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.

A Cretan tradition is a place, where the land and the people become one. Terrabook provides you a “map” in order to discover the deep secrets of this land.

Events

Yakintheia: takes place in Anogeia, every year in July since 1998, praising love, affection and their multiple meanings. This event is Christian and ancient celebration with all kinds of art events and dynamic participation of the locals.

Renaissance Festival: exists from 1987 and takes place in the city of Rethymno every summer with festive concerts on seasonal instruments etc.

Wine and Local Products Festival: this is the festival that exists the longest in Rethymno. It takes place every last week of May in the Municipal Garden.

Rethymno’s Carnival: last year became one century old. During the Carnival many events take place, giving a modern touch to the local traditions.

Treasure Hunt: takes place along with the Rethymno Carnival. It’s a puzzle solving game, associated with the history of the city and its people.

Fat Thursday in Cretan countryside’s style.

Pancake Day: very old traditions revive in various villages of the county, such as Camel in Gerani, the Smudge in Armeni, Begiraki in Eleftherna, Egg Gathering and Bride Kidnapping in Melidoni and Patso, Lerades, the Bear and Hotzas in Meronas.

Agiou Georgiou celebration: takes place in the cheese-making villages Saitoures and Koumi.

Cheese and Shepherd Celebration all over Crete: takes place in the province of Mylopotamos.

Citron Celebration: in Garazo.

Cherry Celebration: in Gerakari.

Easter: The tradition of Crete in all its glory immediately after the Resurrection.

Products

Although Rethymnon was under the Turk and Venetian rule, the Cretans kept and still are eating their own products, put olive oil everywhere, even in sweets, widely using herbs, and feasting with lamb or goat. The Cretan table seems incomplete without a carafe of raki. The cafes in the most remote villages don’t have menus and offer whatever is cooked that day.
See the list below as an indication of Cretan gastronomy patriotism:

Chortokalitsouna (small fried pies): can be found in mountain villages.

Gruyere of Amari: cheese with “holes” made of sheep or goat milk, which matures in Cretan caves.

Erondas or Diktamos: local remedy drink in Anogeia.

Charoupia (carob beans) and charoupomelo (sweet carob syrup rich in calcium)

Revelries

These are the Cretan weddings as they are celebrated beyond the peaks of the Leuka Oroi (White Mountains) and the peak of Psiloritis, where traditions come to live and everything that you heard about the “men in black shirts” becomes true.

Music

The Cretans express their feelings with the rhythm, melody, lyrics and dance. Every step, every movement emanates from the deepest corners of their souls, no matter if it is pain or joy. The Ksilouris family, descended from Anogeia, is the most famous family of musicians on the island. From the legendary Nikos Ksilouris and his brothers, the famous lyre player Psarantonis and virtuoso lute player Psarogiannisб to their children and grandchildren. Three generations of musicians keep alive the musical tradition of Crete and carried by thousands of fans around the world.

Literature

Georgios Hortatsis, who lived in 16th -17th century, is the most important writer of Rethymno region of all times.

  • Bishop’s Palace

    The Bishop's Palace is a building inside the Fortezza Fortress in Rethymno, locating south of the Mosque of Ibrahim Khan, and consists of two buildings.

  • Ancient Eleftherna

    Ancient Eleftherna in the prefecture of Rethymno is an archaeological site located about 25 km to the southeast of Rethymno, between Arkadi and Margarites.

  • Yakinthia

    The Yakinthia is a cultural event that has become a tradition for the prefecture of Rethymno and is takes place every year in late July for three days in Anogia.

  • Rethymno Carnival

    The Rethymno carnival is held in Rethymno prefecture on the last Sunday of Carnival.

  • Treasure Hunt

    To Treasure Hunt is an event, a tradition for the prefecture of Rethymno and the homonymous city, a game that has been organized since February 1990.

  • The Renaissance Festival of Rethymno

    The Renaissance Festival of Rethymno is a cultural institution that takes place in Rethymno with great success and has been established since 1987.

  • Collection of Eleni Frantzeskaki

    The Collection of Eleni Frantzeskaki in Rethymno prefecture is housed in a building on the Chimara Street in the city of Rethymno.

