Riding a bike is a unique way to see and experience world. Exploring Heraklion and the castle of koules by bicycle will be much more fun and exciting and it is a fascinating way to learn more about the landscape, culture and the people of Crete.
Heraklion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete. It is the fourth largest city of Greece. There are plenty of sights such one can visit and admire. Monuments, museums, archaeological and historical places, venetian castle, venetian walls, historical center, traditional market with local goods, Morosini Fountain, Loggia.
The Venetian Castle of Heraklion is called Koules, which means fortress in Turkish. It is an impressive fortress that surrounds the harbor of Heraklion, Crete. The Koules Castle is a massive fortress with two storeys that used to guard the entry to the port. The Castle was constructed by the Venetians in the early 13th century, when they conquered the town. The Fortress was primarily built for the storage of the food stuff and the military supplies. It also served as the quarter for the officers and as a prison. A devastating earthquake completely destroyed the Castle in 1303 and it was rebuilt by the Genoese. The fortress was again restored during 1523-1540 and got its ultimate form. During the Ottoman rule, the Castle was again transformed to a prison. Several Cretan heroes who revolted against the Ottomans had been imprisoned in the castle and had been killed in the dark dungeons. The architecture of the Castle is the typical Venetian architectural style. The construction was such that the walls of the Castle could protect the breakwater of the harbor. The Castle was made of stones. There were three carvings of the Lion of Saint Mark in the Castle. The one at the sea side of the castle exists to these days. Today the Koules Venetian Castle has been cleaned and restored many times. It is visited by thousands of people every year and consists the trademark of Heraklion Town.
The morning of our trip you should take a healthy breakfast so as to fill yourself with energy.
Our meeting point is your hotel. We will meet you at 9.00 a.m. at the reception desk. We will take a bus to transfer us to Venizelos statue so as to take the bicycles and start the tour.
During the route we will have several stops so as to provide you more information about the sights.
We will have a stop at Liberty square and we will visit the archaeological museum. The museum recently reopened after a seven year renovation, and the wait was totally worth it, as it is now one of Greece’s top historical attractions. Its new exhibition spaces gather together treasures from the island’s rich history, including the Phaistos Disc, covered with mysterious symbolic inscriptions that have eluded archaeologists.
Then we will go for Koules admiring the panoramic view of the port of Heraklion. At the exit of Koules fortress will be there for us a small bouffe with typical cretan goods and traditional dancers that they will teach you cretan dances. After dance lessons we will give you as souvenirs sarikia- scarf worn on head or neck.
After Koules we will follow the coastline and the next stop will be in Natural science museum. Next destination is Kazantzakis’ tomb. Kazantzakis is a famous greek novelist and his books were translated to many European languages. During the whole riding tour we will follow the venetian walls. Last stop before our trip ends is Morosini’s square.
There are a lot of additional routes and we can organize customized trips especially for your needs.
This is a fantastic “snapshot” of the historical centre of Heraklion, ideal for the first day or first time visitors; it is a cooler, eco-friendy, green and more fun alternative to the city’s touristic bus tours.
You don’t have to worry about anything. Our bike tour guides are excellent bikers, physically fit and have vast knowledge of bikes. They are able to fix a flat tire, adjust a seat or tighten breaks.
Distance: 3,5 Km
Group Size: Max. 10 persons
Spoken Languages: Greek, English, French, Spanish, German
Cost p.p. : 20€ (will provide, Bicycles, wilier bikes and helmets)