Rethymno, Crete (Greece): description and photo

Table of contents:

Rethymno, Crete (Greece): description and photo
Rethymno, Crete (Greece): description and photo

There is one incredibly beautiful town called Rethymno (Crete) in Greece. Every year it is popular with tourists. Rethymno was built back in the Middle Ages, which makes it an unusually picturesque place not only in terms of recreation, but also in terms of history.

Let's consider in this article in more detail about the culture and past of this city, as well as what is interesting in it today, what entertainment and attractions exist and everything tourists need to know.


As already mentioned, the region of Rethymno is located on the island of Crete in Greece, it is washed by the Cretan Sea (southern part of the Aegean). Rethymno, although popular with tourists, is small in itself. The population is about 35 thousand people, and the area is 400 km2. Located 78 km from Heraklion - the main city of the entire periphery of Crete. The area of ​​Rethymno is also called Rethymnon.

crete rethymno map


The climate here is Mediterranean, and the weather is favorable for recreation at any time of the year.The sun shines almost all year round, and the weather averages from +20 to +30 °C. As in all of Europe, the warmest months are May, June, July, August, September. However, in winter, the temperature of both water and air drops to an average of +15 ° C, but there is no snow. For tourists in such months, there is an opportunity to relax and save a lot, as many hotels and tours reduce prices. Rethymno, regardless of the season, is a very beautiful city, which has a lot of interesting things.


Archaeological finds in Rethymno indicate that the first people in full-fledged settlements lived here since the Neolithic era. And the coins with images of Athena and Apollo, found here and dating back to the 4th-3rd centuries BC, indicate that this city was very developed in the days of Ancient Greece and was part of this civilization with its own trade and economic relations, culture. It is also known that Rethymno was quite autonomous. However, against the backdrop of a general crisis, by the end of the 3rd century BC. e. the city was waiting for a slight decline.

At the beginning of the 13th century, a new period of Venetian rule began for the entire island, when Byzantium was conquered by the Crusaders. The Venetians who came to power in Crete (including Rethymno) changed the city for the better. They built walls around, the port of Mandraki, the fortress of Fortezza and other structures and buildings, many of which locals and tourists can admire today. By 1307, Rethymnon had become the third largest city in Crete.

After some time, she became the head of the boardOttoman Empire. It also affected the architecture, leaving an oriental imprint on everything: mosques and other Turkish structures were built.

In 1913, Crete is part of Greece, but a series of wars begins. In 1952, Greece joins NATO, peacetime comes, and since then tourism has been actively developing.

history of rethymno


The population of Rethymnon (Crete) has never been large, but here, nevertheless, significant personalities appeared who contributed to the history of not only the city, but the whole world. For example:

  1. Marcos Mousouros (1470-1517) - a famous philologist and publisher of the Renaissance, organized a Greek printing house in Rome at the invitation of the Pope.
  2. Elias Moskos - artist and icon painter, died in 1687.
  3. Emmanuel Tzanes (1637-1694) also painted pictures and icons. He belonged to the Cretan school of icon painting, and his works are kept in many museums.
  4. Konstantinos Sapuntzakis (1846-1931) - lieutenant general who became the first Chief of the General Staff and commander of the Epirus Army in the First Balkan War against the Ottoman Empire.


Events in the very rich history of the city, of course, greatly influenced the fact that now, in modern days, every tourist will have something to see and where to go. Consider the most famous sights below.

Fortezza Fortress was built during the reign of the Venetians in the second half of the 16th century to protect against enemies. From here, tourists can watch the picturesque sea andmountains of Ida. The fortress itself is quite large and consists of 4 bastions, as well as other premises, a warehouse, the Bishop's Palace, barracks, churches, a theater, as well as a mosque built by the Ottoman Empire. Throughout its existence, this attraction has often been rebuilt and was even on the verge of destruction, but thanks to the reconstruction, it has its original appearance and is open to tourists.

Venetian harbor is located near the fortress of Fortezza and was born around the same time. Now there are a lot of cafes, restaurants, yachts for rent. There is also an old but functioning lighthouse.

lighthouse beach rethymnon

The Archaeological Museum was founded in 1887. It is a place where you can find items from completely different eras, starting from the 6th century BC, when the first settlements appeared. There is also a 17th-century mansion, which is now a historical and ethnographic museum, where you can get a closer look at the life and life of the inhabitants of Rethymnon at that time.

The Idean Cave is a chain of caves and has a very interesting history. The only entrance from the outside is located at an altitude of more than one and a half thousand meters. It is with the cave that the ancient Greek myth about Zeus is connected, according to the plot of which the mother hid her son here. But there is also another interesting fact: people lived here in ancient times, as evidenced by the found household items that are stored in the local museum.

The Rimondi Fountain is located on Piazza Platano. Its age is more than four centuries. Originally built toanimals from the pastures could quench their thirst. It consists of four columns, next to which are the heads of lions, from where the water flows.

island of crete rethymnon fountain

Preveli Monastery was built by the Venetians in 1594 near the Kurtalion River, but during the reign of Muslims it was severely destroyed. Now the monastery has been completely restored. In the tourist part of the building, vacationers can get acquainted with this attraction, as well as look into the internal museum. There is a so-called Miraculous Cross here. There is a legend that it heals from some eye ailments. The second part of Preveli is completely for monks and for worship, tourists are not allowed to enter here.

