Offering up some of Crete’s best beaches, plenty of cosy tavernas, and a heap of ancient sights, a holiday to Rethymnon is the real Greek deal.
This part of northeast Crete is home to some of the best beaches on the island. And you only need to look as far Rethymnon town for evidence – it’s bookended by two beaches, which are both more than 7 kilometres long.
Rethymnon town is a one-stop-shop for Greek culture. The harbourside restaurants have got traditional Cretan cuisine down to a fine art. And, if it’s history you’re after, the old town is one of the best-preserved towns of the Renaissance. Juliette balconies overhang the cobbled streets and, in Platanos Square, there’s a Venetian-style fountain where fresh water flows from three lion heads.
Palace of Knossos and Samaria Gorge
When it comes to exploring, the Rethymnon area has some guidebook-worthy sights on its doorstep. It’s close to the Palace of Knossos, once the home of the famous minotaur, and the Samaria Gorge, where you can burn some serious shoe leather along 18 kilometres’ worth of walking trails.
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On Crete’s north coast, between Rethymnon and Heraklion, is where you’ll find Panormo. It’s a petite fishing village, with bags of traditional Greek appeal. Cue a dainty harbour where waterfront tavernas serve the catch of the day, and cobblestone streets lined with pavement cafés, known as kefenions.
Rethymnon is set between Chania and Crete’s capital, Heraklion, on the island’s north coast. It has a tangled history which shows up in its mosques, minarets and the look-at-me Venetian fortress that dominates the city’s skyline. There’s an old-town feel as you walk through the narrow streets and alleyways, though down at the harbour the busy bars and restaurants bring things bang up to date.
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