Kritinia is a small mountain village in the west of the island of Rhodes. It has a population just over 600 people and is located in a beautiful forest area. The distance to Rhodes City is about 50 kilometers or an hour drive. According to a myth the village was founded by the Cretans (Kriti = Crete, Kritinia = New Crete) and the grandson of King Minos was the first resident of the village. In reality, the village probably was probably founded later by Cretan refugees who wanted to escape Ottoman rule. They first settled on the coast near Kamiros Skala and later some people moves to Kritinia to escape the attacks of pirates who plundered the coast. Kritinia has a Folklore Museum and in the Agios Ioannis church in the village you can see beautiful murals from the 16th century.
The Kritinia castle - which is called Kastellos - is situated 4 kilometers outside the village on a hill. It was built in 1472 by the Knights of St. John to protect the inhabitants of the surrounding villages such as Kamiros Skala and Kritinia against the attacks of the Ottoman fleet.
In 1480 the Ottomans besieged the island with a force of 100,000 men, but they failed to capture the castle. The castle was largely destroyed, but then rebuilt again. On the walls of the castle you can still see the coats of arms of the Grand Masters and inside the fence are remnants of an ancient church, the church of Agios Pavlos.
The castle is open to visitors, and from here you have a beautiful view of the islands that lie off the coast, such as Alimia and Halki and several other smaller islands.