Rethymno Fortress

The Rethymno Fortress in Crete is a fortification built during the Venetian Era. It is considered the largest and prominent citadel in Rethymno. Rethymno is situated on a hill. The site is large enough to shelter the whole population of the city. The fortress is known to have been built way back in the late 16th century by the Venetians. Its purpose for building it was to protect the community against external attacks during the war. For easier transportation of weapons, the entrance of the fortress is a large gallery. The fortress was destroyed when the Venetians surrendered to the Ottoman during their 5th Ottoman-Venetian war.

Rethymno is considered as one of the best-preserved cities and most famous festival destinations in Greece. Additionally, the place is considered to be the third-largest city on Crete. The place has different attractive Greek restaurants, cafés, bars, and shops wherein tourists can buy local products. The city is known to have extraordinary examples of ancient architecture and forts in the 16th century. Rethymno still preserves its Medieval-Renaissance ambience, mainly because of its old historic neighbourhood. To visit the city, the tourists’ best option is to arrive at the Chania airport. It is the closest airport to Rethymno and from there they can avail Car Rental in Crete. Car rental is the best vehicle option that tourists can consider as it is more convenient and private than any other transportation. Furthermore, a rented car can give the opportunity to the tourists to visit the different sites in Rethymno at their own time.

What is the history of Rethymno Fortress?

Before the fortress was built, there was a small-walled place that was built to the east of the Paleokastro hill. It was later called Castel Vecchio and was loosely translated as Old Castle. However, the walls were not strong enough to combat the attacks of Uu Ali Reis. It resulted in the Venetians leaving Rethymno and the place was destroyed. When the castle was destroyed, the people in power thought of building a stronger fortress. Paleokastro was the chosen place again to build the fortress that would later be known as the Fortezza Fortress. The Rethymno Fortress, sometimes known as Fortezza Fortress or Venetian Fortezza Castle, is one of the biggest citadels of the Venetian Era. It was built on the Paleokastro hill between 1573 and 1580 by the Venetians. The purpose of building the site was to raise the protection of Crete against the Ottoman Empire. The Venetian surrendered to the Ottoman because the Ottoman surrounded the fortress with armed forces during the 5th Ottoman-Venetian war. It resulted in the Turkish ruling Crete. The place is about 350 metres long and 230 metres wide. The walls around the fortress are about 1.3 metres long, making the site big enough to cater for the whole population of Rethymno. Furthermore, the thick curtain walls of the fortress are inclined outwards so that the bombs will bounce off, preventing the fortress from being damaged.

Where is Rethymno Fortress located?

The Rethymno Fortress is located in the centre of the town of Rethymno. The complete address of the fortress is Rethymno 741 00, Greece and the coordinates are 35°22′19.2″N 24°28′15.6″E. It is situated on the west of Crete and between the Chania and Heraklion cities. Rethymno was created by the Minoans and became highly essential in the Mediterranean world during its prime. The town manufactured its own design of two dolphins in a circle that is placed on the coins.

Staircase for climbing to Rethymno Fortress

How many people live in Rethymno Crete?

According to the 2019 census, the number of people living in Rethymno is 63,000. 48.4% of the population are males, while 51.6% are females. Based on the 2015 census, the population of old people in the city is 23,082 while there are 15,157 children.

What to know before going Rethymno Fortress?

Before going to the Rethymno Fortress, there are a few things that tourists must know and consider. According to Crete Landmarks, Monuments and Historical Points of Interest, first, tourists should consider the temperature of the Rethymno Fortress before visiting. Meaning, the tourist must consider what season they wish to experience before going to the fortress. Greece has four seasons; spring, summer, autumn, and winter. During summer, the heat in the country can be extreme. Thus, it may not be ideal for people who do not like hot weather. Therefore, tourists should plan what month they may visit the place. Second, considering the things to do and eat is a must as well. Consider it when planning the itinerary before going to Rethymno. Planning an itinerary means that tourists must know when the opening hours of the places are and where they are located. It is so tourists will know what to visit first and last. There are hiking activities that can be done in the city. Tourists should consider the appropriate shoes to take with them before visiting the city.

What are the Hiking Routes for Rethymno Fortress?

Behind the old town of Rethymno, tourists can find the entrance of the fortress. Tourists will not get lost as there are signposts that will lead them to the Rethymno Fortress. The tourists can hike or walk up the said road that may take up a few minutes to reach the fortress.

Is Rethymno Fortress safe?

Yes, Rethymno Fortress is safe. In fact, all the areas in Crete are safe. As a matter of fact, Rethymno is deemed to be one of the safest places on Earth. It is because the city’s crime rate is low. According to records, the crime index of Rethymno is 18.78, making it a very low crime index. A crime index of lower than 20 is considered as very low and a crime rate of higher than 80 is considered as very high.

What is the best season for visiting Rethymno Fortress?

The best season when visiting Rethymno Fortress is during summer. Rethymno’s beaches are the best during summer, when the weather is warm. Additionally, the place might be crowded during summer, but it would be a great time to enjoy the scenery of the city while enjoying the weather.

Fortress of Rethymno - Fortezza

Do you need to book in advance to visit The Rethymno Fortress?

