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your itinerary. If you happen to also tour West Crete, check this guide. You’ll find detailed info about where to go, what to see, where to eat, and more!

Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!

Coming to Greece any time soon? These resources will help you organize the trip!

Start by heading right to my Greece travel guide for in-depth details you need to know about Greece. You can also check my post to plan a trip to Greece with children!

Probably, you’re planning to experience the thrilling island-hopping experience. Head to this article and read about the best cruise ports in Greece.

To have updated information about the island of Crete, as well as about the rest of Greece, join my private group on Facebook about Crete and download a copy of my West Crete Travel Guide to have it always with you if you visit Crete!

Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!

I never move around the islands without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy, light, roomy, and super comfortable travel partner I just love. To visit villages, sites, and museums instead, I carry this little crossbody bag.

When driving around, I pack my Nikon D7200. In Summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion, the sun on the island can be pretty aggressive. Always bring with you a good travel guide! Lonely Planet’s Best of Greece & the Greek Islands.

Airfares to Greece can change from one airline to the other, make sure to compare prices with a powerful search engine. Planes are fast, but nothing like the romantic experience of traveling by sea in Greece. Direct Ferries has great ticket deals.

If I need to book accommodation, I personally use different search engines. Booking.com and Hotels.com are my go-to options.

Sometimes, the best way to get to know a place and make the most of your time is to join an organized tour. GetYourGuide has top-rated tours to save time and money. From cooking lessons to archaeological site tours, skip-the-line attractions, and even airport transfer!

Do you have everything you need? Then you just have to get ready to discover Greece!

These articles about Greece have been thought just for you!

If you’re curious about traveling the Greek islands, check the most amazing places to visit in Greece. Crete is my favorite island of all, and these 50 unmissable things to do in Crete is a great article from where to start planning a visit. Greece is also an ideal place for scuba diving, here you can discover where to do it on the islands.

Head to this article to check the best ports for cruises in Greece. This guide, instead, shows you the best things you can do in Athens if you visit for three days. If you have less time in the capital of Greece, find inspiration in this article describing all you can do if you have one day to spend in Athens.

Where would you like to go? Crete, Corfu, or Folegandros?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Medieval Greece: Fortresses and Castles
Medieval Greece: Fortresses and Castles
Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

About the Author

Hola! I’m Gabi. Welcome to The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog! I moved to Crete to explore the island all year round. I love taking pictures and driving on the mountain roads of Crete. I’m a beach freak and on this island I’ve found heaven on earth!

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