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RUN URBAN - SEE THE WORLD

HERAKLION ON THE WALL PRIVATE TOUR – 8K

wall 8k
Come run with us over an amazing monument that is the very largest fortification system of the Mediterranean! A run jam packed with history and stunning views!
run fun sights

TOUR DETAILS

  • Tour Type

    private tour
  • Tour Distance

    8 km / 5 mi
  • Tour Duration

    1h30min
  • Level of Difficulty

    easy
  • Tour pace

    individual
  • Tour days

    Mon - Sun
  • Start times

    Mon - Sun: 6:00 - 7:30 AM
    Mon, Wed, Sat, Sun: 6:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Tour Language

    English, Greek (optional)

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Details

In 1210 AD, the city of Heraklion passed to the Venetians, the new dominators of Crete, who renamed it “Candia” and made it the capital of the so-called “Regnum of Crete”. The Venetians occupied the city for the following 450 years, and despite some serious conflicts between Cretans and Venetians (especially during the first century), through this time the island knew a golden era of development and cultural renaissance. The fusion of the Venetian cosmopolitan influences and the strong Cretan and Byzantine culture gave birth to the Cretan-venetian art, considered to be the most important facet of Crete’s cultural heritage even today.

Heraklion used to be a fortified city for the greater part of its history – in fact, even today the citizens of Heraklion are called “Kastrini”, meaning “the people of the great Castle”. Venetians named Citta Vechia the part of Heraklion inside the pre-existing Arab-Byzantine walls, while in a long distance around it, they built their magnificent fortification system, an architectural masterpiece of its time. Its construction lasted for almost a century and it is considered the largest fortification system in the Mediterranean. The Venetian Walls are perfectly preserved until today, despite the interventions that took place during the last decades. Time and human activities have wounded them in many ways – even so, the Walls overlook the city and is one of its most important characteristics of Heraklion.

Running on and around the Venetian Walls today, give us the opportunity to see all the parts of an amazing monument (like Bastions, Upper Bastions, Lower Squares, military and citizens gates, the Moat etc), as well as a magnificent view from above of the modern city. We will run up and down the Walls numerous times, both inside and outside their perimeter and we will be able to observe all their facets and hidden parts – and we will do that by following a trail that combines gravel, soil and asphalt, with no special needs in shoes or equipment – the only thing required is good mood!

Our run will begin at Eleftheria’s Square, the largest free area of the historical center of Heraklion and one of the most important reference points of the city. It is also known as “The three Arcs”, after three Venetian gates that used to be there – the arcs are not saved today, but even so, the old name of the place prevailed. Eleftheria’s Square changed many times through last decades, and played always a crucial part in city’s life - as the traditional meeting point for a walk or coffee break, as the place where all the protests begun, as an exhibition center, as a place ideal for skating or biking. Our run will begin there, as an ideal place for warming up, and getting to know one another.

We will continue through Georgiade’s Park, running under the trees, in order to reach the Moat that surrounds the outer part of the Walls. As a matter of fact, it was never flooded by water as it was originally designed – however, we can let our imagination run free and picture it as it was supposed to be. With no trees at all, filled by the Cretan sea, impressive and startling, it should be a spectacle to remember…

After this small warm up, we will be ready to get on the outside of the Moat, enter the city through Jesus’ Gate and run on Bastione Vitturi, in order to get on the Walls for first time. We will run following a quite wide trail that inclines over Jesus’ Gate until Bastione di Gesu – there we will for first time get a great view of Heraklion from above. We will continue running on the Walls following a flat trail, surpass two open-air theaters placed in the Moat (Nikos Kazantzakis’ Garden Theater and Manos Chatzidakis’ Theater, two places strictly attached to cultural events of Heraklion) and Municipality Herbs Garden and we will reach Bastione di Martinengo. Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the greatest writers of Greece was buried there, staring at the Cretan Sea and his beloved homeland in eternity.

Our run continues downhill on the Walls and we enter the city once again. We will run through the inner part of the Walls, in order to see the modern Cultural Center and observe the Walls from down under. We will cross Jesus’ Gate, run outside the city again, pass the two Theaters and enter the Moat once more. The tall eucalyptuses hide the sun and make our run more comfortable. We will enter the city again, uphill along the Walls and continue our run, passing by Municipality’s open air cinema, Eleftherias Stadium (most of Cretan runners and track athletes made their first steps here…) and Chanioporta, city’s greatest gate. There, our trail will decline until Bastione di Saint Andreas, where the Walls meat the seaside. The view there is unobstructed. Psiloritis, the tallest mountain of the island, Strumbulas, the pyramid shaped mountain, Giouchtas, sleeping Zeus’ head, surround the city – while the island of Dia, the legendary petrified sea-monster, prevails on the horizon.