  • Military Museum of Chromonastiri

    The Military Museum of Chromonastiri in Rethymno prefecture is located in the central square of the homonymous village , 10 kilometers south of Rethymno .

  • Poliou House

    The Poliou House is a folklore museum located in the village Asteri in Rethymno prefecture , 13 km approximately west of Rethymno .

  • Cultural Center Anestis and Manolis Anagnostakis

    The Cultural Center Anestis and Manolis Anagnostakis is located in the village of Roustika , 20 km approximately southwest of Rethymno .

  • Papageorgoulakeio Folklore Museum in Asomatos

    Papageorgoulakeio Folklore Museum in Asomatos, folklore museum father Michalis asomatos, folklore museum of asomatos

  • Paleontological Museum of Rethymno

    The Paleontological Museum of Rethymno is located in Rethymno prefecture in the city of Rethymno,operating since 2009 inside the restored Veli Pasha Mosque.

  • Prinaris Olive mill

  • Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete

    The Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete in Rethymno is located in the center of Old Town, near the Venetian wall and the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno.

  • Woodcarving museum in Axos

    The Woodcarving Museum of Axos in Rethymno prefecture is located in the homonymous village at the root of Psiloritis, 45km approximately east of Rethymno.

  • Wax Figures Museum in Zoniana

    The Wax Figures Museum in Zoniana is located in the central square of Zoniana in Rethymno prefecture, just 50 kilometers east of the city of Rethymno.

  • Marine Life Museum

    The Marine Life Museum of Rethymno prefecture is located in the center of the Old Town of Rethymno, housed in a beautiful two-storey house.

  • Museum of the Greek Traditional Costumes

    The Museum of the Greek Traditional Costumes of Rethymno prefecture is located in Roustika, 20 km approximately southwest of the city of Rethymno.

  • Olive Museum in Kapsaliana

    The Olive Museum in Kapsaliana is located in the homonymous village of Rethymno prefecture, about 18 kilometers southeast of the city of Rethymno.

  • Folk Museum in Somatas

    The Folk Museum in Somatas is located in the homonymous village in Rethymno prefecture, on the road towards Armeni and Spili and operates since 1971.

  • Folklore Museum in Amnatos

    The Folklore Museum in Amnatos is located in the homonymous village of Rethymno prefecture, close to the Arkadi monastery and 18km far from Rethymno

  • Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno

    As the Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno we now call the 17th century Venetian manor in the Old Town of Rethymno on the Vernardou Street.

  • Ecclesiastical Museum in Roustika

    The Ecclesiastical Museum in Roustika is located southwest of Rethymno, in Roustika village next to the church dating back to the 14th century.

  • Ecclesiastical Museum of Rethymno

    The Ecclesiastical Museum of Rethymno, founded in 1994, is located in the city of Rethymno at Metropolis Square opposite the Cathedral

  • Ecclesiastical Museum of Preveli Monastery.

    The Ecclesiastical Museum of Preveli Monastery is located inside the homonymous monastery in Rethymno prefecture and, particularly, in the Rear monastery.

  • Ecclesiastical Museum of Arkadi monastery

    The Ecclesiastical Museum of Arkadi monastery is located in the southern wing of the monastery in Rethymno prefecture, 23 km far from Rethymno

  • Archaeological museum of Rethymno

    The Archaeological museum of Rethymno in the homonymous city is near the entrance to Fortezza Fortress in a building dating to the Ottoman rule period.

  • Archaeological museum of Ancient Eleftherna

    The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Eleftherna in Rethymno prefecture lies at the archaeological site of Ancient Eleftherna, 25 km southeast of Rethymno

  • Turkish school

    The Turkish School in Rethymno prefecture is the oldest school building in the heart of the Old Town housing the Ottoman girls' school in the past.

  • Ibrahim Khan Mosque

    The Ibrahim Khan Mosque is a site in the city of Rethymno, inside the Fortezza fortress, among other important buildings and next to the Episcopal Palace.

