Filled with old-world charm and a long strip of golden sand on Crete’s north coast, Rethymno lures you in with its classic Cretan cuisine and relaxed holiday ambience. The coastal haven also boasts Renaissance structures, a modern harbour and lively beach promenade.
Things to do in Rethymno
Get a feel for Rethymno by strolling the Old Quarter’s narrow, winding alleyways and stone staircases. View the Venetian mansions on Arkadiou Street, then stop for lunch or tea at one of the homey cafes around Rimondi Fountain. Climb the hill just outside town to explore the ruins of the Venetian Fortezza and its Greek Orthodox chapel.
Rethymno’s main beach sits in the middle of town with a two-kilometre-long promenade and dozens of cafes, shops and souvenir stands. You can rent jet skis, body boards and pedalos or book a speedboat excursion. In the evening, the bars come to life with dancing, cocktails and music.
The Old Quarter offers traditional Cretan food at Alana Restaurant, which also serves the local Cretan moschofilero wine. Afterwards, pop into one of the cafes around Rimondi Fountain for Greek yoghurt and honey. In the old waterfront section you can try ouzo-soaked shrimp at The Old Harbour with romantic moonlit water views.
Ready for some shopping? Hit the boutiques and artisan shops on the Arkadiou and Ethnikis Antistaseos streets in the Old Quarter. You’ll find one-of-a-kind treasures, such as Cretan embroidery, olive-wood bowls and handcrafted silver jewellery. You can also pick up mizithra cheese, figs and local olive oil.
Getting around Rethymno
Taxis, shuttles and coaches offer transportation in Rethymno. You can rent a car in the town centre or at Chania International Airport, about 35 kilometres away.