Proceeding eastwards, this prefecture can be said to have the most variety in Crete, from the hospitable seacoast town of Rethymnon on the north coast to the quaint villages on the slopes of the White Mountains, and the crags opening onto the Libyan Sea to the south.
The most visible symbol of the town of Rethymnon is the Fortezza, a sea-girt castle built by the Venetians in the late 16th century to defend the town from attacking Turks. The most accessible beaches are those at Plakias, Triopetra and Bali. The Rethymnon Old Town, a maze of old houses, curio shops and smart cafes, is the main magnet.
The hinterland of Rethymnon offers good opportunities for viewing village life in Crete. These villages are well accessed by road, and are mostly within reasonable driving or bus distance of the beaches and hotels on the north coast.
Crete and particularly the prefecture of Rethymno invites the visitor to not only enjoy the sea and the infrastructure of organized tourist resorts, but also to explore the multifarious beauties of the countryside and the mountains, where he can come into closer contact with the every-day-life of the locals in the villages.
While you enjoy the landscape, which includes harsh and remote areas as well as lush green, cultivated areas, you will also come to know the mountains and gorges and the inhabitants of isolated and often almost deserted villages. You will be given the opportunity to follow the trail of the history and the civilization of the area at archaeological sites, historical monasteries, churches and settlements.
Furthermore, the grandeur of nature becomes obvious through the aromatic herbs and wild flowers, which grow prolifically on Crete.
The European Path E4, which starts at the Pyrenees and continues through Europe and Greece, runs through Crete from the village of Kasteli /Kisamos to the village of Zakros. The adventurous visitor, who is attracted by mountaineering and walking, has the opportunity to follow this path through the Prefecture of Rethymno. We would like to describe a few of the most distinctive and sensational walking tours below:
• Kallikratis – Argyroupoli: It will take you approximately 5 hours to cover the distance of 16 km.
• Argyroupoli – Angouseliana: The distance of 23km can be covered in approximately 8 hours and is easy to walk.
• Spili – Gerakari: The total length of this tour, which will lead you across Mount Kedros and therefore includes a few difficulties, is 18,5km, a distance which can be covered in approximately 8 hours.
• Refuge of Toumpotos Prinos – Nida Plateau: The Refuge of Toumpotos Prinos can be reached either on foot starting from the village of Fourfouras (4 hours walk approximately) or by car starting from the village of Kouroutes. The route to the Nida Plateau covers a distance of 14km and is fairly difficult due to the height.
Rethymno provides one of the more interesting opportunities for tourists and locals to enjoy Cretan nature due to the fact that the countryside is only a small distance from the town and can be reached within a very short time. Beautiful provincial roads leading through lush vegetation with aromatic herbs and wild flowers invite the aficionado of mountain biking to experience this unique landscape. You can either participate in organised biking tours, where the routes are decided on, or you can rent a bike and choose an individual route of your own preference simply by following the map.
Kreta Bike Tel: 0030 28310 72431, Mobile: 0030 6946770668
Odyseas the cyclist Tel: 0030 2831058178, Mobile: 0030 694829506
Olympic Bike Travel Tel: 0030 28310 72 38 3, Mob: 0030 6944 22 05 13
Rethymno is situated between two seas, the Cretan and the Libyan Sea. This position has played an important role with regard to the development of a strong relationship between the locals and the sea. Genuine islanders that they are, the people living in coastal villages at least, love the wet element, which has become part of their lives either professionally or as a hobby. They became familiar with the secrets of the sea, which have been passed on from generation to generation, and have managed to combine entertainment and relaxation in this relationship. The most obvious was to take advantage of the abundant possibilities of the sea and to develop various activities, which both the locals and the visitors, who also enjoy the sea, to take pleasure in. Most of the organized beaches of Rethymno offer the opportunity of enjoying sensational activities such as water skiing, wind surfing, sea parachuting and many others.
One can also take part in diving excursions, which various diving centers offer, or take diving lessons and experience the unique underwater world of our seas.
Plakias: Vogiatzis Vasilis, Tel: 0030 6977713838
Dive Together B.V, Tel: 0030 28320 32313
Papadaki Zabia, Tel: 0030 6932336525
Petres: Magelaki Despina, Tel: 0030 6936830428
Bali: Tsiritas Agelis, Tel: 0030 6977073153
Adelianos Kambos: Gioubakis Giorgos, Tel: 0030 6977506093
Beach of Rethymno: Theodorakis Dimitrios, Tel: 0030 28310 25451, 51650
Tsountanis Gavriil, Tel: 0030 28310 52803
Theodorakis George, Tel: 0030 6944582170
Bali: Chelidoni – Tsaglioti Maria, Tel: 0030 28340 94101-2
Pikrakis Vaggelis, Tel: 0030 6936341033
Afoi Sopasoudaki AXTE, Tel: 0030 6948502294
Davis Jim, Tel: 0030 2834094505
Tsagliotis Eleftherios, Tel: 283409410
Adelianos Kabos: Varouxas Antonis, Tel: 0030 2831056522
Panormo: Zebilisi Antonis, Tel: 0030 6972074847
Agia Galini: Minadakis Ioannis, Tel: 0030 28320 91147
Damnoni: Bakeris Stilianos, Happymark Hellas AETYE, Tel: 0030 28320 31991
Kefalas George, Tel: 0030 2832051507.
