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Rethymno’s timeless attractions and verdant landscapes, city architecture, museums, archaeological sites, endless sandy beaches and nearby escapes to nearby villages will reward you with a rich cultural yet relaxed experience. Step off of the beaten path and into the untouched Greece of the past.
Cultural pride and natural beauty - Rethymno offers the best of both.
Wandering through the historic center
The Rethymno Historic Center is a multicultural, bustling, colorful and well preserved center. Rethymno is steeped in history and tradition and has been inhabited since 1600 BC. You can trace the steps of influence from Turkish, Arabic and Venetian dominance giving this unique its obvious cultural influences. Stroll along Rethymno’s narrow streets and discover our roots as you enjoy historical re-enactments. Below is highlighted the not to miss places of the historic center. Not only is Rethymno is historically rich but it host many local carnivals and sustainable festivals for foodies and revelers alike.
Explore the Venetian Fortezza fortress on the "Paleokastro" hill, located on the west side of the city. Built in 1573-1580 by the Venetians in order to protect the city. It houses the temple of Saint Nicolo, and remains of buildings where exhibitions are now hosted.
The Rimondi Fountain is at Sq. Titou Petihaki, in 1626 by the city's Rector A. Rimondi original town water source, it was located in the center of the Venetian city. Today the fountain still springs water through the three lion heads.
Loggia is at Konstantinos Palaiologos St. and it was built during the 16th century by Michel Snamicheli, it was an eminent building of the city centre and a meeting point for the nobles. Today loggia hosts a market of archeological art copies.
During the Venetian times the Mosque "Neratzes" was a church dedicated to the Mary of Augustans. In 1657 turned the temple into a mosque named "Neratze". Today the Mosque "Neratzes" is hosting the city conservatoire. It is located at Emmanouil Vernadou.
Near Neratzes is the church of Saint Francesco, one of the most important monuments of Rethymno with a unique and impressive architecture. It was the main temple of the Monastery of the Francesca Order. From 2016 the archeological museum of Rethymno is hosted at Saint Francesco Church.
The old harbor and the lighthouse is one of the most picturesque sights of Rethymno and a must visit spot for everyone. This lonely lighthouse is of the Ottoman period. The founder was Mehmet Allie, governor of Crete 1830- 1840 and founder of the Farouk family of Egypt. Stripped away of its old use, today it stands at the entrance of the old port as a proud reminder of simpler times.
After a long walk in the old town pause and relax underneath the citrus, pines and palm trees in the municipal garden located at the center of the city. Embrace spiritual detoxification and family bonding through experiencing shared activities in the natural beauty of the garden and multitude of recreational opportunities at an array of a new playground with several playing activities specially designed to be friendly for children with special needs.
Mikrasiaton square located at the heart of the city's historical center is surrounded by valuable monuments and beautiful buildings and cultural centers. Its multicultural atmosphere is its best feature and gives the opportunity for meeting people from all over the world whether they are visitors or permanent residents of Rethymno. Iroon Politechniou Square as well as Agnostou Stratioti Squar are bustling meeting points where you can feel the urban rhythm of Rethymno.
Numerous shops for souvenirs with many local products available, trendy fashion to original jewelry combined with the scenery to make a colorful street market. Souliou, Paleologou and Arabatzoglou street are perfect stops for gathering all the gifts you need to complete your shopping lists. Kountouriotou, Arkadiou and E. Antistaseos Strs are excellent shopping areas with upscale wares far from the usual tourist souvenirs.
Take a bit of Crete home!
Cretan olive oil and oil based cosmetics, local red wine and tsikoudia , graviera and other traditional Cretan cheeses, the beneficial Cretan herbs, as well as the retro traditional hand sewn needlework.
Seasonal Favorites for Locals and Guests
Do not miss Laiki (farmers market) happening every Thursday in the area of the parking lot next to the municipal garden. One of Rethymno’s basic trademarks where you can buy local greens and products. Local producers bring their finest , fresh products and local goods every week to community. Also on Wednesday noon the local organic products open market (begins at 13:00) is hosted at Koumondourou St. behind the municipal garden and the Saturday’s morning open market, 200m next to the central bus station.
If you like to dance, or just listen head to Rethymno's historic center, where you will find many bars and night clubs, all within striking distance, most of them located at the venetian port area and across the El. Venizelou, Melisinou St. and many more in the modern city of Rethymno.
Visit “rakadika” and taste a combination of traditional drink “tsikoudia” with a variety of meze dishes prepared using only local ingredients. You will find “rakadika” in every allay of the historic center along with adjacent tavernas that will provide you with the necessary challenge for an authentic gastronomic experience.
The beach of Rethymno is 12km long, stretches from the historic center and extends to the eastern part of the region reaching Scaleta. Rethymno beach has a fine-grained, light brown sand and crystal clear water that has been awarded with 9 Blue Flags for the quality of the coast. It's a safe, well organized beach, fully covered by lifeguards, with accommodations such as sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports, beach volleyball court and all kinds of amenities.