Touring in Crete: Rethymno

Rethymno Harbour, Crete, Greece

1st stop: Rethymno

Rethymno is a city of about 40,000 people, it is the capital of Rethymno region on the island of Crete. It was built in antiquity (ancient Rhithymna and Arsinoe), but was never a competitive Minoan centre. It was, however, strong enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. One of these coins is today depicted as the crest of the town with two dolphins in a circle.

Rethymno - view from the Venetian fortress, Crete, GreeceRethymno venetian port and fort, seen from the airView of the old Rethymno town, Crete, GreeceCoordinates: 35°22′N 24°28′E

This region as a whole is rich with ancient history, most notably through the Minoan civilisation centred at Kydonia east of Rethymno. Rethymno itself began a period of growth when the Venetian conquerors of the island decided to put an intermediate commercial station between Heraklion and Chania, acquiring its own bishop and nobility in the process. Today’s old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Venetians. It is one of the best preserved old towns in Crete.

Rethymno Fontaine Rimondi, Crete, GreeceThe town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, the small Venetian harbour and narrow streets. The Venetian Loggia houses the information office of the Ministry of Culture. A Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival, in memory of the destruction of the Arkadi Monastery, is held on 7–8 November.

Rethymno Fortezza gate, Crete, GreeceThe city’s Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Other monuments include the Neratze mosque (the Municipal Odeon arts centre), the Great Gate (Porta Guora), the Rimondi square (Piazza Rimondi ) and the Venetian Loggia.
Today the city’s main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products. It is also the base of the Philosophical School and the University Library of the University of Crete and the School of Social and Political Sciences having 8.000 students on its university campus per annum at “Galos”, where the Academic Institute of Mediterranean Studies is situated. The city has an Archaeological Museum and a Historical and Folklore Museum.

External links

Municipality of Rethymno
Information about the Archaeological Museum in Rethymno

Rethymno Website
Here you will find all relevant information about the historical monuments and the museums in Rethymno as well as the monasteries and  churches of the prefecture.

Historical and Folklore Museum
28-30 M. Vernardou Str., 74100, Rethymno
Tel: +30 2831023398

Wooden Sculptures Museum in Crete
Axos Milopotamou, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece
Tel: +30 6937691387
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 8pm

E4 European Path in the Prefecture of Rethymno

Accommodation – Alternative tourism

Villa Allaria – Traditional Guesthouse

Stavromenos, Geropotamos, 74052 Rethymno, Crete, Greece
Τel:  +30 2834092050 +30 6974466086  Εmail:

Villa Allaria is situated in a luscious, green setting in Stavromenos, a tiny traditional settlement of Geropotamos Municipality.

Kastellos Village

Georgioupolis – 73100 Crete, Greece
Mobile: +30 6974771078  E-mail:

Kastellos Village is situated in the picturesque countryside of Eastern Apokoronas. Kastellos Village comprises of two complexes.
Each one of these complexes consists of 4 traditional stone houses, which offer all modern comforts and a magnificent ambience to all guests. The complex is ideal for those wishing to escape everyday routine and relax enjoying the Cretan countryside.

Kouriton House

Tzanakiana Margarites, Rethymno, 74100, Crete, Greece
Τel/Fax: +30 6945 722052, +30 6942 968714
+30 2831055828   email:

The House of Kourites is an authentic stone built lodging, dating back to the year of 1750. Restored with respect to its history, the house is located in an unparalleled natural setting, blended with historical and cultural heritage. This welcoming house is suited for vacations and gatherings – being a perfect setting for learning about the traditions, the culture and agriculture of Crete. The House offers accommodation facilities for 23 persons and can be used as centre for a variety of fieldwork activities on culture, agro tourism and education.

Vetera Suites

Kastrinogiannaki 39, Rethymno, 74100, Greece
Tel: +30 28310 23844, +30 6972 051691, +30 6973 707267

The Boutique Hotel Vetera Suites is the most romatic settings in the middle of the Old Town of Rethymno. Open all year for your vacations in Rethymno. Identified with the tradition of hospitality and the architectural legacy of Crete, the traditional Hotel Vetera Suites  will constitute the ideal place of departure for discovering the beauties and history of the island.

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