Take a ferry to Rethymnon on the western side of Crete and spend a few days in a place blessed with beauty and of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece!
Rethymnon is the capital of the prefecture that has the same name and is located between two other large cities of the island Crete, Chania and Heraklion. It has been inhabited since the Later Minoan III period and it still preserves the elements inherited from antiquity as well as the characteristics and conveniences of a modern, large city.
After the Venetian conquest of Crete in 1204 the town of Rethymnon was built according to the Venetian architecture and directly linked to the sea, with the main street of the town running parallel to the sea. Greek elements are predominant mostly in Rethymnon, in comparison to the other cities of Crete, as most nobles were Greeks, known also as Archondoromeoi (which means noble Romans in Greek).
The building style has changed over the years and especially during the Turkish occupation and the venetian stone of the buildings was replaced by a wooden frame filled with rubble and mud and many buildings with gothic features were lost.
Nowadays, the old town, thanks to the Venetians and the Ottomans, is a mix of Renaissance buildings and mosques.
Book your ferry tickets to Rethymnon in advance and discover the traditional villages, churchies, monasteries and the beautiful beaches of the inland.
Reaching Rethymnon by ferry
Unfortunately, there are no direct ferries to Rethymnon from any port of the mainland in Greece, which means that you will have to reach either Heraklion or Chania first. The only direct ferry to Rethymno is from the island of Santorini.
- Piraeus to Chania/Heraklion: Starting from Piraeus port, the main port of Athens, there are wtwo overnight sailings daily from to Heraklion with an average sailing duration of about 9 hours.There are also two sailings per day from Piraeus to Chania, usually departing in the evening with conventional passenger and car ferries and the duration of the sailing varies from 5 hours and 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the carrier
- Santorini to Rethymnon: There is a high speed ferry operating twice a week from the port of Santorini to the port of Rethymnon and the duration of the trip is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes
Rethymnon ferry port
The ferry port of Rethymnon is a small port of great strategic importance during the Venetian period. The port is beautifully constructed around the town old’s quarter and the original Venetian lighthouse that captivates the visitors, that was constructed during the turkish period has been replaced by another one. There is one building on the southern side of the port that used to work as a customs office and the vaulted spaces on the buildings around the port have been transformed into picturesque fish taverns.
Public Transportation in Rethymnon
The transportation services in Rethymno are very frequent and reliable. There are city buses connecting Rethymnon with the nearest villages starting at early morning. There are also intercity buses that connect Rethymno with the other prefectures of Crete on a daily basis. For more information please contact +30 28310 22212 or visit Rethymno Bus.
For a faster and easy transfer you can also schedule a taxi ride. There are many stands in Retimno for transportation to any destination all over Crete. For further details, please contact +30 28310 25000, +30 697 377 1739, +30 28340 23000
Holidays in Rethymnon
The city’s main income is from tourism and many tourist facilities have been built in the last few years. Rethymno has many surprises for its visitors. It is rich in monuments and places of unique beauty. Temples, monasteries, impressive gorges, Venetian castles and rethymno villages with elegant mansions, cosmopolitan beach resorts and beautiful more secluded golden beaches.
For your convenience please find below some of the best locations we recommend you visit:
Located on the rocky hills of Preveli canyon it consists of two monasteries, built in the 16th century. The monastery consists of two main buildings, the Lower Monastery of Saint John the Baptist and the Rear ( Pisso) Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. During the struggle of the Cretans for liberation it served as a refuge for rebellions and soldiers. The monastery has a rich history due to its monks and their involvement in all actas for freedom and education of the cretan people.
Picturesque Rethymnon Old Town
The old town has a well preserved aristocratic appearance with a modern aspect, with narrow streets, stone staircases, arched doorways and Byzantine and Hellenic Roman remains captivating all visitors with its rich cultural heritage.
The Venetian Loggia
An elegant building built in the 16th century, once a Venetian gentlemen’s club. Today it houses the ministry of culture.
Located at Platanos square, it was built in 1626 by A.Rimondi to provide the citizens of Rethymno with drinkable water.
Folklore & History Museum
Located in a restored Venetian building with an interior courtyard. It has eight halls with collections that include costumes, ceramics, historic photographs and maps, weapons and coins.
Once a mosque by the Ottomans today a music conservatory.
The Fortezza castle
Fortezza is the fort of a zone of fortified works established during the Venetian occupation, at the top of a low hill named Palaiokastro that dominates the town.
Rethymnon Hotels & Accommodations
If you want to book an accommodation close to the beachside, with many tourist facilities, the northern coasts of Rehtymno are more developed than the southern coasts. However we suggest you book an accommodation close to the old town, one of the nicest attractions for visitors to Crete. For a more quiet location the village of Agia Galini and Plakias on the southern side of Rethymnon are ideal.
Please find below some of the best rated hotels:
- Aquila Porto
- Nefeli Hotel
- Elina Hotel
- Golden Beach Hotel
- Archipelagos Hotel
- Melrose Hotel
- Bio Suites Hotel
- Hotel Rethymno Village
- Brascos Hotel
- Aristea Hotel
- Hotel Ideon
- Minos Hotel
- Atlantis Beach Hotel
Beaches in Rethymnon
Rehtymnon has amazing beaches along its coasts. The ones on the north side are more organized and popular with many tourist fasciitis and the ones on the southern side are more secluded, mostly unorganized and untouched by mass tourism. Each and every one of them will amaze you with its crystal clear waters and the surrounding natural landscape.
We recommend a few of the most beautiful beaches of the island:
- Platanias Beach: located 4km east of Rethymnon. One of the most popular organized beaches due to its soft golden sand and its proximity to the town of Rethymnon.
- Adele Beach: located 10km east of Rethymnon. A beautiful partly organized beach with sand and pebbles
- Enetiko Beach: Located 1km from Rethymnon. A sandy beach with amazing views of the historical lighthouse of Rethymnon
- Misiria Beach: located 5 km east of Rethymnon. A long unorganized, sandy beach with pebbles
- Petres Beach: located 12 km west of Rethymnon. A large, unorganized beach with sand and pebbles. Ideal for total privacy
- Perivolia Beach: located 2km east of Rethymnon. A really popular, organized beach with golden sand and turquoise waters