Yes, tourists need to book in advance before visiting the Rethymno Fortress. The tickets can be sold on the site itself, however, tickets typically get sold out fast. The other option is to arrive very early on the site to secure a ticket. The ticket price is €4 for adults, €3 for students, pensioners, children, and those who are over 85 years old. Students with European student cards do not have to pay for the entrance fee.

What is the best vehicle for visiting Rethymno Fortress?

The best vehicle to use when visiting Rethymno Fortress is a rental car, specifically the 4×4 and SUV ones. Since the best time to visit the city is during summer, 4×4 and SUV cars give a more tropical experience for the tourists. As mentioned earlier, travelling using a car is the easiest way to visit different sites in Crete. Additionally, driving a car going to the fortress is the most convenient way to visit the place. Rental Center Crete offers car rental services in Crete where people can rent different types of cars, like jeeps. The other options for the tourist are compact, large, convertible, and van. Another option tourists have is renting a motorcycle.

Can you rent a car going to the Rethymno Fortress?

Yes, tourists can rent a car to visit the Rethymno Fortress. Rethymno is known to be the easiest city on Crete to travel around because of the available transportations. Tourists can opt for buses and cabs that can take visitors to the place they want. However, the best option out there for the tourists is to rent their own car. The nearest airport in Rethymno is the Chania Airport.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Tourists need to rent a car for them to be able to reach ancient cities and other destinations they wish to visit. Other than public transportations, renting a car is their other option. It is deemed to be more convenient and safer. There are different Crete Car Rental companies that tourists can opt to rent a car during their stay. It is a great option for those who want to have private transportation when going to their destination, especially during the pandemic.

Listed below are the things to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance: Make sure that the car has insurance that will cover the damage that may be caused by any possible accidents.
  • Driver’s Age: The driver should be at least over 21 years old and has a driving licence for about 12 months to rent a car in Crete.
  • Driver’s Gender: Some tourists can be picky regarding who will be their driver. The gender of the driver is one of the things that tourists consider, as many people believe that men are better drivers than women. In Crete both male and female can drive without any restrictions.
  • Car Type: There are different car types that are available to be rented. Each type caters to a different number of passengers and the amount of bags they can carry.
  • Documents: Other than having a driving licence, a debit or credit card is a must to rent a car. A debit or credit card with the tourist’s name is needed to provide the rental car company guarantee (if needed).

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

There are factors that will determine how much a rental car costs. These factors include how many days that car will be rented, the number of passengers, and the type of car that will be rented. A rental car may cost around €250 for a week-long trip. For day trips and night trips in Crete, renting a car will cost about €30 to €40. These cars can be used by tourists for a week with unlimited mileage depending on their itinerary. The rental cars are manual transmission, air-conditioned, and have four doors. After using the car, it should be returned to the company with the same amount of fuel as at the start of the trip to avoid charges.

What is the contribution of Rethymno Fortress to Crete Tourism?

Rethymno is considered one of the major tourist centres of Crete, Greece. The city is the home of one of the archaeological sites, Rethymno Fortress, tourists can visit. However, because of the pandemic, there are certain precautions tourists should remember. All tourists internationally must take a random Covid-19 test. If tested positive, they must be quarantined and supervised for 14 days. Additionally, tourists must be deemed healthy by their own doctor before visiting the city. Furthermore, tourists should bring money in Euro currency to pay for the activities they want to do in the city.

What are the closest places to Rethymno Fortress?

Rethymno is one of the most famous festival destinations in Greece. The main attraction of the festival is the game called Hidden Treasure Game. Along with this, other highlights of the festival include parades, dances, and parties. With that being said, there are different places tourists can visit besides the Rethymno Fortress. It includes museums, restaurants, and beaches.

Listed below are the closest places to Rethymno Fortress.

  • Rethymnon Lighthouse: It is the second-largest Egyptian lighthouse still standing today in Crete. It was built in 1830 when Crete was passed to the Egyptians.
  • Rimondi Venetian Fountain: It was built in 1626 by Rimondi, a Venetian Governor. The three lion heads disperse water into three basins.
  • Manolis Place: A restaurant that is connected to the beach of Rethymno. It is a family-run hospital that serves fillets and grilled seafood, their specialty.
  • Rethymno Municipal Garden: It is an open garden where people can relax and enjoy nature with their family and friends. The garden has a zoo inside that is the home of the rare and endangered species of goat.

What are the movies about Rethymno Fortress?

Currently, there are no movies about the fortress or the city itself. Additionally, there are no movies that were filmed at the site.

Old harbour within Rethymno Fortress

Is Rethymno Fortress in UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

No, Rethymno Fortress is not considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a site to be considered a World Heritage Site, it must have an Outstanding Universal Value, meaning it must exhibit a worldwide importance. The site must meet one of the few cultural and natural heritage criteria. Some criteria for a site to be considered a World Heritage Site are to symbolise a masterpiece of human creative genius, display an essential exchange of human values, and an excellent representation of major stages of earth’s history.

Why is Rethymno Fortress considered an archaeological site?

A site can be considered an archaeological site if past human activities are still on the site. The site still has the mosque and chapel that were built before by the Venetians. Some parts of the fortress were destroyed during the war. However, there were still parts that were preserved for the public to see.

Entrance of the Fortress of Rethymno