Rethymno travel guide

Rethymno Tourism | Rethymno Guide

You're Going to Love Rethymno

If you love sun-soaked beaches, beautiful architecture and fine Greek food, Rethymno will be the perfect vacation destination. One of Crete's most popular cities, it's an absorbing historical port with plenty to see, taste and do.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rethymno

1. History

Rethymno has been around for thousands of years, having been Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and Greek (along with a few years of German occupation). The Old Town and the Fortezza bastion are highlights, but there's no shortage of historical sights.

2. Wonderful Beaches

Northern Crete is blessed with some beautiful beaches. If you just want a beach vacation, Agia Galini, Panormos or Preveli will be ideal.

3. Nightlife and Great Food

Rethymno buzzes in the evenings. Start at great eateries like Knossos before partying at Chaplins or the Punch Bowl until the sun rises over the Fortezza.

4. Stunning Gorges

Just inland, you'll encounter a series of dramatic gorges like Kourtaliotiko or Prassano, where you can swim in pools beneath waterfalls and relax in the gorgeous scenery.

5. Great Shopping Opportunities

Whether you fancy stocking up on retsina or locally grown olives, Greek sandals or traditionally made leather accessories, Rethymno has the boutiques and markets for you.

What to do in Rethymno

1. A Protected Settlement & Monument

Ride the ferry to Old Town Rethymno. As you stroll through Rethymno's historic center, you'll be amazed by this quaint town boasting a wealth of oriental and Venetian Renaissance architecture. At Ruga Maistra street (Venizelou Avenue) you'll notice the city streets run parallel to the sea. The preserved Ottoman features on the walls complement the Venetian styled houses and little stores. Walk alongside the cobblestone walkways and admire the beautiful arches. When you are done sightseeing in the Old Town, head towards the beach where a strip of shops and hotels will whisk you back to the present.

2. Prehistoric And Classical Antiqueties

Visit Rethymno's pentagonal-shaped Archaeological Museum and receive a greeting from the majestic clay larnax housed at the entrance. Marvel at the various exhibits representing the Neolithic period and Roman era. The museum houses a plethora of pottery antiquities from 1888. Peruse the prefecture exhibit and admire the Archaic, Eleftheria and Minoan artifacts. You'll be mesmerized by the Neolithic and Early Minoan findings discovered in a Melidoni cave and the Minoan villas of Apodoulou and Monastiraki. The breathtaking Minoan goddess figurine is the museum's most sought-out exhibit.

3. The World's Biosphere Reserve

If you love to hike, travel the Samariá Gorge. You'll be at one with nature as its hills, rocks, and terrain surround you. The six-hour tour starts at the National Park of Samaria, where you'll start your descent down the Omalos plateau surrounded by the white majestic mountains. The hike ends at Agia Roumellon, a little village on the Libyan Sea. If you love to hike, then the long trek to Agia Roumeli will be a fun adventure. Have lunch, drinks and admire Agia Roumeli's scenic beauty. Vistors are encouraged to sail and spend the night at Sougia or Hora Sfakion, two nearby villages.

4. Spili'Ng Over With Picturesqueness

Visit the tiny town of Spili, located on the hills of Mount Kedros. This village is south of Rethymno in the province of Agios Vasilios. As you stroll along the cobbled streets, you'll notice the vibrant green trees and mountains. Walk over to the village square and admire the water fountains decorated with marbled headed lions. There are breathtaking frescoes and art displayed in the Churches of Agia Theodori, Agios Georgios, and the Church of the Metamorphosis of the Sotira (the Savior).

5. Venetian Fortress

Visit Paleokastro Hill and take a tour of this Venetian styled fortress built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. This magnificent sturdy structure aligned with bastions remains a symbol of the town's military stronghold past. Adjacent to the fortress you'll see a mosque that was once a church. If you visit in the summer, you'll get a chance to enjoy one or more of the many music concerts held at the wall near the fortress. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and admire the scenic view overlooking the wondrous sea.

1. A Protected Settlement & Monument

Ride the ferry to Old Town Rethymno. As you stroll through Rethymno's historic center, you'll be amazed by this quaint town boasting a wealth of oriental and Venetian Renaissance architecture. At Ruga Maistra street (Venizelou Avenue) you'll notice the city streets run parallel to the sea. The preserved Ottoman features on the walls complement the Venetian styled houses and little stores. Walk alongside the cobblestone walkways and admire the beautiful arches. When you are done sightseeing in the Old Town, head towards the beach where a strip of shops and hotels will whisk you back to the present.

2. Prehistoric And Classical Antiqueties

Visit Rethymno's pentagonal-shaped Archaeological Museum and receive a greeting from the majestic clay larnax housed at the entrance. Marvel at the various exhibits representing the Neolithic period and Roman era. The museum houses a plethora of pottery antiquities from 1888. Peruse the prefecture exhibit and admire the Archaic, Eleftheria and Minoan artifacts. You'll be mesmerized by the Neolithic and Early Minoan findings discovered in a Melidoni cave and the Minoan villas of Apodoulou and Monastiraki. The breathtaking Minoan goddess figurine is the museum's most sought-out exhibit.

