Image by SOBERKA Richard / hemis.fr Getty Images
Looming over Rethymno, the star-shaped Venetian fortress cuts an imposing figure with its massive walls and bastions but was nevertheless unable to stave off the Turks in 1646. Over time, an entire village took shape on the grounds, most of which was destroyed in WWII. Views over the town, the Mediterranean and mountains are fabulous up here and it’s fun to poke around the ramparts, palm trees and remaining buildings, most notably the Sultan Bin Ibrahim Mosque with its huge dome.
Head inside the mosque to admire its impressive mosaic ceiling, with wonderful acoustics that are perfect for the occasional musical event held here. A few other buildings (like the twin buildings of the Bastion of Agios Nikolaos) are also used to showcase art exhibits. Pick up a free map from the ticket office, which offers useful info on the site.
Last entry is 45 minutes before closing.