Most visitors are attracted by the relaxed charm and abundant activities offered by Rethymnon, where everything required of a jolly good holiday is close at hand.

Description

Come to the enchanting resort of Rethymnon to discover a town of contrasts. Here the bustling harbour front and vast expanse of sun-kissed beach vie with hushed narrow alleyways, cooled by the shadows cast by beautiful old Venetian and Turkish buildings. Its historical architecture is today the captivating backdrop to the lively, everyday hustle and bustle taking place in the numerous shops, bars and tavernas around the bay and along the delightful seafront promenade.

Rethymnon is edged to the north by a long, sandy, palm-fringed beach and promenade, stretching eastwards as far as the eye can see. Here happy holidaymakers throng in the sun, enjoying a dip in the clear, warm sea, perhaps trying their hand at the one of the numerous watersports on offer. Hotels, tavernas, bars and shops cluster along this attractive coastline, offering all the discerning tourist could wish for - a place to stay suiting every pocket and preference, and, naturally, plenty of friendly establishments to eat, drink and be merry, in buzzing tavernas and inviting open air restaurants.

Alongside the whirl and spin of contemporary life, it's nevertheless easy here to cast yourself back to the slower pace of ancient times. Crete's third largest city, Rethymnon has been described as the island's cultural capital for its wealth of history and archaeological attractions - a source of great pride to its inhabitants. A fascinating melange of ancient and modern, the evidence of Venetian and Ottoman rule is all around providing entranced tourists a maze of narrow streets to explore. In the attractive harbour, the Fortezza (the original Venetian fortifications) proudly stand, enhancing the shoreline view. Then, following the cobbles of a narrow alley from the centre of the harbour you arrive at the Loggia, an ancient meeting place where Venetian nobility and officials argued out the political issues of the day. They would no doubt head for the clear, fresh waters gushing softly from the mouths of stone lion heads at the Rimondi fountain, a short distance away, to soothe their parched throats - it has been reviving passers by since it was built in 1626 and continues to do so today.

The open-air market is a bustling scene of business-as-usual, and local artisans ply their crafts with enthusiasm; the traditional customs from long ago are intentionally perpetuated in the modern way of life. Rethymnon is also home to the University of Crete, cultivating a thriving year-round programme of entertainments and activities to keep a young population amused.

With activities galore, sunshine and scenery to die for, along with a heritage of culture and history which few places can rival, a holiday in Rethymnon ensures fun and relaxation to suit all members of the family.

Make the most of your trip Things to see & do