3. The World's Biosphere Reserve

If you love to hike, travel the Samariá Gorge. You'll be at one with nature as its hills, rocks, and terrain surround you. The six-hour tour starts at the National Park of Samaria, where you'll start your descent down the Omalos plateau surrounded by the white majestic mountains. The hike ends at Agia Roumellon, a little village on the Libyan Sea. If you love to hike, then the long trek to Agia Roumeli will be a fun adventure. Have lunch, drinks and admire Agia Roumeli's scenic beauty. Vistors are encouraged to sail and spend the night at Sougia or Hora Sfakion, two nearby villages.

4. Spili'Ng Over With Picturesqueness

Visit the tiny town of Spili, located on the hills of Mount Kedros. This village is south of Rethymno in the province of Agios Vasilios. As you stroll along the cobbled streets, you'll notice the vibrant green trees and mountains. Walk over to the village square and admire the water fountains decorated with marbled headed lions. There are breathtaking frescoes and art displayed in the Churches of Agia Theodori, Agios Georgios, and the Church of the Metamorphosis of the Sotira (the Savior).

5. Venetian Fortress

Visit Paleokastro Hill and take a tour of this Venetian styled fortress built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th century. This magnificent sturdy structure aligned with bastions remains a symbol of the town's military stronghold past. Adjacent to the fortress you'll see a mosque that was once a church. If you visit in the summer, you'll get a chance to enjoy one or more of the many music concerts held at the wall near the fortress. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and admire the scenic view overlooking the wondrous sea.

Top activities & attractions in Rethymno

Where to Eat in Rethymno

Rethymno has everything Greek cuisine lovers could wish for. Outstanding options include Pigadi and Goules, which both have a traditional focus. Chef Michalis Chasikos works wonders at Avli, while Petite Fleur is an excellent French bistro. Generally, meals will cost around EUR15-20.

When to visit Rethymno

Rethymno in March
Estimated hotel price
$41
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rethymno in March
Estimated hotel price
$41
1 night at 3-star hotel

Most tourists visit during the summer, but you can beat the crowds and still enjoy the sunshine by traveling in April and May or October.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Rethymno

Plane

Chania Airport is around 40 miles to the west and buses from Chania to Rethymno will cost around EUR6.20.

Car

From Iraklion, take Highway 90, then the E75 along the island's north coast, or take the E75 from Chania. Highway 97 also snakes across the island from resorts to the south.

Bus

KTEL provides a good network of buses across Crete. It costs about EUR10 to travel from Iraklion.

Airports near Rethymno

Airlines serving Rethymno

Lufthansa
Good (1,686 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,093 reviews)
SWISS
Good (396 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (734 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (236 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (83 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (371 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,335 reviews)
Finnair
Good (557 reviews)
easyJet
Good (424 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Good (137 reviews)
Eurowings
Good (70 reviews)
Norwegian
Good (47 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (285 reviews)
Transavia France
Good (82 reviews)
FlexFlight
Excellent (1 reviews)
Condor
Okay (41 reviews)
Transavia
Good (27 reviews)
Sky Express
Good (18 reviews)
Wizz Air UK
Okay (30 reviews)
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Where to stay in Rethymno

Old Town - The weaving lanes of the Old Town are overlooked by flower-strewn balconies, with Turkish mosques and fountains, small stores and plenty of churches. It's beautiful.

Popular Neighborhoods in Rethymno

Perivolia - Just east of the city itself, Perivolia has an attractive, broad beach and a string of excellent hotels.

Missiria - A little further along the coast, Missiria shares Perivolia's beach and is more spread out, with a relaxed vibe and great beachfront eateries like Odyssia.

Where to stay in popular areas of Rethymno

Most booked hotels in Rethymno

Bio Suites Hotel
Excellent (9.2, 277 reviews)
$91+
Kastro Hotel
Excellent (9, 2308 reviews)
$46+
Royal Sun Hotel
Excellent (9, 1661 reviews)
$41+
Creta Maris Beach Resort
Excellent (9, 1139 reviews)
$209+
Galaxy Hotel Iraklio
Excellent (8.9, 1684 reviews)
$70+
Macaris Suites & Spa
Excellent (8.6, 288 reviews)
$113+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Rethymno

Public Transportation

KTEL buses are the only public transportation option in Rethymno and provide a reliable, basic service.

Taxi

Taxis don't tend to be metered, so try to arrange a price before you travel. As an example, it should cost around EUR50 to get to Chania and EUR60 to Iraklion.

Car

You can rent a car in Rethymno from Sixt or Budget for rates as low as EUR10 per day.

The Cost of Living in Rethymno

Shopping Streets

The Old Town is the city's shopping hub, offering everything from jewelry and leather goods to musical instruments and Greek foodstuffs. Check out Feel Silver for bracelets and chains or Habit for the latest Greek apparel.

Groceries and Other

Local supermarkets include ΣΥΝ.ΚΑ and INKA, where a gallon of milk will cost about EUR4.30.

Cheap meal
$8.88
A pair of jeans
$81.45
Single public transport ticket
$1.33
Cappuccino
$3.33
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