The city of Rethymno in Crete has an excellent tourist and resort infrastructure: many restaurants, cafes, boutiques and hotels for every taste. Most of the attractions of Rethymno are located in the old pedestrian part of town.
Top 15 attractions in Rethymno
What to see in Rethymno? We offer you a brief description of the sights of Rethymno in Crete with their names and photos. But to really see and appreciate all this beauty can only be in real life, visiting here.
This city was founded in the 13th century by the Venetians, who knew a lot about art and architecture. They built up the old town of Rethymno. The historic center is beautifully preserved and today is the object of admiration, both citizens and tourists from all over the world who adore this magnificent Mediterranean resort and often come here.
In the Old Town on an elevated hill fortress Fortezza stands, there is the world famous Archaeological Museum, an unusually beautiful loggia of the 16th century, where the aristocracy entertained previously and held state receptions, the famous fountain Rimondi XVII century, operate ancient churches and mosques.
Fortezza is a fortress built in the first half of the 16th century. Two years later it was destroyed by Muslim troops from Algeria, and rebuilt again in the second half of the century. The fortress stands on the hill of Paleokastro, which holds all the ancient history of Rethymno and the island of Crete.
More than two thousand years ago there was a temple of Apollo and the sanctuary of Artemis, then there was a small village of Antico Catel. Fortezza was rebuilt many times over the centuries, so it took two decades for restorers to achieve its original, Venetian appearance.
The Old Venetian Harbor
Not far from the Fortezza there is another old and famous attraction of Rethymno, the Venetian harbor. It’s small and very nice. Here you can relax all day, sitting in outdoor cafes and taverns, strolling the perimeter of the harbor and looking out to the sea.
In the Venetian harbor you can ride yachts, go out of it into the open Cretan Sea. On the breakwater in the harbor is an old but working lighthouse.
Children most like a real sailing boat moored to the shore. It’s dark in color, which is probably why they call it a pirate.
On the Platano Square is another attraction of Rethymno and the whole of Greece – the famous fountain, which is at least 400 years old. It has four columns and bowls where the water flows down. From these bowls many years ago, herds of animals returning from the pastures drank.
Water flows into the bowls from three holes decorated with lion heads embedded in the marble walls. Here you can see the emblem of the city and the inscription in Latin, which means “generous spring” in Russian.
Today this fountain has become a landmark of Rethymno and Crete, and just the place to quench your thirst.
Lighthouse in Rethymno
The second largest Egyptian lighthouse on Crete was built in the 1930s by builders from Egypt. Anyone interested in it can easily get to the lighthouse in the old Venetian harbor and see it.
The lighthouse is 9 meters high and is not working today, but it is a favorite attraction of the citizens and tourists of Rethymno and the surrounding area.
It is a true symbol of the city, in the harbor by the lighthouse are often appointed romantic dates.
Glica Nera Beach
It is an excellent pebble beach, located near Rethymnon, very popular with tourists and locals. The sea water near the coast is clean, despite the fact that many vacationers come here or come here every day.
The disadvantage of this beach is that it is not equipped with places for recreation. You can take an umbrella with you or rent one on the spot. Right on the beach of Glicka Nera flows a freshwater stream, from which you can drink water or wash after bathing. Nearby is a store where one buys food or drinks.
Ibrahim Khan Mosque
What to see in Rethymno, concerning the Muslim past of this city? There are many ancient religious temples, one of which is the Mosque of Ibrahim Khan. In the 16th century the church was an Orthodox cathedral of St. Nicholas, and then the Ottoman Turks rebuilt it according to Islamic traditions.
At that time a high minaret was added to the cathedral, but it was later destroyed by the Greeks. Today the mosque looks like a sand cube with a huge dome. The interior of the building is decorated with lancet arcades and mihrab. The Greeks preserve their history and cherish every stage of it, both Christian and Muslim.
It is a stavropigial Orthodox monastery located in the outskirts of Rethymno. It is divided into two parts vertically: the lower part is completely given to tourists for viewing, and in the upper part the monks live, work and pray. If you are wondering what to see in Rethmino on Crete, go to Preveli.
