Rethymno is located in the north end of the prefecture, built by the sea and is a city with many faces. Rethymno or Rithymna as it was once called has been inhabited since the Later Minoan III period. Nowadays, it keeps the elements inherited by its history (from antiquity up to now), preserving at the same time the characteristics of a modern city.
Rethymno or Rethimno combines rarely united features: the old town’s charm and history, with proximity to a long sandy beach. Explore one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Greece, and search for your fairy-tale romance in Rethymno. Although it is the third-largest town in Crete, Rethimnon never feels like a city as Chania and Heraklion do.
Instead, it has a provincial air; it’s a place that moves slowly (although has a lively atmosphere), a very romantic place, and the most important preserves much of its Venetian and Turkish appearance. Rethymno’s timeless attractions and diverse landscapes, city architecture, museums, archaeological sites, endless sandy beaches, and escapes to nearby villages will reward you with a rich cultural yet relaxed experience all year round.
Rethymno offers cultural pride and natural beauty. Venetian fortification works mingle harmonically with orthodox and catholic churches, mosques, majestic mansions of Venetian architecture, arches, and cobbled paths which create a magical atmosphere, reminiscence of the city’s turbulent –yet glorious– past. Rethymno is the only city in Crete that is built on a cape, and more specifically, “on the boundary between calmness and fierceness,” as the location is eloquently described by local writer Pantelis Prevelakis.
There are two sides to Rethymno offering two styles of visit: the endless big beach hotel strip that stretches from the east end of Rethymno, lapping up the coastal “villages” of Perivolia, Platanias, Adelianos Kambos, Pigianos Kambos, Sfakaki, Stavromenos and Skaleta – and – the Rethymno that allows you the character of the old town with its mix of architecture and history, cultural influences and styles ranging from Venetian to Ottoman empire.