It's worth visiting them
Rethymno is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities, not only in Greece but also in the entire Mediterranean.
Built on the site of ancient Rithymna (5th – 4th century BC) there was over the centuries a crossroads of civilizations, which left their indelible mark on the area and in particular on the Old Town of Rethymno. Ottoman mosques, minarets, Venetian houses, Venetian fountains, the Venetian port, and the famous castle of Fortezza, give visitors the opportunity to admire them up close and "travel" back in time, in earlier times.
Rethymno offers its guests countless relaxation and entertainment options, along with a plethora of activities for all ages and tastes, and this makes their holidays in Crete a unique and one of a kind experience. We recommend 5 activities that every visitor of the city should try if he wants to get to know the life and history of this place better.
Visit the Castle of Fortezza
The Venetian castle Fortezza on the hill of Paleokastro looms over Rethymno and it is considered to be the trademark of the city. For years, it hosts every summer a variety of cultural events (music and dance events, theatrical performances, painting exhibitions, etc.) as well as the Renaissance Festival. This year there will be several events, following all the health protocols and the necessary protection measures against the coronavirus.
You can plan a walk-in Fortezza, attend a cultural event and enjoy the amazing view of Rethymno from above, as well as the blue waters of the Cretan Sea.
Rethymno is now part of the "Bike Friendly" city network, which is a bike-friendly city. Within the city, the network of bike paths reaches a length of 20 km. while in the broader area around and outside the city, there are 22 cycling routes.
It is a great way to admire the beauties of Rethymno and explore their secrets on a bike while enjoying the sun and the fresh air! The picturesque, cobbled streets of the Old Town, as well as the natural beauties of the wider area, will surprise you pleasantly and will be an unforgettable experience.
Tasting the Cretan Cuisine
The area of Rethymno is famous for the authenticity of its local products that are part of the tradition of Crete.
The flavors of Cretan cuisine, a cuisine with a worldwide reputation and recognition, are offered in all restaurants and taverns of the city and the countryside. Cretan gastronomy guarantees a healthy diet that contributes to good health and longevity. It does not include complicated cooking techniques and uses fresh and pure products from local producers. You can try local specialties: “Horta” or Cretan wild greens, “kolokithokeftedes” (zucchini stuffed with onions, potatoes, carrot and other ingredients and spices, mixed-well and cooked in olive oil) the “wedding pilaf” or else “gamopilafo”, “gemista” (vegetables, often peppers or tomatoes, stuffed with a rice mixture and baked), the famous Cretan “Dakos” salad, etc. Don't forget to try the local cheese (feta, gruyere, mizithra) as well as excellent wines from the vineyards of Rethymno and Crete.
All these Cretan cuisine ingredients that you will taste in the warm and family atmosphere of the city's restaurants and will amaze you, you can find them in the open-air popular farmers market of the city.
At the open market you will meet local producers and find fresh fruits and vegetables: juicy red tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, potatoes, various greens and many kinds of fruits, are some of them. You can also buy olives, extra virgin olive oil, local wines, amazing quality thyme honey, various local cheese and herbs from the mountains of the region such as diktam, maloter, thyme and oregano.
Getting to know the Turtle Caretta - Caretta
On the beautiful beach of Rethymno, 12 km long, with golden sand and shallow water, there is the third-largest reproductive population of sea turtle Caretta-Caretta.
Turtles come to the beach every year to give birth in early May. The eggs hatch in protected nests in the sand and from August until October, hundreds of chicks arrive at sea with the help of volunteers of the Association "Archelon"
and local residents. If you are lucky you may attend this amazing event, a unique life experience, that few have the chance to live up close.
Visit to Eleutherna and Arkadi
The archaeological sites of Eleutherna and Arkadi are reference points for Rethymno and constitute a living part of the history of the place.
Ancient Eleutherna is 30 km from Rethymno. Archaeological excavations brought to light findings of great importance such as a settlement that includes Hellenistic walls, Roman buildings, baths as well as an early Christian basilica with mosaic decoration, along with a necropolis of geometric and archaic times and Hellenistic, Roman buildings. The new museum that has been created includes exhibits from excavations of more than 30 years, which "travel" visitors to the “dawn” of Greek culture.
At a short distance from Eleutherna, just 12 km away, is Arkadi.
The historic Monastery of Arkadi, the most famous of the Monasteries in Rethymno, belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a European Monument of Freedom. It is a symbol of self-sacrifice and freedom not only for the Cretans but also for all Greeks. The visitor can tour the buildings of the Monastery, visit the Museum, where many old relics that have been saved over the years are housed, or else, visit the Gallery. There are exhibitions of works by old and younger artists who were inspired by the Holocaust of the Monastery and its historical course.
Unique tours and experiences, in destinations rich in history, colors, and aromas, that you will enjoy to the fullest with all your senses.