weather 22°C / 71°F Rethymno

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In the shadow of Fortezza, the impressive Venetian fortress, lies Rethymno, the third largest city on Crete, after Heraklion and Chania. In the labyrinthine alleys of the old town, visitors encounter a string of historical monuments from the Venetian and Ottoman periods, such as Rimondi fountain, Ottoman mosques that have been transformed into cultural spaces, minarets, and Venetian churches. During Venetian rule, Rethymno developed into one of the most important centres of Crete, with Renaissance elements evident to this day.

The aromas of Cretan cuisine and the music of the lyra and the laouto, escape from the area’s small taverns, and the city is lively year round thanks to the tourists in the summer months and University of Crete students in winter.

The port of Rethymno is dominated by the second Egyptian lighthouse of Crete, besides the one in Chania, while the city’s numerous museums provide visitors with the chance to learn a lot about the history of the area. As the stroll through the city leads to the sea, immediately after the picturesque harbour lies the vast beach of Rethymno, many kilometres long, with countless taverns, cafés, and beach bars. However, the most famous beaches of Rethymno are located in the south, where visitors can choose between exotic Preveli with its palm forest and the beach named after the historical monastery of Agios Pavlos, eerie Triopetra, cosmopolitan Agia Galini, and Plakias.

In the hinterland of Rethymno a visit to the Archaeological site and the Museum of Eleftherna, as well as to historical Arkadi Monastery, is indicative of the rich history of the land.

Heading up to the mountains, it is worth stopping at the shepherd mitata (stone shelters), the picturesque village of Margarites, and, of course, Anogia, a place interwoven with the musical tradition of Crete. Mt Psiloritis is home to the geopark with the same name, which is part of the network of European Geoparks and UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network, Ideon Andron cave, where, according to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised, while the valley of Amari is famous for its picturesque hamlets and unparalleled natural beauty.

Archaeological Sites




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