  • The Megali Porta Mosque (Mosque of the Great Door)

    The Megali Porta Mosque in Rethymno is located next to the Megali porta (or Great Gate) on the Tompazis street.

  • Neratze Mosque

    The Neratze Mosque is a building in the Old Town of Rethymno on Titos Petychakis square and is one of the most important monuments of the city.

  • Mosque of Kara Mousa Pasha

    The Mosque of Kara Mousa Pasha in Rethymno prefecture is a building in the Old Town of Rethymno at the junction of Arkadi and Hugo Streets.

  • Veli Pasha Mosque

    The Veli Pasha Mosque is a building in the city of Rethymno in Mastabas district, built on the ruins of the Catholic church of St Onuphrius

  • Λότζια

  • Loggia

    The Loggia is a majestic square building in the Old Town in Rethymno at the junction of Arkadiou and K. Paleologou Streets, erected in the 16th century.

  • House of the Councils

    The House of the Councils is located inside the Fortezza Fortress in the city of Rethymno and, particularly, on the Agias Ioustinis Street

  • Toumpotos Prinos shelter

    The shelter Toumpotos Prinos, Mountaineering Club of Rethymno, is located on the western side of Psiloritis near the village of Kouroutes of Rethymno County

  • Bishop’s Palace

    The Bishop's Palace is a building inside the Fortezza Fortress in Rethymno, locating south of the Mosque of Ibrahim Khan, and consists of two buildings.

  • Public Library of Rethymno

    The Public Library of Rethymno is located in the precinct of the church of Agia Varvara in the city of Rethymno, housed in the former Girls’ School.

  • Observatory of Skinakas

    The Observatory of Skinakas in Rethymno prefecture is located upon the homonymous peak of the Mt Psiloritis , built at an altitude of 1.750 meters.

  • Warehouse of the Artillery

    The Warehouse of the Artillery is located inside the Fortezza Fortress in Rethymno prefecture and is the first building after the eastern entrance to the Fortress.

  • The Rector’s Residence

    The Rector’s Residence belonged to the Venetian governor of the Rethymno prefecture and was located west of the central square of the Fortezza Fortress

  • Panagia of Meronas

    The church of Panagia of Meronas is located in the center of the homonymous village in Rethymno prefecture and it is part of the province of Amari .

  • Chalepa monastery

    The Chalepa monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located near the villages Tsachiana and Veni, 46 km east of Rethymno, built on a hill with magnificent view

  • Chalevi (Halevi) monastery

    The Chalevi (Halevi) monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located about 12 south of Rethymno, on the way to Chromonastiri and Poussospiti .

  • Monastery of Timiou Stavrou Vosakou (Monastery of Holy Cross in Vosakos)

    The monastery of Timiou Stavrou Vosakou in Rethymno prefecture is located near Doxaros and 50 kilometers east of the town of Rethymno

  • Sotiros and Agiou Gedeon monastery (Christ Savior and Saint Gedeon Monastery)

    Sotiros and Agiou Gedeon monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located in Margarites, 30 km approximately south of Rethymno

  • Preveli Monastery

    The Preveli monastery is located about 40 km south of Rethymno and is one of the most famous monasteries of Rethymno prefecture

  • Attali monastery

    The Attali Monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located in Bali, close to Rethymno-Heraklion highway, on the hill Agia Ipakoi and opposite the hill Pachoumi.

  • Asomaton Monastery

    The Asomaton monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located near Amari, 37 kilometers southeast of Rethymno

  • Arsaniou monastery

    The Arsaniou monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located near Pangalochori, 11 kilometers east of Rethymno and was founded in 16th century

  • Arkadi Monastery

    The Arkadi Monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located 23 kilometers east of Rethymno and is the most sacred Cretan symbol for freedom.

  • Monastery of Agios Pavlos (St. Paul monastery)

    The Monastery of Agios Pavlos in Rethymno prefecture is located southwest of the city of Rethymno, near the university campus and the Gallou settlement .

  • Μονή Αγίου Ονουφρίου

  • Agios Onoufrios monastery

    The Agios Onoufrios monastery in Rethymno prefecture is located in the southern part of the village of Akoumia in Gyalia region of Mountain Asiderotas.

