Holidays to Rethymnon don’t just serve up plenty of sand. You also get a lovely old town, waterfront restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
Town and beach mix
Rethymnon sits between Chania and Heraklion on Crete’s north coast. Thanks to the Ottomans and Venetians, its old town is a mix of mosques and Renaissance buildings, and there’s a huge fortress, too. But the seafood restaurants and lively bars ringing the harbour give the place a real modern buzz. And, the generous sandy beach rounds it all off nicely.
A walk-to beach
You won’t have to walk far to get to the beach here – it’s right in the middle of town. It also happens to have a whole 12 kilometres of sand to go round. And bordering it for around 2 kilometres is a promenade, just across from a buzzy street packed with shops, cafés and restaurants.
Old town charm
Rethymnon’s old quarter is filled with history from its tangled past. Wander through the narrow streets and alleyways and you’ll find arched doorways and stone staircases, a church here and a mosque there. Beautiful Venetian mansions line Arkadiou Street, while at the cafés around the pretty Rimondi Fountain, the locals relax over a coffee.
Daytrips to Arkadi Monastery
About half-an-hour’s drive gets you to the Sacred Monastery of Arkadi. Once the scene of a bloody Turkish siege, this holy place is now a peaceful oasis of golden stone buildings and flower-filled courtyards. And from here, you can walk through fields and meadows to the village of Pikris for lunch at a traditional taverna.
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