A long stretch of beach, must-see architecture and dusk-’til-dawn nightlife – holidays to Rethymnon bring city and sand together in style.
A mixed city
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.
Rethymnon doesn’t skimp on its beach. It’s got a 12-kilometre stretch of sand that slopes gently into the sea. The water is shallow, so it’s great for kids. Plus a 2-kilometre promenade separates you from the main road, where you’ll find a good quota of shops, restaurants and cafés.
One of Rethymnon’s biggest draws is its Venetian architecture. It’s a real Italian job as you poke around the maze of streets in the old quarter. Two of the best places to go are Arkadiou Street – all faded facades and crumbling stone – and the picturesque alley, Arabatzoglou Street. And for a pitstop, try one of the cafés around the Rimondi Fountain.
The Yellow Bus
If you fancy getting out and about, hop on the Yellow Bus. These open-air buses make regular trips into Crete’s countryside, so you can pootle past age-old olive groves and stop to see ruined churches and monasteries. Your driver can fill you in on all the local info, and there’ll be stop-offs at nearby villages for lunch.
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