Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars, activities and vacation rentals. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

Venetian Walls

Take a walk around Heraklion’s ancient fortifications, which protected the old city from invasion for centuries.

Gaze up from the base of Heraklion’s Venetian Walls and imagine being a frustrated Turkish invader trying to break into the city. Climb up narrow stone steps to stand on the ancient walls or walk through the huge arches and narrow tunnels. Don’t miss the stunning views of the walls and the old city from the Martinego peak.

Heraklion’s old fortifications run in a roughly triangular shape around the old city, encompassing the harbor, Eleftherias Square and several other ancient districts. They were constructed over a 200-year period from 1462 by a number of architects, most notably Michele Sanmicheli. One of the largest such fortifications in the Mediterranean, the walls certainly served their purpose well, keeping the Ottomans out of the city for over 20 years. Walk around the walls to get a complete perspective. The  outer perimeter of 2.5 miles (4.5 kilometers) takes a couple hours to cover at a leisurely pace.

Starting at the western end of the harbor you’ll see the first of the seven fortifications, St. Andrew’s bastion. These are like mini fortresses in themselves and feature thick stone walls and arched, covered areas. Imagine standing in one of these watching for the invading Turkish soldiers.

Continue south to reach the first of the four gates, known as Bethlehem Gate. Admire the huge stone archway and imagine how imposing these walls would have been to a visitor entering the city for the first time. Continue on around the walls to see other interesting elements such as the large outside trenches; these were actually used for cultivating crops. You’ll also see ancient inscriptions, piles of rusted cannonballs and information boards detailing the history of the walls as you make your way around.

At some points along the wall you can climb onto the ramparts for views across the city. For the best view though, head to the Martinego bastion at the southern tip of the triangle. This is also where you’ll find the tomb of the writer Nikos Kazantzakis.

Stop for a drink in Eleftherias Square before completing your tour of the walls at Koules Fortress.


Guide to Exploring around Venetian Walls


Top Venetian Walls Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Venetian Walls

See all 1,115 Properties near Venetian Walls
Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel $58
Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel

Capsis Astoria Heraklion Hotel

11 Eleftherias square, Heraklion, Crete Island
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Heraklion hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Eleftherias Square and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.

    Lato Boutique Hotel $45
    Lato Boutique Hotel

    Lato Boutique Hotel

    15 Epimenidou Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Heraklion, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of 18 Anglon Square and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.

      Aquila Atlantis Hotel $62
      Aquila Atlantis Hotel

      Aquila Atlantis Hotel

      2 Ygias Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Heraklion hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.6 mi (1 km) away.

        GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel $86
        GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel

        GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel

        9, D. Beaufort Street, Heraklion, Crete Island
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Heraklion, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance, Heraklion Port, and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. St. Titus Church (Agios Titos Cathedral) and 18 Anglon Square are also within 10 minutes.

          Ibis Styles Heraklion Central $65
          Ibis Styles Heraklion Central

          Ibis Styles Heraklion Central

          26 Koroneou Street and Agiou Titou, Crete Island, Heraklion
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Heraklion, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Titus Church (Agios Titos Cathedral) and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.6 mi (1 km) away.

            Luxury Accommodation in Heraklion Center
            Luxury Accommodation in Heraklion Center

            Luxury Accommodation in Heraklion Center

            Heraklion, Crete
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Heraklion, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Venetian Walls and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) away.

              "c.p. Luxury Suite" With Breathtaking sea View!
              "c.p. Luxury Suite" With Breathtaking sea View!

              "c.p. Luxury Suite" With Breathtaking sea View!

              Heraklion, Crete
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Heraklion, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Venetian Walls and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) away.

                City Lion $53
                City Lion

                City Lion

                Psaromiligkon 13, Heraklion
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Heraklion, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Heraklion Museum of Religious Art and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Heraklion Port is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) away.