A city of history & arts
A city with people who celebrate hospitality, like the genuine descendants of Xenios Zeus they are. To the ancient Greeks, this was the city of dolphins (display on ancient coins). The third largest city of Crete, built on the site of ancient Rithymna (4th-3rd century BC) and inhabited since the Late Minoan years, with subsequent influences from the Roman period, the years of Arab rule and later on by the First Byzantine period, Rethymno preserves to this day Renaissance style architecture. It has been declared a historical monument and a traditional settlement.
Majestic mountains, a Venetian Port, Venetian mansions, fresh air, vast, emerald blue – thanks to the light of Aegean – sea, historical and natural monuments, picturesque alleys, and houses with yards and balconies with flowers are some of the features composing a travel to another era. At the same time, you will find that you are in a well-organized and very special, Aegean, waterfront location 12 km long!
The walk in the old town of Rethymno, on the cobblestone alleys, vibrant with life, the smell of fresh baked bread by the traditional bakeries, the intricate baskets and vases of the shops, and the cafés, the raki taverns*, the restaurants, the clubs on the sandy beach, will make you never want to leave. This sense of place, made us decide to share our experience with other fellow travellers and offer accommodation in a villa, for comfort and variety of activities.
Important note: The Municipality of Rethymno operates several Wi-Fi HotSpots.
* Raki, is the traditional drink of Crete. In Rethymno you will find many places where they serve raki along with traditional dishes and usually with live local music (mantinades)
Holiday Villas in Rethymno means Holiday Experience! Live your own experience with us!
What to see
In the old town: The Venetian port with the fishing boats and the Venetian lighthouse.
The Venetian fortress of Fortezza built on the site of the ancient temple of Artemis, it is the venue for the renaissance festival every summer, with various events and performances by famous Greek and foreign artists.
The Great Gate of Rethymnon with opening 2.60 meters was the main entrance of the fortified city of Rethymno.
The Fountain Rimondi and the square with the plane tree with three lion heads with running water and below the Thomas workshop making saddles and bridles for horses.
The private mansions in the old town of Rethymno and many houses outstanding examples of Turkish architecture wood.
The “Lady of the Angels“, is a beautiful church which was built in the last years of Venetian rule.
The Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno, which hosts mainly objects of traditional crafts and folk art.
The Kara Musa Pasha Mosque which dates from 1646 and worth a visit!
San Francisco and the Arts Centre which will take you in times of the 16th century!
The Turkish School is the oldest school building of Rethymno, built in 1795 and reconstructed in 1890.
The Neratze mosque which houses the Conservatory of the City was built in 1657!
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete located in Mesolongi Street worth a visit!
Swim in the waters where the Aegean and Libyan Sea mingle! Organised and non-organised beaches for sunbathing and games in the sea, such as water sports and diving, await you, as the prefecture features 6 “blue flag” awarded beaches.
Organised beaches provide umbrellas, sunbeds, water sports, food, drinks, music and a lot of people, while in non-organised beaches you will find some peace of mind! In both cases, you will not be able to forget the colour of the sea, its crystal waters, and the light that makes the surroundings even more idyllic.
Visit the beach in Agia Galini which has umbrellas and sunbeds for shading, to enjoy the clear blue waters! Ammoudaki (MikroAmoudi) and the Grand Amoudiwhich is indicated for those who want more relax moments,since the small Amoudi has no umbrellas. Damoni (Preveli) beach is surrounded with dozens of palm trees which gives you the opportunity to do a short hike to see the forest behind the beach.
Ligres is a secluded beach and is located 45 minutes away from Rethymnon, but still its tranquility is unique! Plakias is a popular beach in Rethymno where gathers many people and with a lot of amenities! St. Paul is characterized by gentle sand and the dunes! In particular the yoga enthusiasts will love this place, as there are several seminars and events!
