The city of Rethymno in Crete

The city of Rethymno on Crete

The city of Rethymno on Crete ©korom/Flick

Rethymno was a Greek-Roman city that flourished under the Venetian occupation in the fourteenth century becoming a literary and artistic center and a place of refuge for the scholars of Constantinople.

It is located on the north coast of Crete, at a distance of 80 km from Heraklion and 60 km from Chania.

It is the capital city and main port of the island.

Rethymno has managed to retain its traditional charm and today is amongst the major cities of Crete.

Rethymno manages successfully to satisfy its tourists with 4-star hotels, elegant restaurants and sandy beaches, as well as its historical resources.

The city of Rethymno on Crete

The city of Rethymno on Crete ©korom/Flick

The Old Town

Rethymno in Crete is a city that uniquely combines the traditional, the aristocratic and the modern elements. The old town is very picturesque, it has a beautiful Venetian harbor, castles and narrow streets paved with stones.

The Venetian harbor area is an excellent place for drinking a coffee or to have a dinner in a peaceful, harmonious atmosphere. The architecture combines with history, therefore you will find buildings in Venetian and Ottoman styles. The Huge Venetian fortress (Fortezza, Fortetsa) in the city of Rethymno guards the harbor and the lighthouse from the 13th century. The fortress dates back from the 14th century and was designed in the 1570s by Pallavicini to defend the port against the pirates and the expansionary Turks.

The walls of the Venetian Fort in Rethymno

The walls of the Venetian Fort in Rethymno ©Shadowgate/Flick

The ramparts were kept intact and in the inside of them can be seen a mosque, a church and the ruins of the residence of the governor.

The old city is a maze of narrow streets with vine canopies and all sort of flowers specific to the island, with Venetian and Ottoman houses with wrought iron balconies. The Nerantzes mosque found there is very well preserved. Initially it was a Venetian church, but in 1657 was converted into a mosque by the Turks, and now has been transformed into a concert hall.

The New Town

The modern part of the city of Rethymno offers many facilities. You will find a lot of bank offices and public services, rooms for rent, restaurants, bars and clubs. The nightlife in Rethymno is very active and the locals are very hospitable.

The big number of shops with souvenirs and trendy creative jewelry makes the city even colorful.

The streets of Rethymno

The streets of Rethymno ©Shadowgate/Flick

Other tourist attractions

In the town of Rethymno you can visit the Archaeological Museum, the Folk Museum and the Ecclesiastical Museum. You can participate to various festivals such as the Wine Festival and the Carnival.

In Rethymno is also the central bus station, from where you can go to other parts of the island. The harbor of Rethymno is connected to Piraeus and other ports of the island.

The adventure outside the city continues with dramatic gorges, old monasteries and churches, and spectacular mountains. The nearest beach is in downtown Adele.

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