Spring in Rethymno is also a celebration – and Easter is the best example. Special traditions mark not only the mourning of Christ’s Crucifixion and the celebration of Resurrection but also the passage from winter to spring. In Easter time, get to know the customs of the city and enjoy traditional feasts in friendly households or villages. You will feel overwhelmed by the flowers, you will feel surprised by the green, and you will get unprecedented feelings by the religious and celebrating events. Local customs as the solemn Good Friday processions behind a bier decorated in white flowers by parish women, the Ascension ceremony on Easter Eve with its candles and fireworks, the Paschal lamb on the spit, and the services in churches, monasteries, and chapels will entrance you. You can attend special Easter celebrations in the village of Argyroupoli, where giant torches (candles) are manufactured from reeds and activities by the villagers in order to honor the dead Jesus but also to illuminate the path followed by the procession of the Epitaph. Each torch may be up to 6 meters in length and held by 3 or more people. Argyroupoli is located 27 km southwest of Rethymno on the slopes of the White Mountains with its many springs of crystal clear water and the remains of the ancient city of Lappa. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the traditional Cretan cuisine, or, even better, to enjoy the preparations of the special Easter delicacies: Easter preparations begin on Holy Thursday when the traditional sweet bread (tsoureki) and the traditional Easter cookies (koulourakia) are baked, and eggs are dyed red (red is the colour of life as well as a representation of the blood of Christ). After the midnight service of the Holy Saturday, the traditional mayiritsa soup is served in every Cretan household. But the highlight of the Easter delicacies is, of course, the lamb cooked outdoors on a spit, a dish that has both Christian and ancient Greek roots. Choosing a lamb, putting it on a spit and cooking it over coals is quite a complicated procedure and it usually takes hours for them to cook through, so the process starts as early as 7 a.m. on Easter morning. The typical Greek family enjoys Easter outdoors, next to the spit, a scene rounded out with traditional music and wine. The number one dish in Crete when you talk about Easter lamb is antikristo. The name derives from the cooking method which literally means “across the fire”. This technique is very popular because it is easy to prepare and cook as, the only thing you need, is fire and salt. The slow cooking makes the meat soft, while salt dehydrates it resulting in a crispy skin. If you come across one of the places that serve antikristo, do not miss the chance to try this exquisite delicacy.
Nature in peace
The outstanding natural beauty of spring in Rethymno region, reaches its maximum during the months of April and May, ideal for those with special interests in bird watching and wildlife. Exploring the picturesque villages, getting lost in narrow cobbled paths, enjoying the unique scenery and scenic landscape sightseeing, hike and explore ancient mule-path, visiting temples and enjoying different activities (biking, walking, etc.), spring weather and temperatures create the perfect conditions so you can enjoy history and nature without worrying about getting sun-stroke. The unexplored and pristine mountain regions such as gorges or caves will reveal their wonders to those who love off-road adventures and the options are many at all levels of difficulty. Take a colorful journey to the base of the breathtaking Psiloritis Mountain, where you'll find rich cultural, walking and cycling routes and experience the spirit of the mountain villages. Discover inland secrets and the wide variety of flora and fauna (1,624 native wild plants with 170 endemic plant and 1,000 animal species), taste some wild greens and enjoy the hospitality of the region. Every year from May to June, the majestic yet endangered species of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta is nesting in the clear Rethymno's beaches, so you might come upon a Caretta Caretta or even see a female laying its eggs. You can participate in the release of an injured sea turtle, or live the hatchling surviving of a baby Caretta Caretta turtle during an excavation having its first travel into the ocean.
The city of sunshine
Ancient walls, the Venetian castle, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian buildings, mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty. After you enjoy strolls in cobblestone streets, you will indulge in the authentic Cretan cuisine, sleep in restored Venetian mansions and get spoiled with unforgettable evenings full of Cretan raki. Rethymno is ideal for gastronomic getaways, cooking classes or visits to local traditional wineries as well as olive oil and cheese producers. With a sophisticated appreciation for traditional music and fine art, Rethymno offers the well known Cretan Diet Festival, museum & galleries and art tours featuring local artisans and artists. All in all, the beautiful world of Nature is never-ending. There will always be something new, lovely and unknown, which will charm and entrance you. Your spring visit to Rethymno will get you familiarized to this incredible world of exquisite and everlasting beauty and it will make you love it but also protect the fragility and delicacy of it.
20 km. cycling network in the city of Rethymno, 8km cycling in or around historic center.The cycling network in Rethymno prefecture includes 22 cycling routes for all cyclists, regardless of age, or skill level.
Whoever is lucky enough to take a holiday in spring and early June will have the legendary beaches to themselves. Relaxing in the non-crowded fine-grained gold amazing beaches in Rethymno is preferable in spring when there are no strong winds to disturb the calmness of the Aegean Sea. The beach of Rethymno is 12 km long; it starts from the historical city center and extends to the eastern part. It is the perfect spot for an ideal wedding or for renewing your vows.