A prominent attraction in Heraklion is the Koules, a Venetian fortress that surrounds the Heraklion harbor. This symbol of Heraklion was first built in the 13th century, was named Rocca a Mare, and was used for a variety of purposes, including for the storage of food and military supplies and as a prison. It was then destroyed by an earthquake, rebuilt, and then restored to its current form. The fortress is known to have a grim yet fascinating history as it was again transformed into a prison for Cretan rebels, during Ottoman rule. It was then that the fortress got its current name. Today, this beloved monument is a must-visit for all tourists due to its Venetian architectural style, restored rooms and for the stunning views from the top. The Koules Fortress is also used currently for art exhibitions and concerts.
Winter: 08:30 to 15:00 Summer: 08:30 to 19:00 Closed on Mondays
Around 1 hour or more
Adults, senior visitors, young adults, families, children
The stonework, the restored rooms, the view from the ramparts
The city of Heraklion is known to have had mosques during the Ottoman rule. At present, Heraklion is only known to house a small mosque, namely the Masjed Al Noor. Muslim tourists can therefore ask to be directed to this mosque, or they will therefore have to return to their hotel rooms at prayer times.
While finding a food outlet at the Koules Fortress will not be possible, visitors looking to get a bite to eat could do so at one of the several restaurants and cafés located in Heraklion. Muslim tourists will most likely not be able to find any Halal certified restaurants in the city, but they will be able to find outlets selling suitable vegetarian and seafood dishes. Since there is a small population of Muslims in the city, some food outlets may even serve a few Halal dishes. It is best to get more information regarding this at the local mosque.