The picturesque harbour town of Rethymno is located just an hours drive from Crete’s cosmopolitan capital Heraklion. This quaint town attracts locals and visitors alike to its choice of excellent waterside tavernas. The endless beach at this pretty resort is perfect for families, with its gently shelving sand and palm-lined promenade. The old town, marked by the ancient fortress, old harbour, winding paved streets, fish restaurants, cafés and bars is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
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Local specialities include Lamb Klefiko and Beef Stifado, you will also find a number of fresh fish restaurants near the harbour.
Most of the nightlife is found in the heart of Rethymno old town and sea front. Relax with a drink by the water’s edge in the old fishing harbour or soak up the atmosphere in the heart of the old town with its traditional charm and beautiful architecture. Rethymnon has a wide choice of cocktail bars where you can relax or dance the night away and a selection of local nightclubs which continue into the early hours. You can find nightlife in the popular resorts of Adelianos Kampos and Platanias, including a variety of café’s, cocktail bars, a music bar (small nightclub) & live Greek dancing .
A small open air market is held on Thursday mornings beside the Marina.
Dourakis Winery can be found in between Rethymno and Chania near to the village of Alikambos – providing wine tasting and tours of the vineyards.
Various boat excursions can be taken from Rethymno's town harbour which explore Crete's northern coastline.
Various sporting events such as Basketball and Volleyball are held throughout the year in Reythmno’s “Melina Mercouri Sport Stadium”, which is set behind the Fortezza in Rethymno Town.
Head south into the hills and mountains from Rethymno and you’ll be transported into Crete’s natural beauty.
Samaria Gorge is one of Greece’s most well-known areas of Natural Beauty, which can be found near the southern part of the island to the south of Chania.
Gramouvsa is a small island off the north-west coast of Crete and is one of Crete’s hidden gems – access is easiest via a boat from Kissamos Kastelli Port.
The Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete, can be found 18 kilometres south from Chania Town, near to the village of Fournes. Set within 20 hectares of grounds, the Park and Gardens host a variety of fruit trees from all over the world, herbs, medicinal, and ornamental plants.
Aquaworld Aquariumin Hersonissos and Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos in Heraklion. Aquaworld is Crete’s first aquarium, opening in 1995. Both aquariums feature sea life and reptiles from all over the world, and the majority of these animals were rescued or previously injured and have been given a second chance with a new home.
Watercity, Crete’s main waterpark, can be found 15km on the eastern side of Heraklion and hosts a variety of water slides and pools, along with various other restaurant / bar facilities.
Limnoupolis waterpark, can be found 10km south-east from Chania, near to the village of Varipetro and offers a variety of pools and waterslides, along with snack bars and a restaurant.
The Palace of Knossos is situated 5km southeast of Heraklion. Knossos was the first capital city of Crete and this monument is the most important on the whole island. The Palace of Knossos is also connected to several thrilling legends, including the myth of the Labyrinth, Daidalos and Ikaros and the Minotaur. This amazing historical site is definitely worth the visit and you won’t be disappointed.
Rethymno has a wonderfully historic old town made up of tiny winding, cobbled streets, whereby many traditional, chic, boutique and cloth shops can be found, along with many cafés and small eateries. Part of the old town is based around a lovely Venetian harbour area, offering a host of waterside tavernas and cafés.
Various Museums can be found around Rethymno town, displaying all types of artefacts: Paleontogical Museum, The Archaelogical Museum, The Folklore Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, Centre of Cretan Popular Art, Ecclesiastical Museum.
There are many churches and cathedrals throughout the town of Rethymno, most of which can be visited (albeit some at specific times), the larger and more popular churches visited are: the Cathedral in Mitropolis Square, The Church of the Four Martyrs and the Neratze Mosque and Minaret.
Slightly further afield, but all within a 30 minute drive of Rethymno Town are a selection of fabulous Monasteries which be explored and enjoyed: Nunnery of Agia Irini, Arkadi Monastery, Monastery of Bali, Preveli Monastery, Monastery of Prophet Ilias, Arsani Monastery.
The British and Commonwealth War Cemetery is located in Souda Bay, 5km east of Chania.
The German War Cemetery is found the hills over-looking Maleme airfield, located 20km to the west of Chania.
The White Mountains National Park is centred around the Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe (16km in length). Various excursions can be booked from most large towns and resorts, whereby you can hike along the gorge. Good walking shoes and some degree of fitness is required!
The Old Fortress (Fortezza) of Reythmno sits proudly overlooking the harbour and old town and offers a popular attraction for tourists to visit.
There are many other ancient castles and fortresses found all over Crete - the most popular include: Frangokastrello (in the south west part of the island, 12km from the village of Chora Sfakion) and Castello del Moro (in Heraklion).
The old towns of Reythmno and Chania offer a strong presence of Venetian design and architecture.
Go-karting, Bike hire, Fishing, Horse riding
Banana boats, Jet ski, Parasailing, Donuts, Scuba diving, Snorkelling
Assumption of the...national event
On the 15th August every year, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Villages are decorated, festivals are held, traditional dances are staged and there is a generally a great festive atmosphere.
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