The fortress of Kritinia was erected by the Knights of St. John during the 14th century AD. The fortification is mostly ruined, with half-intact walls and a restored vaulted chapel. Nevertheless, it is a worth-visiting site boasting superb views west towards various Dodecanese islets like Halki, Alimia, Tilos, and Makri.
The fortress is often referred to as “Kastello” as it was the largest of the Knights’ fortresses along the island’s west coast. It dominates the western passage and the channel of Halki. This was one of the key strategic fortresses, in visual line-of-sight with forts on Halki and Alimia islands. During the Knights period (1309-1522), western Rhodes suffered many times from invasions. The network of fortresses around the island was crucial to protect the island and the inhabitants of the nearby villages.
Initially, it was formed of three levels, each assigned to a different Grand Master. The remaining ruins show elements of Byzantine and Venetian style, and the interiors house the chapel remnants still bearing the royal arms of France on one of the quoins.
The walls on the landward side are well-preserved with three imposing towers – one rectangular, one polygonal, and one circular. On the main block, one can see the coats of arms of the Grand Master Pierre d’Aubusson and Emery d’Amboise and Fabrizio del Carretto – on the eastern wing.
The fortress offers some unique experiences. Prepare your camera as you climb all 96 steps to reach the fortress’s entrance. After a short climb, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view. Take unforgettable photos from the cliffside overlooking the nearby islands. The little outlook is also a very popular spot for watching the sunset. These views will stay with you forever!
During summer, usually end of June, the fortress hosts the traditional “Medieval Rose” festival. It is a unique opportunity to experience the lively spectacle with locals dressed in medieval costumes, sounds of the trumpets, admire jugglers, jesters, and live medieval music celebrating the Knights’ heritage on Rhodes.
Distance from Rhodes city: SW 52 km (31 mi)
Distance from Kamiros Scala Port: 1.5 km (0.9 mi)
Height: 130 m (426 ft)
Access: Taxi, tour coaches, rented cars/motorbikes
Facilities: Cafeteria, WC
Free site, open all the time
Parking: Free of charge
Share your Experience