When we visited the beautiful Rethymnon, Crete, we actually relaxed and treated it like what it was. A holiday. We didn’t push ourselves, we swam in the warm Mediterranean Sea every morning and enjoyed the sunshine and what the town had to offer.
You can see the fortress from almost anywhere in Rethymnon, as it sits high up above the town. This means a walk up a hill to reach it, but there are some lovely sights along the way.
The only thing we really had on our to do list was to visit the Venetian fortress in the centre of the old town. It was built in the 16th century by the Venetians, as part of their initiative to strengthen Crete’s defences against the Turkish threat. It was just for show however, and not strong enough to withstand a substantial attack. By the mid 17th century it fell under Turkish control.
The views from the walls, which are still in great condition, are breathtaking from whichever side of the fortress you look. Whether you’re looking at the town of Rethymnon and the countryside beyond, or the port and the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean.
The day we visited it was blisteringly hot in the sun. Unfortunately most of the fortress is not in the shade so we took advantage of the occasional trees. We bought an ice cream from a small shop in the grounds and ate it while seated in the shade of the small amphitheatre. We found other shaded spots in a handful of old buildings and hideaways in the fortress’ walls.
This fortress is worth going to just for the views, so even if you’re not into history don’t pass up on visiting this historical treasure. It only cost us €4 each as well, so no excuses!