Our run continues by the seaside. The northern part of the Walls unfortunately is not preserved in its full length today. Industrial infrastructures, modern blocks of flats and, mainly, the seaside avenue, constructed at the beginning of 20th century, destroyed or hid the fortification seafront, already wounded by the strong northern winds – sad as it may be, we can even so follow the trail of the Walls. We will run by Natural History Museum, Dermatas gate, Historical Museum, the Venetian Cathedral of Saints Paul and Saint Peter and we will suddenly just in front of us see the Old Port and, of course, Koules, one of the most known landmarks of the city – a strong castle that secured Heraklion’s port. Its reputation is a bit dark, as it served as a prison for the Cretan rebels during the ottoman period. Even so, Kastrini love the old castle that outstands for almost five centuries the rough Cretan sea, symbolizing thus the free people spirit, and peoplee gather here daily – to walk, to run, to cycle, to fish, to play guitar, to philosophize life.

Leaving the port behind signalizes that our run is near to its end. We will run in front of Neoria, the old Venetian shipyards, and will incline over Baufort Street, that lays over the eastern part of the Walls and ends just in front of the Arcaehological Museum, to the northern part of Eleftherias square, where we started running earlier.

Running over the Walls is an ideal training for local runners – and we are confident that running together with our guests will be a joy both for us and them. Will you join us?

BOOK YOUR RUNNING EXPERIENCE NOW

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MORE TOUR INFO

  • Pick-up service:
    Pick-up service from your hotel/apartment or another meeting point is possible and will be checked by the tour provider individually.
    If your hotel/apartment should be too far away from the city centre or not close to the tour route, then we will meet you at one of our standard meeting points for this running tour.

    Standard meeting point:
    Dimokratias Avenue, Eleftherias Square. Venizelos Statue
    Google Maps link: Venizelou Statue

    Meeting details:
    The tour provider will get in contact with you to provide you with more detailed information after the tour was booked.
    Please, bring along your mobile phone in case we need to contact each other.

    • Private guide/tour
    • Individual pace
    • Digital photos
    • Pick-up service
    • Water supply
  • WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE WEATHER?
    Crete has a climate of Mediterranean type. That means that it can be really hot through summer, even though winters are mild. This of course can change, depending on the time of the day, the period of the year or the altitude. You will find quite accurate forecasting at the websites mentioned below [https://www.mountain-forecast.com/, www.freemeteo.gr], whereas you can also always ask us for more information.

    WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
    We are quite sure that every runner has a collection of training clothes well suited to his special needs. Whether we speak about shorts, tights, hats, bandanas, base layers or t-shirts, every runner has his own style – remember, as you are on vacations, except of the weather conditions there are no other rules on what you will wear! Of course, when a tour has some special characteristics (ie trail), you will be informed in time.

    WHAT SHOULD I HAVE WITH ME?
    Go Running Tours Crete is not a race, nor a training program. Of course, some specific tours are hard while others are quite easy. As we do private tours the pace of the tour is determined by our guest. Be sure that we will find a tour that suits to your special needs, in order for you to be able to run with us through our beautiful island.

    I WANT TO PARTICIPATE, BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF I CAN?
    Go Running Tours Crete is not a race, nor a training program. Of course some specific tours are hard while others are quite easy. As we do private tours, the pace of the tour is determined by our guest. Be sure that we will find a tour that suits to your special needs, in order for you to be able to run with us through our beautiful island.

    DO YOU HAVE A HOTEL PICK-UP SERVICE?
    Pick-up service from your hotel/apartment or another meeting point is possible and will be checked by the tour provider individually.
    If your hotel/apartment should be too far away from the city centre or not close to the tour route, then we will meet you at our standard meeting point.

    WHAT ABOUT FOOD/WATER/TOILET?
    We will always have water with us. When the duration of a tour makes that necessary, we will bring small snacks. Do have in mind that Crete is a very developed and traveler-friendly place, and so we do not run the risk to find ourselves out of supplies in any occasion.

  • If you need to cancel a booked service, it is mandatory to email Go! Running Tours by respondng on the booking confirmation email or via our contact form: Get in contact with us.

    You are entitled to cancel your booking up to 4 workdays before the booked tour date, free of charge. There will be in this case be a full refund of the tour and service fees.

    If you cancel a booking between 3 and 0 days before the booked tour date, or if you do not attend the tour, there will be no refund.

    If the tour provider is not able to accept the tour, or if the tour provider was not able to carry out the booked tour, Go! Running Tours guarantess a full refund of the tour and service fees.
tip  BOOKING TIP:
BOOK EARLY - GIVE US SOME TIME
We recommend to book your running tour minimum 2-3 days before your preferred tour date. Especially during the different high seasons, when many guests like to join our runs.
That will give the guide/city manager enough time to arrange together with you the last tour details like the meeting point, start time and to organize a personal tour guide for your unique and fun running experience.
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gearwheel BOOKING PROCESS

  • 1. Click on "Book Now"
  • 2. Select date/start time, # of runners
  • 3. Fill in personal data plus additional info

payment PAYMENT

  • 4. Accept T&S and click on "Continue"
  • 5. Forward to secure payment website
  • 6. Pay with your credit card
  • NOTE: Cash payment is not possible!

email CONFIRMATION

  • 7. Check your email inbox for pre-confirmation
  • 8. Tour guides reach out to you within 24h
  • 9. Guides will arrange tour details with you
  • 10. Tour is confirmed and set

guarantee GUARANTEE

  • We guarantee your money until you have done the tour! In case of that the tour can't be arranged or any other not self-inflicted circumstance, we will provide a full refund within 24h.

TOUR GALLERY

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