Rethymno (population 30, 000) is the
‘third city of Crete’, lying 75km west of Iraklio and 50km
east of Chania. Rethymno is one of the most interesting
cities on the island for visitors. The national road from
Iraklio to Chania passes nearby. The 11km long beach of
Rethymno is one of the nicest of the island. Sadly, there
are too many hotels, bars, shops and apartments which have
been built here in the past few years.
If you come from Iraklio, the
bus takes approximately one and a half hours – departures
hourly. Rethymno gets less ferries, too. At the moment
there are no ferries to Athens, but 1 or 2 fast ferries to
Santorini during the saison. The new ferry port
is adjacent to the old port, which is in the town centre.
My favourite pension is Olga’s Pension in the old town. For around €35 in the summer and as little as €25 in winter, you can get a nice double room from the plant-loving owner, Giorgos. The touristy restaurants in the old town should generally be avoided, since they provide poor food at inflated prices. If you go out of town slightly, you will find a campus of the University of Crete. In their canteen, you can eat and the food is tasty. The University also has a big library with many English language books and internet access.
In town there are a few buses, but nothing is too far away. Bus number 10 goes to the University (about 3 kilometers). You have to buy tickets (about 1,30 Euro in 2023) at kiosks or in the bus station first.
Rethymno has the longest sand beach on Crete: More about Rethymno beach
Sights in Rethymno
The Venetian Port: Many restaurants and bars (mostly expensive rip-offs) are around the most picturesque port of Crete.
Old Town: The protected Old Towm of Rethymno is the nicest on Crete. The Centre is the the Rimonti Fountain with its three lion heads.
Fortezza: The big 16th century fort looms large over the town of Rethymno, and is visible from almost everywhere in the town. More about the fortezza
Map Rethymno Crete
Moni Arkadi: A monastery about 20km
from Rethymno. This fort-like monestary is the most famous
on Crete. It was a centre of resistance against the Turks
and nowadays many Cretans view it as a symbol of their
hard-won independence. There are three buses daily to
Arkadi from Rethymno in the summer.