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About Rethymnon and Crete Print E-mail

The Neratze Mosque in Rethymnon, CreteThe town of Rethymnon is the heart of the island of Crete and is one of the most beautiful places in Greece. Combining the mountains to the sea, clear blue water with natural beauties of Psiloritis offers an unforgettable and unique experience to each visitor.

There are traces of a civilization that dates back 4,500 years, numerous Byzantine churches and monasteries, enchanting Venetian monuments that make Rethymnon a lively challenge to each visitor.

Rethymnon has the most well-preserved Renaissance town in Greece and endless beaches, caves, gorges and unique flora and fauna. Whole Prefecture of Rethymnon is considered live postcards, which are pervaded by the aroma of Cretan cuisine and the sound of the Cretan lyre.

People live here amidst nature and emotions, outside the code of behavior found in big cities. No matter where you go, be it even to the most isolated village, our people will open their doors to you to treat you to a "tsikoudia" and befriend you.

Town of Rethymnon

On the western side of Crete where the sea coexists in harmony with the mountains and the urban culture with tradition is the picturesque town of Rethymnon. With 35,000 residents in Rethymnon is a vibrant city that offers daily mark on the entire island.

Combining education with tourism, the city of culture and letters each year hosts thousands of students and visitors from countries around the world. The narrow streets of Old Town and the beautiful blond beaches welcome visitors and offer unique and unforgettable moments.

The graphic Fortezza, the Venetian Harbour, the lighthouse, the Church of the Four Martyrs, the Venetian buildings, the Public Gardens are only a few parts of the city worth a visit to admire. Witnesses of the distant past, some of them remind us even today the special position and special way of the city in time.

As the past in this city remains unchanged, the present comes to show us that the city evolves and progresses along the modern growth. Next to the past harmoniously unfolding the present giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a walk on the coastal footpath, the squares of the city and spend moments of relaxation in the picturesque cafes and restaurants that are scattered everywhere.

So Rethymnon lives each season by giving a different color and sending a different message. In summer cool and happy Rethymnon looks like a mosaic, as thousands of tourists from countries around the world visit it. Autumn breathes air renewal as overwhelmed by hundreds of young students. In winter the icy atmosphere is warmed of the warm mood of its inhabitants that follow the traditions to prepare every detail of the largest carnival of Crete. And spring Rethymnon prepares to welcome back their favorite guests in the excellent hotel facilities!

Rethymnon is the homeland of Zeus, the god of Hospitality. The great number of visitors who return repeatedly confirms the words of the poet: ”Rethymnon is not a place where you go to, but a place where you return.”

This is the Rethymnon we offer you as an alternative for your holidays and we invite you to discover it.

Places of interest in Crete that you should visit during your stay in Rethymnon:

  • Arkadi Monastery
    Arkadi Monastery - CreteThe monastery of Arkadi is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, situated on a fertile plateau 23 km to the southeast of Rethymnon on the island of Crete.
  • Preveli Monastery
    The Preveli Monastery is 37km south of Rethimnon on the south coast of Crete. Preveli beach is located below the monastery, at the mouth of the Kourtaliótiko gorge. Preveli river and palm beach is one of the most famous beaches in Crete, beautiful and romantic. Just a few kilometers from the monastery.
  • Plakias
    Plakias is located 40 km south from Rethymnon, overlooking the Libyan Sea with beautiful surrounding countryside. The inhabitants of this lovely seaside village will do their best to make your stay a total pleasure.
  • Chania Old Town
    The Chania Old Town is regarded as one of the nicest old towns of Greece and it is the most wonderful part of the city. The "Old Town" consists of the old Venetian harbour and the small Venetian blocks located behind the harbour. It is characterized by narrow and picturesque alleys, full of life and plentiful remaining Venetian and Turkish buildings. The Lighthouse, the Fortress of Firka, the Mosque of Kioutsouk Hasan, the Great Arsenali and the Neoria have become landmarks of the city.
  • Samaria Gorge
    The Samariá Gorge is a national park on the island of Crete, and a major tourist attraction of the island. The gorge is in the prefecture of Chania in southwest Crete and  is 18 km long.
  • Elafonissi Beach
    South to Chania town lies Elafonissi beach. Opposite to the beach lies a small island also called Elafonissi which during summer time connects to the Cretan mainland by a strip of sand and makes the sea look like a lagoon. The beach is famous for its wonderful colours, since the sand is coloured pink and gold.
  • Falassarna Beach
    The ancient Falassarna located south of Chania 59km from the city and consists of two large sandy beaches with wonderful sunsets. Falassarna Beach has been voted for Best Beach in Greece.
  • Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon
    At the north western point of Crete, at Prefecture of Chania, you will find Gramvousa, a small island with an impregnable castle, a fortress, a masterpiece of the 16th century, and Balos, the unique lagoon of Crete, with its blue green waters, it pink sandy beach and famous shells!
  • Knossos Palace and Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
    The Palace of Knossos and the lost civilization of the Minoas were discovered by archaeologist Arthur Evans at 1900 AD. The brilliance of Minoas, however can best be appreciated by a tour of the Archaeological Museum of Heraklio where the finds from all the major Minoan sites are collected.
  • Phaistos Palace
    In the middle of the fertile Messara plain, at Prefecture of Heraklion, stand the remains of the Minoan palace of Phaistos. Of particular interest is the magnificent flight of stairs leading down from the old palace. From these eight steps, the guests could watch the ritualistic ceremonies and various performances held in the west court, almost like a theatre.
  • Matala Beach
    Matala is a small, coastal village located 75 km south-west of Heraklion and during the Minoan period was the port of Phaistos .The artificial caves in the cliff of the Matala beach were created in the Neolithic Age.
  • Elounda and Spinalonga Island
    Elounda is a small fishing town on the northern coast of Crete, at Prefecture of Lasithi, from where you can take the boat to Spinalonga island. Spinalonga is located at the eastern section of Crete, in Lasithi prefecture and was used as a leper colony, from 1903 to 1957. It is notable for being one of the last active leper colonies in Europe.