Rethymno City Guide


Rethymno is one of the four counties of Crete, Greece, frequented by the tourists who want to get a taste of history, culture, and fun. Since a part of it lies in the stretch fronting the sea, it boasts of great beaches, history-laden archeological sites, Byzantine-inspired churches, culture-rich villages and extensive options for stay-in resorts for travelers. Rethymno, the capital city of this Greek Island even takes pride in being a bustling city, never-boring, as even just the plain view of the city’s architecture, would already amaze anybody since it reflects so much of the world-famous Venetian designs. It is home to a number of resources. It also holds some of the world’s most magnificent views, as well as a plethora of food choices. It must be known that Rethymno is in fact a major producer of olive oil, olives and vegetables in Crete. It may be the smallest among the three historic Crete towns, but it exudes huge charm and plays a huge role to Greek history. Venetian architecture is spelled throughout the county – in its alleys, old houses, wooden balconies, artsy mansions, narrow streets, detailed churches. Every corner within Rethymno would make any one relive history, amazing culture of the past and magnificent days gone by. But beyond reliving remnants of history, there are many other things travelers can do in Rethymno. For those who simply want to bask in the glorious sun, pristine shores, and sparkling waters, the northern coast of Rethymno offers some of the best beaches namely Panormas and Bali. If one chooses to go south, there are also gorgeous beaches in Plakias and Agia Galini. During the Venetian rule, Rethymno became a city. In those times, Rethymno served as an intermediary port for traveling ships accessing Iraklion and Hania. Indeed, because of its abundant resources and strategic location, it has attracted many conquerors such as the Algerian pirates, the Turks, Russians and Germans. Today, with the inhabitation of various cultures, Rethymno is a melting pot of various interesting cultural and architectural relics. Rethymno is a modern city with an ancient heart. Apart from its cultural flare, it also offers tourists a lot of opportunities for other forms of relaxation such as dining, shopping and night life. There are extensive choices on and off the beach coast for dining. Some of the famous restaurants are Pigadi, Kostas Tavern, Symposio, Exantas, Avli, Pagliacco, Fanari, Klimataria, Knossos, amongst many others. Some of these restaurants convert to evening hotspots for tourists. A good concentration of nightlife is in the Agia Galini and Plakias areas. While most locations offer options for dining and the nightlife, the old town of Rethymno provides a vibrant Cretan life even during the day. The city has informally assembled street markets where there are shops of bakers, butchers selling lamb and other prime meat, fresh fruit stalls, and local people selling herbs, honey, cheese and seafood. There is also the so-called “bikini paradise” in Rethymno, specifically in its Arkadiou and Psarou Street. There are many swimwear and women’s clothes on sale in these streets which makes it a haven for the shopping enthusiasts. It is very near the relaxing Venetian-designed harbor cafes so it is not really very difficult to find. For unique finds, some of the streets offer the best cheeses native to Crete such as gruyere, feta and myzithra. Some local artists also sell landscape paintings of the area.

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