#6. Corfu Castle, Corfu Island

The Old Fortress of Corfu Town
The Old Fortress of Corfu Town

The historical center of Corfu is dominated by its two fortresses. Along the east side stands the Old Fortress, while on the west side the New Fortress is built. The Old Fortress is masterfully built on a small islet and used to connect to the city with a wooden, mobile bridge. In the past, these two fortresses were linked by large stone walls.

#7. Castle of Ioannina, Epirus

Castle of Ioannina
Castle of Ioannina

The Castle of Ioannina city is its trademark feature. Built by Justinian in 528 AD, it is one of Greece’s oldest castles. The tower of Bishop Thomas and a small part of the northwest citadel is what survives today from the initial Byzantine fortifications. Its present form was created by Ali Pasha, who rebuilt it in 1815 almost from scratch. The castle is divided into four sections: the outer wall, the northwestern citadel (dominated by the Aslan Mosque), the southeast citadel of Itch-Kale and finally the actual castle town, the old, walled town of Ioannina.

#8. Castle of Methoni, Peloponnese

Castle of Methoni
Castle of Methoni

The impressive Castle of Methoni in Peloponnese dates back to the 13th century. It was built by the Venetians to protect the city and was occupied by the Ottomans in 1500, who used it as base for their mainland invasions. The castle features seven entrances and many constructions inside the walls, such as churches, Ottoman baths, and a ruined mosque.

#9. Frangokastello, Crete

Frangokastello, Crete
Frangokastello, Crete

Frangokastello is a case-study Venetian castle that lies on the south-west coast of Crete Island, close to Sfakia. This castle was built in 1371 and it is connected to an interesting legend. In 1828, local fighter Michalis Dalianis, along with hundreds of Cretans, entrenched themselves in the castle and fought the Turkish army. However, the battle was lost and they were all slaughtered. Local legends claim that on the dawning of May 17th, the date of the fight, shadows emerge from the sea and walk towards Frangokastello. These are believed to be the ghosts of Michalis Dalianis and his fighters. Locals gave these ghosts the name “Drosoulites“, which means dew shadows.

#10. Platamon Castle, Macedonia

Platamon Castle
Platamon Castle

Platamon’s Castle is a crusader-built castle (constructed somewhere between 1204 and 1222) in northern Greece. It is located southeast of Mount Olympus, in a strategic position, controlling the exit of the Tempe Valley, through which the main road connecting Macedonia with Thessaly and southern Greece used to pass. The castle’s central tower (donjon), overlooking the highway, is in itself an imposing medieval fortress.

Of course, we have left out many more significant and staggering examples of medieval castle architecture, in this small sample. In fact, touring Greece’s castles and castle cities is a fascinating way of traveling the whole country, as these architectural jewels can be found literally everywhere!