Rethymno

The prefecture of Rethymno may be the smallest island’s region, but it doesn’t lack in natural beauty, cultural goods and history.

It is located in the central part of Crete. Cretan Sea is its north coast and its south borders are washed by the waters of the Libyan Sea. Rethymno is the great and historic capital of the county and one of the best preserved Renaissance city in Greece. With villages of an endless beauty, the prefecture of Rethymno combines all the different styles of landscapes, from mountainous and wild at the highest peak of Psiloritis to heavenly beautiful seaside of Agia Galini.
The traveler will find here historic villages (Zoniana, Axos, and Eleftherna), seaside resorts and quiet fishing villages (Bali, Panormo). Some of the villages are located near Minoan-time ruins (Stauromenos), but all of them depend on the rich nature, which was lavished on this blessed place.

All the villages of Rethymno prefecture reflect the local culture, keeping the original Cretan character intact, not changed by the continuous development. The traditional culture survives here. From the house of Xilouris, in Anogeia, to the old Byzantine settlements in the province of Amari, where Venetian buildings made of stone harmonically blend with humble farmhouses, surrounded by small Byzantine churches and villages like Spili and Argyroupoli, which are famous for their abundant waters.

Most settlements still retain architectural elements from the Byzantine, the Venetian and the Ottoman period. The young people are still living here, though one could think they would have left, carrying on the lifestyle of elders maintaining it as a sacred legacy. The visitor feels the aura of people who lived here and of those who are still entrenched in their traditional tranquil wisdom.

The prefecture of Rethymno has a wide number of churches and monasteries, such as the historic monastery of Arkadi, the monastery of Attali or the Timios Stauros (Holy Cross) on the highest point of the whole island.
This county, apart from being the smallest, is also considered the Crete’s least explored in contrast with the rich towns of Chania, Heraklion and villages that surround them. Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful with the Nida plateau and the Amari valley definitely being one of the best kept secrets of the county, along with magical and exotic beaches of Schinaria and Gyalopotamos.

Creating fissures in the earth, which in their turn create vast gorges, such as the Kourtaliotis gorge the Margaritsano gorge, and magnificent caves like the Sfentoni cave or Ideon Andron, the prefecture of Rethymno is embellished with emerald beaches ending up in the Libyan sea. Triopetra, Lake Preveli and Plakias are the most known south coast beaches, while the jewels of the north coast, just outside the city of Rethymno, are the Episkopi beach, Petres or beach of Fortezza.

The long kilometers that the visitor may have to walk through the countryside cannot deter him from this journey. On the contrary, it is the ultimate lure to know one of the most traditional and yet popular with tourists prefectures of the country.

Welcome to Rethymno prefecture through Terrabook…

  • Rethymno - Access

    All access information to Rethymno, whether you are looking to travel by airplane, car, boat, train etc. Learn how to get there no matter your starting point.

  • Rethymno - Archaeological Sites

    Rethymno prefecture’s archaeological sites are an integral piece of its land and inseparable from the historical memory of its inhabitants.

  • Rethymno - Beaches

    Discover all beaches of Rethymno in Crete on the map, with transport information and nearby points of interest. Popular or hidden beaches, family or nude, with a restaurant or beach bar on the coast, you will find it in TerraBook.

  • Rethymno - Buildings

    The important buildings of the Rethymno prefecture have their own history inscribed in their unique architecture that goes along with the history of the place and are located mostly within the city of Rethymno. During Venetian and Ottoman rule these buildings were up and running, while today most of the buildings are used as venues such as Artillery Warehouse or the Mosque of Ibrahim Khan. Some buildings have daily operational use for today’s locals such as the Public Library of Rethymnon, the House of Counsellors, the Neratze Mosque, the Mosque of Veli Pasha and the Turkish School.

  • Rethymno - Caves

    There are more than 850 enlisted caves in the prefecture of Rethymno and the number constantly increases. This happens due to limestone that makes up the mountains of Psiloritis and which gets easily eroded by water.

