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Rethymnon, Crete

Rethymno Travel - Holidays & Vacation Packages to Rethymnon, Crete - Rethymnon Holidays Greece

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Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete, and like Hania, takes its name and ambiance from the Venetians, with its narrow, colourful streets, daring balconies and atmospheric waterfront. It also has a beach in the city, which an added attraction not found in the other major Cretan centres.

There has been a town on the site of modern Rethymno since the 4th Century, when the city of Rithymna emerged as a city state. The Venetians left their mark on the town from the thirteenth century, and the Turks invaded in 1645, maintaining sovereignty until 1897, when the Russians took over as a part of the occupation. A large number of refugees came from Turkey in1923, and there is a large student population that helps the city keep its vibe in the winter months.

The modern part of Rethymno is similar to every other built up tourist town. The most enticing part of the city is the old quarter on the waterfront. The fortress dominates the area, the site of what was once an acropolis. Within the great walls were once a plethora of buildings, but today, only a church and a mosque survive, and there are plenty of ruins to explore.

Near the entrance to the fortress is the Archaeological Museum, which has many important artefacts to view. The Neradjes Mosque is also worth visiting, as it was once a Fransciscan church. But it is the streets of the old town which beg to be explored, with its winding cobbled lanes and colourful houses. Getting lost in this maze like are is a joy reminiscent of a time long gone. There is an arts festival held in July and August, adding even more colour and light to the city streets. The sweets and pastries found in the town are some of the best in Greece, and itís worth trying the loukoumia, a sweet akin to Turkish Delight, and the halva.

Rethymno is also a good place to use as when looking to explore Western Crete. The town has many trekking and diving providers for those looking for an active vacation. Out of the town, the mountains have a fascinating array of villages and monasteries to visit and enjoy. The coast near Rethymno is home to the resorts of the area, and finding a secluded beach can be difficult in the summer months.

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