The Old Town – Kasteli Neighborhood

A magnificent old area...

By Giannis Thimianos

- 28/06/2024


It is time to get more known the part of town called Kastelli, not to mix up with the town Kastelli further a long the North coast. You have maybe seen it from the lighthouse, as it locates on the top over the Venetian harbour, but have you walk there, or stayed the night? I will take you to quite small streets and to the Minoan excavations, the historical ruins of the ancient city of Kydonia.


When you are at the harbour, you can see some hotels behind the old mosque, you see them as they locates there side by side over the harbour. You can take a drink at a nice cafe as you enter Kastelli from the square at the harbour. There are some chains that stops the traffic from enter the harbour. If you take the street Kanavaros straight ahead, you will find the main Minoan excavation, but if you turn left, you will find Lithinon street with its hotels.


The hotels are open all year. Of course the street has many homes and flats, and at the end you wil find The Palace of the Turish leader of the island in the Ottoman rule in the 1700 and 1800. Take a stroll in this quiet street only a few minutes away from the busy harbour.

You can explore the minoan sites, the old hotels ans ruins from Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods. The main Swedish/Danish/Greek excavation is from the minoan town of Kydonia 4000 years ago. It was the capital of Crete and has been the capital almost all the times since then. Only some time in the Roman era, the capital was at Gortyna and since 1970’s Iraklio. You can read the history here as you visit the site. The finding are at the archaeological museum.


You can also see this Boutique hotel Monastery that is built in the venetian ruins from a catholic monastery.

Here was the old city walls, and there are traces of it everywhere. Under Ottoman rule was the headquarters and here is incredibly huge house, which today belonging to university and has offices. Part of it is occupied by anarchists and becomes used for concerts, film screenings, and more. They call themselves Rosanera.


If you continue this street, you will find the administration from the Ottoman rulers, and the most beautiful view of the harbour and the lighthouse. This is on top of the Inner Venetian Wall. You can also find some small pensions here, as you walk along the tiny streets. You can walk the Kanavaro street till you meet Daskalogianni street or the stairs down from the administration buildings, steep old donkey steps that takes you down to the harbour at the Big Arsenali and the Neoria.

Giannis Thimianos

Owner & Founder,

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