It is also hard to ignore the famous Guor Gate, as it was the main entrance to the old part of the city, also built in the 16th century.

But the mosque of Ibrahim Khan is the property of the Muslims of the XVI century. Initially, it was built as the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas, but when the reign of the Ottoman Empire came, everything was redone here. Now this place is a historical monument.

Another mention should be made of the Kara Musa Pasha Mosque, which has a similar history with the previous attraction. That is why it combines some details of the Renaissance, when the Venetians built it, and oriental features that were added when the Turks seized power.

The Minoan palace of Zomynthos is an incredibly interesting place in terms of history, which was found only in the second half of the 20th century. This palace is an ancient ruin. Hereonce lived a noble family.

Nature lovers also have something to see in Rethymnon. For example, Biotopoi Natural Park, which appeared in 2004. There are collected more than two hundred species of plants that grow on the island (rare and on the verge of extinction as well). As well as fifty species of animals. The park is small, and you can walk both on your own and with a guide.


And now, when we have examined the cultural part of Rethymno, let's move on to another significant "zest", because it is still a resort town on a famous island with a favorable climate. There is a long promenade with a lot of places where you can relax, sunbathe and swim.

island of crete region of rethymnon

List a few beaches:

  1. City beach is a generalized name for the entire coast of the city, stretching for as much as 13 kilometers. It has everything: sun loungers, cafes, changing rooms, toilets, provided entertainment and water sports.
  2. The spacious Coumbes beach is located near the Fortezza fortress, two kilometers from the center.
  3. Adelianos Kambos (length 7.5 km) is located near the village of Adele. It also includes the more secluded Piyanos Kambos.
  4. Skaletta is located 12 km from Rethymno. It is worth noting that it is very picturesque and less crowded due to its remoteness.
  5. Glika Nera Beach is located near Rethymnon and has almost no entertainment, but it is incredibly clean, and even a freshwater stream flows, so there are many vacationers.
  6. Gerani Beach is located 6 km from the city center. Hedivided into two parts by a river flowing into the sea. The first one has a sandy coastline and amenities provided, while the second one is more secluded with a pebble beach.
  7. There is another such place between Heraklion and Rethymno in Crete - Bali. It is the namesake of an island in the Malaysian archipelago, but they have nothing in common other than the name. Bali in Crete is a village and a very good beach adjacent to it, which is also worth mentioning in the list. It is divided in turn into 4 more small beaches: Karavostasi, Limani, Varkotopos, Livadi. Entertainment, sun loungers and other amenities are in abundance here. The coast is pebbly and sandy, and the entrance to the water is quite gentle, so the place is ideal for families with children.

Fun & Holidays

The choice of entertainment here is really wide. Outdoor enthusiasts can visit the local diving center, go surfing and many other water sports. You can also go on hiking tours, which are often arranged here, and this is a great opportunity to admire the beautiful exotic nature of this place.

Those who prefer a quiet holiday and families with children can go to the water park, go to the spa or take a walk around the city. And for young people there is a good opportunity to taste the nightlife with local parties.

Rethymnon culture

Don't forget about local holidays. Since Orthodoxy is the main religion in Rethymno (as well as throughout Greece), Shrovetide is regularly held here, which is celebrated with carnival, dancing, and singing. But every July in the city gardenwine festival is underway.

Rethymno also has cultural holidays. For example, the Renaissance Festival in August, accompanied by a cultural and entertainment program.


Rethymno (Crete) is a small city, but tourism is very developed here. That is why, if you decide to relax in such a picturesque place, then an incredibly large selection of hotels and inns will open before you. For example, Pepi Boutique Hotel, Vetera Suites, Antica Dimora, Palazzino di Corina and many others. For those who want to relax on a budget, but at the same time no worse, there are also good options in Rethymnon (Crete): Atali Village3, Archipelagos Residence2, Akti Corali Hotel, Leoniki Residence, Eltina Hotel, Zantina Hotel. It should be borne in mind that such budget options may be located outside the city, and besides, not on the first coastline (for example, Rethymno Village).

Rethymno, Crete: how to get there?

First of all, you need to fly by plane to Greece itself. There is an airport in Athens, where all tourists usually arrive. From the capital to Rethymno in Crete, you can already sail by ferry.

You can also fly directly to the island. There is no airport in Rethymnon, but there is one in the nearest cities: Heraklion and Chania, from where you can get to your destination in a couple of hours by bus.

rethymnon town


Reviews of Rethymnon in Crete and the rest are usually very positive. Many note the picturesqueness of this city and its beauty. Every tourist will find something to their liking: lovers of history and culture are obliged to walk along the historicalcenter, and those who want to swim and bask in the sun can easily find a beach and a suitable hotel. However, it is recommended to come to Rethymno for at least 3 days in order to have time to "taste" the beauty of the city and relax. Many people also note that you can relax here on a relatively budget.

Popular topic