  • Monastery of Agios Antonios in Veni (Saint Anthony monastery in Veni)

    The monastery of Agios Antonios in Veni in Rethymno prefecture is located on the top of the hill Veni, near the village Voliones .

  • Agia Marina monastery

    The Agia Marina monastery in Rethymno prefecture was very close to the Chalepa monastery 46km east of Rethymno .

  • Monastery of Agia Irini

    The Monastery of Agia Irini in Rethymno prefecture, one of the oldest monasteries on Crete, is located near the homonymous village, 5 km south of Rethymno.

  • Μεγάλη Παναγία

  • Megali Panagia

    The Megali Panagia in Rethymno prefecture is a church in the Old Town of Rethymno, at the junction of the streets Emm. Tompazis and Petrou Manousaki.

  • Kyria ton Angelon (Our Lady of the Angels)

    Kyria ton Angelon in Rethymno prefecture is the oldest operating church in the city of Rethymno in the Old Town and, particularly, on Nikiforou Foka street

  • Tessaron Martyron church

    Tessaron Martyron (Four Martyrs) in Rethymno prefecture is a church in the capital of the prefecture, east of Tessaron Martyron Square outside the Old Town.

  • Άγιος Φραγκίσκος

  • Agios Frangiskos (Saint Fransis Church)

    Agios Frangiskos (Saint Fransis Church) in Rethymno prefecture is a church in the city of Rethymno and one of the most important monuments of the city.

  • Agios Theodoros Trichinas

    Agios Theodoros Trichinas is a small church inside the Fortezza Fortress in Rethymno, located between the bastions of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Paulos

  • Timios Stavros

    In the prefecture of Rethymno, Timios Stavros is a small chapel on the sacred hill of Psiloritis, the highest peak of Crete, at an altitude of 2.456m.

  • Monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe (monastery of Sotira Christou Koumpe)

    The Monastery of Christ the Savior Koumpe in Rethymno prefecture is located on the western side of the hill, above the water spring in the area of Koumpe.

  • Monastery of Agios Nektarios of Anogeia (Saint Nektarios from Anogeia)

    The Monastery of Agios Nektarios of Anogeia in Rethymno prefecture is located in Anogeia, 52 km approximately far from Rethymno offering a panoramic view.

  • Fortezza fortress

    The Fortezza fortress is an archaeological site in the prefecture of Rethymno built upon the hill of Paleokastro, on the west side of the today’s city

  • Late-Minoan Necropolis of Armeni

    The Late-Minoan Necropolis of Armeni in Rethymno prefecture is an archaeological site located 9 kilometers to the south of the city of Rethymno.

  • Necropolis of Ancient Eleftherna

    The necropolis of Ancient Eleftherna in prefecture of Rethymno is the most important part of the archaeological site of Ancient Eleftherna at Orthi Petra.

  • Minoan Settlement of Apodoulos

    The Minoan Settlement of Apodoulos in Rethymno prefecture is an archaeological site near the village of Apodoulos located 54 km far from Rethymno.

  • Small bath of Ancient Eleftherna

    The Small bath of Ancient Eleftherna is a small Roman bath located in the northern part of the archaeological site of Ancient Eleftherna

  • Cavalier of Agios Loukas

    The cavalier of Agios Loukas is located in Rethymno , southwest of Fortezza Fortress , at the bastion of Agios Loukas.

  • Archaelogical site of Stavromenos

    The archaeological site of Stavromenos in homonymous village in prefecture of Rethymno acovers the region of Hamalevri-Pangalochori- Stavromenou and Sfakaki

  • Archaeological site of Monastiraki

    The archaeological site of Monastiraki is located in the homonymous village in prefecture of Rethymno and 35 km far from the city of Rethymno .

