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The city of Rethymnon on the Greek island of Crete is undoubtedly one the island’s most picturesque. While it lacks much of the Minoan influence that characterises other cities on the island, it nevertheless retains a sense of antiquity and grandeur, mixing Hellenistic, Venetian, Byzantine and Roman architectural styles. The city has several excellent archaeological and maritime museums, and its location in central Crete makes it is an excellent gateway to the island’s attractions.
Old Town — Rethymnon’s old town offers an immersive experience of the town’s eclectic past. Bars, restaurants and tavernas nestle amongst the old world charm of the Venetian harbourside and winding cobbled streets. Open air galleries and the crumbling charisma of the Rimondi Fountain complete the picture.
Fortezza of Rethymnon — This Venetian era castle is one of the best preserved in Crete. Explore the Fortezza’s bastions and armoury, or take a short scramble to the top of this ancient citadel to enjoy unbeatable views across the city to the south and the aquamarine splendour of the Sea of Crete to the north.
Rethymnon Beach — Rethymnon Beach begins right in the middle of the city and stretches for more than seven sandy, sun-kissed miles. This means you’ll find a perfect spot, whether you need to be near the tavernas and restaurants or a little further out in a spot you can call your own.
Gerani — To really get off the beaten track, the nearby resort of Gerani is much quieter than the seafront in Rethymnon. Here you’ll enjoy a more peaceful day on the beach, or just experience a taste of Cretan life as it might feel for the locals.
There’s no better way to see the island than by getting out on the water. With a customised boat tour, you’ll get to visit all the best parts of Crete, including the areas tourists don’t normally go. With insider knowledge from one of Crete’s professional guides, pick and choose your own destinations. Alternatively, to see the island from land, a small group Rethymnon Conquered walking tour might be a better option. See the city in all its glory, with a trip around Rethymnon’s Venetian mansions and the old Ottoman district of Sabbionara, famed for its temples, the Kara Mousha Pasha mosque and the architectural delights of the Byzantine Museum.
Discover the noble ruins of the Sacred Monastery of Arkadi, or for a more contemporary taste of the local culture, check out the Municipal Gallery. This cutting edge institution is home to some excellent examples of modern Greek art. Once you’ve had your fill of Crete’s sights and attractions, amble down to Rethymnon Harbour for a gentle evening meal, where the children can fish with buckets and nets, while you dine on local Cretan cuisine, all under the watchful eye of Rethymnon’s grandiose white lighthouse.