  • Rethymno - Churches

    The churches of Rethymno prefecture are considered important attractions for those interested in religious tourism and apart from being current places of worship, are also a living piece of history.

  • Rethymno - Cultural Attractions

    Discover all sights & points of interest of Rethymno on the map, with transport information, hours of service and contact details. Everything you should do & see on your trip.

  • Rethymno - Culture

    The prefecture of Rethymno and culture are two concepts completely intertwined. The elements of the local culture are present not only in the best preserved Renaissance town in Greece, Rethymno, but also in the whole region, from Psiloritis to the north and south coasts. Each conquest of the island had great architectural influence adding multicultural style, which make Rethymno the most attractive destination in whole Greece.

  • Rethymno - Gorges

    The prefecture of Rethymno is full of gorges created by the water eroded limestone, making the area an ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers.

  • Rethymno - Museums

    Museums in Rethymno prefecture are of different interests and host on their displays various exhibits, from the impressive and numerous archaeological findings to the works by modern artists. The Archaeological Museum of Rethymno stands out from all the museums of the city. It is housed in a building located at the Fortezza Fortress entrance. The findings from the Minoan, Geometric and Archaic period are among its exhibits.

  • Rethymno - Nature

    Nature of the Rethymno prefecture is a synonym to indescribable beauty, in a landscape of high rocks changing into lacy beaches and the legendary caves meeting wide gorges with dense flora, waterfalls and ancient trees. The Ideon Andron cave and the Sfentoni cave are not only great caves, but also ancient history keepers.

  • Rethymno - Paths

    No matter how well you think you know Rethymno during your journey, in fact the most incredible and hidden places of the prefecture of Rethymno are accessible by more or less rough paths.

  • Rethymno - Restaurants

    The prefecture of Rethymno and culture are two concepts completely intertwined. The elements of the local culture are present not only in the best preserved Renaissance town in Greece, Rethymno, but also in the whole region, from Psiloritis to the north and south coasts. Each conquest of the island had great architectural influence adding multicultural style, which make Rethymno the most attractive destination in whole Greece.

  • Rethymno - Small Islands

    Nature of the Rethymno prefecture is a synonym to indescribable beauty, in a landscape of high rocks changing into lacy beaches and the legendary caves meeting wide gorges with dense flora, waterfalls and ancient trees. The Ideon Andron cave and the Sfentoni cave are not only great caves, but also ancient history keepers.

  • Rethymno - Taverns

    Museums in Rethymno prefecture are of different interests and host on their displays various exhibits, from the impressive and numerous archaeological findings to the works by modern artists. The Archaeological Museum of Rethymno stands out from all the museums of the city. It is housed in a building located at the Fortezza Fortress entrance. The findings from the Minoan, Geometric and Archaic period are among its exhibits.

  • Rethymno - Tradition

    Cretans are the people to look you in the eye when they speak and ask to return their gaze and then they will treat you to strong raki. The native Cretans, living in the inland villages of Rethymno prefecture, listen to nature and keep their traditions with piety, giving the island its most charming profile.

  • Rethymno - Transportation

    In the prefecture of Rethymno the best choice for your transportation from place to place is private or rented car since there are some parts of the area that cannot be reached by the local means of transportation or the organized tourist trips. There are big rental companies in the city of Rethymno and in some resorts nearby which can provide you with cars and scooters.

  • Rethymno - Villages

    Some people would say: “the whole Crete is full of historical villages”. The particular villages, however, stand out as they include the identity of the "periphery" of the Rethymno prefecture. The whole county consists of five municipalities, the municipality of Agios Vasileios, the municipality of Amari, the Anogeio and the municipality of Mylopotamos. Municipality of Rethymno is the county’s fifth and welcomes you with Renaissance breeze and draws the most interest by the tourists.

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