  • Ancient Sivritos

    Ancient Sivritos in the prefecture of Rethymno is located west of the village of Thronos on the hill of Kefala and 30km far from the city of Rethymno

  • Ancient Lappa

    Ancient Lappa is an archaeological site in the prefecture of Rethymno , built near Argyroupoli , 27 kilometers southwest of the city of Rethymno

  • Ancient Axos

    Ancient Axos is an archaeological site in the village of Axos in Rethymno prefecture, built at the root of Mt Psiloritis, 45 kilometers far from Rethymnon

  • Zominthos

    Zominthos is an archaeological site in the prefecture of Rethymno, located on Psiloritis at an altitude of 1,200 meters on your way to the Ideon Andron.

  • Lighthouse of Rethymno

    The lighthouse of Rethymno is one of the most important attractions of Rethymno County. It is located on the edge of the old wharf of the Venetian harbor

  • Gate of Ammou (the gate of Sand)

    The gate of Ammou was one of the entry points to the old town of Rethymno during the Venetian period, along with the Megali Porta and the Marmaroporta

  • Bust of Stylianos Kleidis

    The bust of Stylianos Kleidis is an attraction in the city of Rethymno in the Municipal Garden of Rethymno .

  • Bust of Euaggelos Fragkiadakis

    The bust of Euaggelos Fragkiadakis in Rethymno prefecture is a sight that can be appreciated in the Municipal Gardens of Rethymno in the homonym city

  • Titos Petychakis square

    The Titos Petychakis square (also called Platanos) in prefecture of Rethymno is located inside the Old Town, at K. Palaiologou Street.

  • Tessaron Martyron square

    Tessaron Martyron Square is the most central point of Rethymno, located shortly before the Megali Porta and the entrance to the Old Town.

  • Mikrasiaton Square

    The Mikrasiaton Square is located in the Old Town of Rethymno and it is the biggest square in the heart of the historical center

  • Mitropoleos square

    Mitropoleos Square in Rethymno prefecture is located in Rethymno and is the courtyard of the Megali Panagia, which the square was named after

  • Iroon Polytechneiou square

    Iroon Polytechneiou Square is a square in the prefecture of Rethymno, on the west side of the homonym city, in Sochora district.

  • Dimokratias Square

    The Dimokratias Square in prefecture of Rethymno is located in the center of Rethymno on the corner of the Dimokratias Street and the Kountourioti Avenue.

  • Square of the Unknown Soldier

    The Square of the Unknown Soldier is in Rethymno, at Eth. Makariou Street and at the same place, where the gate of Ammou once was.

  • Old Town

    Built on a site of ancient Rithymna, the Old Town inside the Rethymno city is a gem itself and one of the Rethymno prefecture’s cultural attractions

  • Megali Porta (the Great Gate)

    Megali Porta, a name given by locals, is an attraction inside the Rethymno city located on Ethnikis Antistaseos Street and it’s the entrance to the Old Town

  • Marmaroporta

    Marmaroporta was one of the entrance gates of the Old Town of Rethymno during the Venetian rule.

  • Erofili Theatre

    The Erofili Theatre in Rethymno prefecture is one of the most important cultural attractions in the city of Rethymno built in the 20th century.

  • Venetian port

    The Venetian port of Rethymno prefecture consists of the old port and the groyne with its lighthouse and is located in the Old Town of Rethymno

  • Municipal Garden of Rethymno

    The Municipal Garden of Rethymno is an attraction near the city center of Rethymno, at Tessaron Martyron Square

  • Statue of Kostis Giampoudakis

    The statue of Kostis Giampoudakis is a sight located in the Tessaron Martyron Square in Rethymno, close to the Megali Porta and the entrance to the old town

  • Statue of the Unknown Soldier

    The Statue of the Unknown Soldier is located in Rethymno, at the homonym square since 1930, where the Ammou Gate was during the Venetian rule.

  • Rimonti fountain

    The Rimonti fountain is an attraction in the center of the Old Town of Rethymno located at the Titou Petychaki Square in former center of the Venetian Town

  • Fountains

    The water shortage in the cities of Crete, historically, has always been a big problem. The inhabitants dealt with it constructing tanks, wells and fountains.

  • Nikiforeios Road

    Nikiforeios Road is a sports event of the prefecture of Rethymno established for the first time in 2014.

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