Kastro is the Greek word for ”castle” or ”fortress”. The ruins of ancient castles and fortifications are also known as kastros, as well as the place or neighborhood where they had existed. In many places the old part of a settlement, usually on the top of a hill, rock or elevation, was built around a castle in the past and the houses were built in its walls. You can see many of them scattered all over Greece and its islands but some are better preserved and kind of attraction for tourists.
Some villages on the Cyclades islands are good example of such kastros, inhabited and very pretty in their white and blue colors, with arches between the houses. Here are some of the most captivating to visit.
As unknown to mass tourists as the island, this kastro is inside Chorio Kimolou and the locals call it "village within the village". It is considered the largest preserved kastro in the Cyclades group. You can still see houses built intо the οld wаlls, old сhurchеs and preserved large pаrts оf the fοrtrеss. Some оf the sοuvenir stores and cаfеs are also built within the wаlls and the οwners will gladly show it tо уοu.
The main village of Folegandros - Chora is quite attractive for tourists. It has magnificent sea views and one of the most beautiful kastros in Greece. The exterior walls consists of houses built next to each other in a chain, with small arches and tunnels between them.
The kastro of Naxos occupies the small elevation above the harbor of Naxos Town. When approaching the island by ferry you can clearly see the fortified walls among the buildings. The maze of alleys which lead to the top of the elevation is a real bliss for a walk.
Many say that Sifnos has the most charming and mysterious kastro of all Cyclades villages. You can get lost in the tiny alleys as you pass under arches, end up in miniature squares and walk between the whitewashed houses which form the fortified settlement of Kastro Sifnos. Although small, it is a must-visit on the island and has view over the sea, the neighbor islands and the small church of the Seven Martyrs you can often see on photos.
The kastro of Milos is located in Plaka Milou, the island capital. Today just a few walls remind of the once solid castle, rising up above the village, but the views from the top of it are very dramatic. The sunset from the top of kastro is not less beautiful than that of Santorini, аnd actually, Milos is a volcano as well but it lacks the impressive caldera.