29th May 2015
Crete is the largest island in Greece and is the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. Out of all the Greek islands, it’s one of the most beautiful and distinctive, with a diverse mix of landscape. With its beautiful beaches, bewitching landscapes and fascinating history, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the top holiday destinations for tourists in Europe.
Crete has six principal cities, each one offering something new and exciting for tourists to discover.
As a company who specialises in hiring out Crete villas with pools, we are experts when it comes to Crete. Using this knowledge, this post will focus on one of the main cities in Crete: Rethymno.
Rethymno is the third largest town in Crete, with a population of around 40,000 people. Despite its size, it rarely feels like a busy town. It’s a place that has managed to keep elements inherited by its history, whilst preserving at the same time the characteristics of a modern day town.
It’s often described as a town with two faces. This is because to the east side there is a long strip of hotels along a beautiful beach, and to the west it’s more of an old town, with cobbled streets and historic attractions.
There are several different methods of transportation for reaching the town of Rethymno, mainly by bus and ferry.
Bus – You can get to Rethymno by regular bus lines from both Chania which takes 60 minutes and Heraklion which takes around 90 minutes. All buses stop at a bus station just west of the centre, in which it is then a 15 minute walk away.
Ferry – Ferries run daily from Athens, and arrive early in the morning. Most of the ferries arrive in Chania or Herkalion, but there are occasional direct routes. The ferry docks right in the centre of the town, affording a much more picturesque arrival.
Things to See
Rethymno is a region that has authentic beauty and a relaxing atmosphere. Its great historical importance and natural scenery makes it a wonderful place to do some sightseeing.
The Historical Folklore Museum
This museum was founded in 1974 and covers the local life of the previous centuries, and includes more than 5000 items. It is housed on a Venetian mansion from the 17th century that was built in a renaissance style.
The Arkadi Monastery is located in the hills, some 23km southeast of Rethymno. It has a deep significance for Cretans, as it stands as a potent symbol of human resistance. It was a site of a tragic and momentous standoff between the Turks and the Cretans back in 1866, and is considered a spark plug in the struggle towards freedom from the Turkish.
It includes a Venetian Church which has a striking Renaissance facade, marked by 8 slender Corinthian columns and is topped by a triple belled tower.
Rethymno’s beach is one of the best beaches in Crete. It begins in town and extends several miles to the east, which a large portion of it backed by hotels. In the west of the town, a rock unspoilt coastline takes you towards another fantastic beach, towards Georgiopoli.
There are several activities you can also enjoy along the beach, including boat trips and paragliding.
Whatever you choose to do, Rethymno is guaranteed to keep you busy all day long.
We hope that this post has inspired you to go and discover the beautiful town of Rethymno – there is something to do and see for everyone.
Crete as a whole has so much to offer all its visitors, with its rich culture and breathtaking landscapes.