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Nestled on the north coast of Crete, Rethymno is a picturesque harbour town surrounded by high rocky mountains. With a Venetian history dating back centuries, Rethymno today is an eccentric blend of traditional and modern elements.
Rethymno is renowned for its many ancient monuments, and Arkadi Monastery is the town’s most famous attraction. Consisting of large fortress-like buildings and an impressive church, its elaborate central entrance is particularly stunning. The imposing 15th century Fortezza fortress is famous for its unusual star shape and is similarly popular.
Built around the busy harbour, Rethymno’s picturesque streets maintain an air of the Venetian period, with many arched doorways, stone staircases and churches. Arabatzoglou Street is the main commercial strip and from here on foot the visitor can venture to Loggia district, home to the Archaeological Museum and Historic Folklore Museum exhibiting various examples of Cretan art. Centrally located, Rethymno’s municipal gardens are ideal for those in search of shade and tranquillity.
As well as great shopping, Rethymno offers a varied nightlife, from vibrant pubs around the harbour and old city to relaxed beach bars and restaurants famous for their fresh seafood specialties. Rethynmo also hosts many festivals - the annual Crete Wine and Renaissance Festival is particularly popular.
There is much to see in the surrounding region. Argiroupolis village on the river Mousselas is the site of the ancient Roman city of Lapa. The village is pleasant to stroll around and is located near Crete’s natural springs. On the coast, the seashore settlement of Adelianos Kambos boasts a beautiful beach and is perfect for swimming and water sports.
Rethymno doesn’t have an airport and is served by the nearby Chania International Airport. Flights from Athens (one hour) and other major European cities arrive daily and regular public buses ply the route to Rethymno. A direct ferry connects Athens’ Piraeus Port and Rethymno daily.