Local events, celebrations and traditional festivals along with some magnificent canyons for hiking! An initiative of the Association of Residents of the Old Town and the active support from the Regional Unit of Rethymno and the Municipality of Rethymno, the “Tourism – Culture” activities, include a range of events of local artistic expression and creation, as portrayed in every form of art: Music, Theatre, Painting, Arts (2 times a year, in May and September).
Screenings of children’s films, at the theatre of Mikrasiaton Square
Carnival of Rethymno
Wine festival of Rethymno Municipality
Cretan diet festival
Rethymnon Renaissance Festival
Word Press Cycling
Hiking and walks in the natural environment with the spectacular variety of fauna and flora, numerous canyons, habitats, caves, imposing oak tree forest, monasteries on mountain tops, Rethymno is the ideal alternative for those who want to combine sea and mountain.
Gorge of the Myloi, an easy 1 hour walk to a verdant gorge near Rethymnon, Gorge of Myloi.
The Prassano gorge is a three-hour route, through spectacular rock walls – Prassano gorge.
Kastelli Oak forest – walk in the oak forest of the species Quercusmacrolepis. In the past, acorns were cultivated and used in tanning.
Galliano gorge – hiking in a 5,732m.gorge.
Kourtaliotiko gorge – The hiking route starts from Koxare village and passes through the rocky slopes of mountains Kouroupa (984 m.) and Xiro Oros (904 m). Part of the gorge is traversed by Kourtaliotis River, which flows in Preveli. You will love the sounds coming out of the rock pits.
Pardi Forest – On the tops of Psiloritis Mountain.
Crete in general is renowned for the quality and variety of its local products, which are also the spine of Cretan cuisine, which in turn contributes to the promotion of the Mediterranean diet. Excellent local virgin olive oil is the key ingredient to any dish you may choose. The sheep and goats of the region, apart from their delicious meat, also provide exquisite cheeses that are worth tasting such as myzithra, graviera and stakovoutyro.
The restaurant catalogues always feature ntakos (rusks with tomatoes and xinomyzithra cheese), amanites mushrooms, snails or hohlious cooked in many ways, but usually served “bourbouristi”, namely cooked in the pan with lemon and rosemary. Do try lamb ofto (antikristo), tsigariasto, or even pasta syzouma with anthotyro – you will be thrilled!
In Rethymno you will love drinking, thanks to raki & rakomelo, the local distilled spirits served from morning until night, even for free after your meal. In all coastal areas you will find fresh fish, various seafood dishes and you will try gourmet experiences.
In Argyroupoli of the prefecture of Rethymnon, on the site of the ancient city of Lappa, dating back to 220 BC, a three-story renovated neoclassical building of 1933, houses the “The Cretan Gastronomy Centre” which provides a comprehensive experiential introduction to the local cuisine.
One of the best restaurants for seafood and fish isin the coastal area of Rethymno, the ‘’Prima Plora’’ combines excellent special atmosphere and high quality and would definitely love it!
” To Steki tou Giannikou’’ in Prines in Rethymnon, serves traditional Greek cuisine with excellent flavors!
For lovers of burger, try a delicious burger at ” Mojo Burgers ”!
The ” La Boheme ‘‘ offers something different with delicious gourmet choices and the decor reminiscent of something from the 20s!
The Vasilis restaurant serves traditional Cretan dishes made with fresh local products that will impress even the most demanding customer!
Rethymno has no airport, but is served by two International Airports operating in Crete, in Heraklion and Chania. Travelling by plane it will take you 45 minutes to get from Athens to Crete, and 1 hour and a half from Thessaloniki to Crete. Rethymno is an hour’s drive from both airports of the island. Travelling by sea, from the port of Piraeus and from Thessaloniki you will get to Rethymno via the port of Chania or Heraklion, Crete. In total there are 6 ports in Crete. On a daily basis, ferry boats connect Rethymno, Chania and Heraklion with the port of Piraeus. The port of Heraklion, which is also the largest on the island, is connected with the ports of Thessaloniki, Volos, Gythio and the ports of the islands: Santorini, Milos, Paros, Tinos, Skiathos, Naxos, Syros, Kythira, Antikythira.