Erected in 1472 according to plans by Venetian sculptor and architect Giorgio da Sebenico – also known as Giorgio Orsini – the Castle of Kritinia, or Kastellos as the locals call it, is a stunning fortress erected to protect the village against Ottoman attacks.
Kastellos had a fortunate vantage point, affording 360-degree views of the Aegean Sea and the island. Due to the presence of the fortress on the coast, the village bore the name Kastelli until the liberation of the Dodecanese. The meaning of Kritinia of today translates into English as “New Crete” for the largest of Greece’s 6000 islands.
The Castle of Kritinia stands at 131 metres above sea level. It’s not hard to reach it, but the hike can be strenuous under the scorching summer sun and for people who are not in shape. It’s well worth the effort as it affords fantastic views of Kritinia, the sea, of Chalki Island, and some other islets close to Rhodes.