The monastery was founded by the Venetians in the 16th century, later destroyed by the Turks. During World War II, the monastery served as a refuge for those who fought for the liberation of Greece and for soldiers of the Allied forces. After the war it was rebuilt, and today it is a source of pride for all the inhabitants of this country.
The Cathedral is located in the old town of Rethymno. It does not look like other Orthodox cathedrals, but more like an administrative building, were it not for the bell tower next to it, which was built in a completely different style. This cathedral has been rebuilt many times, from the Venetian era to modern times.
Inside you can see a unique iconostasis made of precious wood, made in the middle of the 19th century, with ancient icons. One of the icons here is considered miraculous.
Next to the cathedral is a museum and the residence of the metropolitan, which in the early 20th century was restored by a local governor of Russian descent.
Beach at Adelianos Campos
This beach in Russian translation is called “Plain of Adele” and is located in the outskirts of Rethymno, near the village of Adele. This place is designed for tourists, there are many fine hotels for all tastes and wallets, a large number of restaurants, mostly with Mediterranean cuisine and souvenir shops.
The beach in Adelianos Kampos is sandy and is equipped with umbrellas, sun loungers, lifeguard towers, showers, cafes, bars, etc. There are places where you can play beach sports and even have a real competition.
Right on the beach sea turtles lay eggs, so some places are fenced.
The closest thing you can see in nature near Rethymno in Crete is the Prassano Gorge. Remember that only a well-trained tourist with good sportsmanship can walk on it. It’s not an outing. But you’re sure to get a real thrill out of hiking the gorge.
At its bottom is a dried-up riverbed. As you travel deeper into the gorge, it gradually fills with water. You can see a lot of plane trees and greenery around. Gradually, the Platanes River widens and you have to wade, sometimes waist-deep.
Along the way you will encounter beautiful waterfalls, huge rocks and natural wells.
Caves near Rethymnon
The Sfendoni Cave is almost 300 meters deep, but only the first half of the road is open to tourists. The cave is famous for its stalactites and stalagmites from pure white to blood-red in color. According to scientists, Sfendoni appeared at least 5 million. years ago, it has beautiful lighting and unique halls.
The second such attraction in Rethymnon is the Melidoni Cave, located 3 km northwest of Sfendoni, according to the map.
According to ancient Greek legends, Zeus, Hermes and other gods were worshipped in this cave. In ancient times there lived in Melidoni a bronze protector of Crete named Talos, in whom it is still believed today.
The Minoan Palace of Zomintos
This palace was discovered near Rethymno in the 80s of the 20th century. Today, archaeologists from many countries of the world are working there. In 2017, they found new entrances to the palace, updated information about its layout, and found precious objects and rich decorations. The palace of Zomintos was part of the ancient city.
It was once home to a nobleman, his family and servants, as evidenced by the elevation on which the palace is built. Archaeologists found an altar inside, in front of which the household prayed. The palace was more than once reconstructed, its architecture growing more complex, and the interior decoration was becoming more refined.
Kara Musa Pasha Mosque
This mosque is located in the center of Rethymno and is a reconstruction of an Orthodox cathedral erected during the Venetian domination of Crete. Its architecture, despite its oriental flavor, has preserved features of the Renaissance: magnificent facades, decorative balconies, etc.
In the 17th century the cathedral was converted into a mosque, minarets and domes were added to it, and it was named after the famous Turkish naval admiral, under whose leadership the city was conquered. A fountain was built near the mosque, where Muslims perform ablutions after prayers.
Biotopoi Nature Park
This park was founded in 2004 by a group of enthusiasts who sought to preserve the true nature of Crete in the face of impending urban development.
Biotopoi contains all the plants that grow on the island: endangered, Red Book, medicinal, decorative, aromatic – more than 200 species in total.
In the park live and feel great 50 species of animals: from the well-known rabbits to exotic spiders and scorpions. You can walk through the park on your own, it is quite small, but it is better to do it with a guide who will tell the story of all the Cretan flora and fauna. Biotopoi has a playground for the little ones.
Video overview of the sights of Rethymno
Rethymno is a resort city located in Greece, on the northern shore of Crete. It is one of the most beautiful cities, built by the Venetians in the Middle Ages and today enjoys the beauty of tourists from all over the world.