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Koules Fortress Tours

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88 reviews
Koules Fortress
Built in the 13th century when Crete was under Venetian rule, Koules Fortress is known by many names. Sometimes called Rocca al Mare, or simply the Venetian Fortress, it was initially designed to protect Heraklion from invasion. Today it houses exhibits on the history of Heraklion.

The Basics
Standing on the water’s edge for more than 700 years, Koules Fortress is one of Heraklion’s best-loved buildings. It has been rebuilt several times over the centuries, always with the same goal—to defend the city. In some places, the outside walls of the square-sided fortress are almost 30 feet (9 meters) thick. In its day, the fort housed a mill, bakery, prison, barracks for the guards, and more.

Visitors today walk through tunnels where cannons were once loaded and fired, explore storage rooms, and tour exhibitions that explain the history of the building and tell tales of nearby shipwrecks. Koules Fortress is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Heraklion and is a frequent stop on city tours, including the Heraklion hop-on hop-off bus.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Entry to the fort is via paid ticket.
  • Free entry is available on certain days; check its website for details.
  • Some areas of the fort have steep steps that are not suitable for people with limited mobility.
  • Look for carved depictions of the winged lion of Venice on the outside walls.
  • Stand on the ramparts for great views of the city and harbor.

How to Get There
Koules Fortress is located along the harbor wall in Heraklion. Hop-on hop-off buses stop outside. It’s also within easy walking distance of the city center.

When to Get There
Shaded and cool, Koules Fortress provides a welcome respite from the heat in summer. It’s usually busiest in the early afternoon. The museum is closed on summer Mondays.

Explore Lion Square
You’ll want to pass through Lion Square, central hub of downtown Heraklion, at least once on a visit to the city. Lined with restaurants and cafes, the square bustles with life as residents and visitors fill it from early morning to late at night. The square is a good option for a quick bite and a chance to rest your feet while sightseeing.
Address: North end of 25 Avgoustou, Heraklion, Crete 71202, Greece
Admission: Varies
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Koules Fortress

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Private Tour Knossos & Heraklion City

Private Tour Knossos & Heraklion City

star-1
This tour is a unique experience, to visit the most important places in Heraklion City. The tour schedule is flexible regarding the time spent at its attraction. Our driver will pick you up from your Hotel or Port in Heraklion City. The transfer is private and our English-speaking driver will drive you around the sightseeings.
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD394.27
per group
From
USD394.27
per group

Historical Walking tour in Heraklion

Historical Walking tour in Heraklion

Crete is the largest Greece Island known for its beaches, mountains and of course archaeology! Ideon Cave is called the birthplace of God Zeus according to Greek mythology. The capital city Heraklion is the home place for a well known Archaeological Museum, which is housing Minoan civilization artefacts and Knossos ruins dating Bronze Age. Do you know that the Palace of Knossos is considered as a mythical labyrinth? Why Venetian and Ottoman monuments found in Heraklion? Why is ancient Knossos called one of the country’s most important archaeological sites? The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is revealing Minoan art and one of the best and complete collections of artefacts of this great civilization of Crete. With your local professional guide, you will visit an archaeological site and the palace of Knossos, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, 16th-century Koules fortress, will hear secret stories about Venetian and Ottoman monuments, the Minoan civilization secret room and more.
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  • 4 hours
From
USD842.99
per group
From
USD842.99
per group

Knossos Private Full-Day Tour from Heraklion with Pick Up

Knossos Private Full-Day Tour from Heraklion with Pick Up

At the desired time, an experienced English-speaking professional driver will pick you up from your accommodation in a private vehicle ready to immerse you into the Greek culture and lifestyle. If you are a history lover, get ready to travel back in time on this full-day tour. Knossos Palace is the biggest Minoan Palace of Crete. The archaeological museum is one of the most significant museums in Greece and its collections come mostly from central and eastern Crete and cover a span of 5.500 years. You will also have the chance to visit Koules Fortress that dominates the entrance to the Venetian Harbour of Heraklion. The Venetians called it "Sea Fortress", but today it is known by its Turkish name, Koules. Our drivers are not licensed to accompany you into the sights, but are very knowledgeable of the places visited and will provide all the necessary historical information and their local perspective. At the end of the tour, your driver will drop you off at your accommodation.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
USD113.97
Price varies by group size
From
USD113.97
Price varies by group size

Architectural- gastronomic Walking tour in Heraklion

Architectural- gastronomic Walking tour in Heraklion

Heraklion, also known as Iraklio, is the capital of Crete. It’s archaeological site dates back thousands of years to the Minoan civilization. Crete is the largest Greek island with beautiful landscape and incredible history and mythology. Do you know that Crete is called the birthplace of Zeus? Have you heard about Venetian harbor in Heraklion? Where is the best place to feel the original atmosphere and feel the real Cretan lifestyle? Culture, traditions, mythology and of course lifestyle, food, drinks are inviting everyone to this paradise island of Mediterranean! With your local professional guide, you will visit Venetian fortress Rocca al Mare, an old city with churches and architectural sights of Heraklion, traditional tourist market, fish market and some delicate shops. You will be able to try the best Cretan gastronomic delicacies - honey, cheese, olive oil and olives and definitely Greek coffee in a local coffee shop!
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  • 5 hours
From
USD842.99
per group
From
USD842.99
per group

Heraklion Historic & Culinary Luxury Small Group Experience

Heraklion Historic & Culinary Luxury Small Group Experience

star-5
This tour combines the historic section of Heraklion town with a culinary experience. You will visit the most important historic monuments of the town on a walking tour, while during your exploration, you will try the most renowned local delicacies such as the famous “Bougatsa” pastry, local “Loukoumades” donuts with honey, the traditional Greek coffee and herbal tea. Your tour will continue with the visit of Heraklion Open - Air Market, where you will have the chance to taste Cretan products and interact with local people. Last Experience of the day will be a unique Olive Oil and Wine Pairing in a private studio accompanied by a presentation of the two most important products of the island and exploring their significance to the Cretan diet. Your experience will be accompanied by a light Lunch.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
USD364.90
Price varies by group size
From
USD364.90
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Koules Fortress?

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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785