RETHYMNO - A LUXURY DESTINATION
Between the White Mountains and Psiloritis is Rethymno with its natural wealth, rocky landscapes, unique beaches and traditional villages. It is a city that strongly retains its medieval renaissance color that is evident from the historic city center under the walls of the Venetian castle Fortezza. The picturesque city is a paradise for the visitor who wants a quiet vacation, taking walks in the picturesque alleys or enjoying the routes between the historical and natural monuments of the area that has been declared a historic monument and traditional settlement. Continuing the tour of the old town, it is the church of St. Francis while passing through the Great Gate you reach the main square that travels in the time of each visitor. A characteristic part of the island is the Venetian port which is a reference point for visitors, built in the 13th century.
The port is dominated by the imposing lighthouse at the pier, offering visitors unique moments. The Egyptian lighthouse dates from the 1830s and was built during the Egyptian occupation of Mehmet Ali, after the surrender of Crete by the Turks to the Egyptians. There are many attractions that can be visited such as the Loggia of Rethymnon, the church of the Lady of Angels, St. Francis, the Fountain Rimondi, the Metropolitan Church, etc. In the Archaeological Museum located in the area that is the Castle of Fortezza, one can see various findings from the Neolithic and Roman eras. Arkadi Monastery is one of the most important monuments in Crete and Greece of 1866 when the island was under Turkish occupation which has been designated by UNESCO as a European Monument of Freedom.
The Ecclesiastical Museum, in Mitropoleos Square, in Rethymnon since 1994 has many ecclesiastical utensils of the last 150 years, vestments and sacred relics. The Preveli Monastery in the southern part of the island is of great historical importance as it was a refuge when the island was under occupation and also has a unique view of the Libyan Sea. At an altitude of 800m. are Anogia Mylopotamos built on the slope of the hill Armi and are a huge contribution to the whole national liberation struggle. They are considered the epicenter of modern Cretan culture, with the figures of Nikos Xylouris and Psarantonis dominating the cultural offer of the place. At an altitude of 1538 m. on the Nida plateau in Psiloritis, is Ideon Andron, a cave quite large in which according to Greek mythology Zeus was raised by Amalthea.
Also in the Sfentoni cave in Zoniana, with its 14 chambers, the visitor is impressed by the stalactites and stalagmites. In the heart of the Old Town and reference point is the Rimondi Fountain, also known as the Megali Vrysi or Vrysakia built by the Venetian commander Alvise Rimondi. It is one of the most remarkable monuments from the Venetian period. A cultural place in the village of Chromonastiri, founded by Michael Prinarakis and his wife Angeliki is the Mill of Priniaris, the old factory of the family. In the next room there is a representation of the equipment of the household of the last century. The traditional village of Maroulas, which has been declared a protected settlement, is a village with strong Venetian and Ottoman elements, which impress transferring to the times of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Ottoman Empire.
In the old town of Rethymnon, atmospheric Venetian buildings with a unique view were transformed into luxury boutique hotels. On the beaches near Rethymnon you will enjoy accommodation in large and luxurious units with swimming pools, restaurants, bungalows in lush gardens. Known for its springs is the village of Argyroupoli with parts of the ancient city, the Roman remains, the Venetian buildings and the Byzantine churches. The springs have been utilized with respect for nature by locals who have created various dining areas to serve visitors.
In Adelianos Kampos you can indulge in water sports and in Pigianos Kampos you can enjoy a quiet swim in the rocky coves. Along the beach there are beach bars, shops and hotels. Agios Pavlos beach with crystal clear waters, characteristic dunes and smooth rocks in the sea. Also characteristic of Triopetra beach are the three rocks that emerge from the sea that gave it its name which divide the beach into two parts, Mikri and Megali. In the northern part of the prefecture, Episkopi beach is one of the busiest and most touristically organized beaches in the prefecture. The seaside village of Panormo with its enchanting organized beach provides facilities for water sports.
The busiest beach is Rethymno 1km. from the city center and the Venetian port, which makes it immediately accessible. One of the popular beaches is that of Geropotamos which has its name from the homonymous river. One of the most famous beaches is that of Preveli with the exotic image offered by the palm trees and the magnificent view. On the coast there are pedal boats as well as restaurants and bars for guests. Bali, a small fishing village, 33 km from the center of Rethymnon, consists of 4 consecutive bays with sandy beaches and clear blue waters, each different from the other. Shinaria beach is a small beach with a characteristic sandy beach while there is also a diving school, as the seabed is rich and impressive.
In Rethymno there are many hotels, hostels, rooms to let, furnished apartments and studios, of different categories and types, that can meet the requirements of visitors, for a pleasant and enjoyable stay. It has dozens of restaurants, traditional, simple and luxurious where you can taste local food. Restaurants in Venetian buildings with beautiful gardens, but also many taverns that serve recipes of Cretan cuisine with fresh local ingredients. An exquisite meze are the amanites (mushrooms), the snails (snails) that become "buburisti" the sheep and goats which, apart from being the main meal, are also a basic ingredient of Cretan cuisine. Rich variety of cheeses such as mizithra, gruyere and stakovoutiro but also the traditional Cretan pilaf are flavors that one should try in Rethymno. Cretan traditional bread, like rusks respectively, are an important part of Cretan culture.