A couple of quiet and pleasant beaches. Apparently it gets busy in August.
A long bay, a mix of pebbles and sand. It doesn’t get very crowded. The sea is fairly safe for swimming, unless it gets very windy (which it often does in Plakias).
A river flows into the sea. Along the river is a palm trees forest, highly unusual on Crete and worth a visit.
A very long beach leading all the way to Agios Pavlos.
Very pretty little bay. It was still very quiet a few years ago. If you want to bare all in absolute peace, go to the long beach to the west. It goes all the way to Triopetra.
Beaches along the north coast of Rethymnon:
The very long beach of Rethimnon is nowadays lined by hotels. It gets a little quieter as you go towards the east.
Mpali or Bali
Four different pebbly and sandy beaches in the protected bay of Mpali (about 30 km east of Rethymnon).
Three building complexes of the Old Palace period (1950-1700 B.C.), while tholos tombs of the Postpalatial period (1380-1200 B.C.) have also been located in the adjacent area.
A Minoan cemetery with tombs carved out of rocks has been unearthed.
Recent excavations held at the area brought to light important monuments from a Greek-Roman city.
The Fortezza Fortress of Rethymno
This fortress was built from 1573 till 1580 by the Venetians, for the protection of the inhabitants by the Turkish threat. It is starshaped with three gates and six bastions.
The Venetian loggia is a museum containing interesting archaeological finds from the region as well as a fine coin collection.
Historical and Folk Art Museum
The Museum’s collections include over 5.000 items that come from donations, purchases and loans. They are displayed in units; Folk Art collections include weaving, basket weaving, embroidery-laces, costumes, ceramics, metal work, traditional cultivations, traditional occupations, while the historical ones include documents, photographs, maps, weapons, banners and coins.
Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Tel: 0030 28310 29148, 56350
Police Tel: 100
Tourist Police Tel: 0030 28310 53450, 28156
Traffic Police Tel: 0030 28310 22589
Police Station Tel: 0030 28310 88154
Fire Brigade Tel: 199
Port Authorithy Tel: 0030 28310 22276
Post Office Tel: 0030 28310 22303
Hospital Tel: 0030 28310 87100
Dialisys Center (1) Hospital Tel: 0030 28310 26093
Dialisys Center (2) General Clinic “Asklipios” Tel: 0030 28310 24524-6
Spili Health Center Tel: 0030 28320 22222
Anogia Health Center Tel: 0030 28340 31208
Perama Health Center Tel: 0030 28340 23075
Agia Fotini Health Center Tel: 0030 28330 22750-2
Public Bus Station Tel: 0030 28310 22212
Taxi Tel: 0030 28310 25000, 71900, 22316
Taxi for Handicapped Persons (G. Lagouvardos) Tel: 00306947 602827, 0030 28310 56678
Hotel Association of Rethymnon Tel: 0030 28310 55873
Hotel Association of South Coast Tel: 0030 28320 31280-2
Rent Rooms Association “Filoxenia” (Plakias) Tel: 0030 28320 31152
Rent Rooms Association “Xenios Zeus” Tel: 0030 28310 29503
Pan-Cretan Cooperative of Alternative Tourism Tel: 0030 28340 61818, 61611
Mountaineering Club Tel: 0030 28310 57766
Sailing Club Tel: 0030 28310 50450
Cycling Club Tel: 0030 28310 53197
Archaeological Museum of Rethymno Tel: 0030 28310 54668
Municipal Gallery “L. Kanakakis” Tel: 0030 28310 52530, 52689
Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno Tel: 0030 28310 23398
Cretan Popular Art Center Tel: 0030 28310 51501
Paleontological Museum of Rethymnon Tel: 0030 28310 23083
Folklore Museum of History (Somatas) Tel: 0030 28310 41315
Greek Traditional Costumes Museum (Roustika) Tel: 0030 210 7661949, 6932750946
Monastery of Preveli Tel: 0030 28320 41444
Monastery of Arkadi Tel: 0030 28310 83076, 83126
Cave of Zoniana Tel: 0030 28340 61734
Church Museum Tel: 0030 28310 22731
The Museum of “Monastery of Arkadi” Tel: 0030 28310 83076, 0030 28310 83135
The Museum of “Monastery of Preveli” Tel: 0030 28320 41 444
Military Museum, Chromonastiri Tel: 0030 28310 75 135
Woodcarving workshop & showroom, Axos Mylopotamos Tel: 0030 6937691387
Wax Museum “Potamianos” Tel: 0030 28340 61087
Museum of the Olive, Kapsaliana Tel: 0030 28310 83400
Official website: www.rethymnon.gr
All info by www.rethymnon.gr