Rethimno in Crete
Rethymnon is one of the most beautiful and well-known cities of Crete and also it is the capital of the county Rethymnon. It has about 34,000 inhabitants so it is the largest city of Crete after Heraklion and Chania. The city is full of life throught the year because of the university departments. During Summer months, Rethymno is swarmed with tourists and undoubtedly it is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. However, at the same time, it keeps its picturesque character. The area has archaeological importance since the modern city is built over the ancient city Rithymna. After the conquest of Crete by Turkish Rethymno faced many vital problems and difficulties, but after the release of the area it developed again. It has been classified as a historical monument.
The best beaches in Rethymno:
Rethymno has many beautiful beaches for all tastes. Visit some of them during your stay there:
- Ammolofi Melissas: There is no doubt that it is one of the most special beaches of Crete. It is located near the village of Agios Paylos. It is quite organized, it has only a few umbrellas but there is also nature shade. On the coast you can see enormous dunes and the seabed is unique. Many people claim that this place is one of the most romantic places in the world. There are big waves often so be prepared!
- Preveli: A very impressive beach with exotic natural landscape, sand and blue waters approximately 40 klm away from the city. It is also known as the lake Preveli or Finikas. There is a river which flows into the sea, making the water guite cold and it is surrounded by palm trees. Preveli is very famous. To get there be prepared to walk about 20 minutes but if you want to avoid tiredness you can go by boat. Last but not least, it is organized enough.
- Beaches of Agios Georgios: Agios Georgios has two small bays with clear and calm waters. Both of them are ideal for families with small children. The beach has umbrellas but it not fully organized. In the area you can find tavernas.
- Ammoudi: Ammoudi is located on the south side of Crete and it consists of many small bays. The main beach has white sand and crystal waters. The seabed is impressive so it is a good choice for diving. Near Ammoudi you will meet Damnoni, a small beach with turquoise waters. Moreover, if you are a fan of nudism dont forget to visit Small Ammoudi.
- Ligres-Triopetra (Keramiani Gialia): Ligres is a quiet beach with clear, deep waters and sand. It has no organization and it is not highly developed in tourism so it is the ideal choice for those who want calm and relaxing vacations away from the crowds. Triopetra is near Ligres and basically it consists of two beautiful beaches, the main beach and the Small Triopetra. Both are sufficient organized but remain quiet. They are about 50 klm away from Rethymnon.
- Spilies: The beach of Spilies is one of the most spectacular beaches of Crete, it is located near the village of Scaleta and about 15 klm from Rethymno. Its not popular to the tourist audience. It is Surrounded by majestic cliffs and pebbles. The waters are clear, blue and deep and it has partial organization so you will be confortable. It is ideal for marine explorationsPay attention, there are big waves usually. This coast is the shettle of Monachus Monachus.
- Skinaria: Skinaria is a wonderful beach, full of people and relaxing at the same time. It is about 30 klm from Rethymno and it consists from turquoise waters and pebbles. The landscape there, is impressive and unique and the seabed the same, so when you go dont forget your sea mask. Finally, it has facilities for watersports and its organization is sufficient.
- Bali: The village of Bali is about 40 km from Rethymno and it has some beautiful beaches. The largest of them is Livadi, a beach with green waters and well organized. Then you will meet Varkotopos, Limani and Karavostasis. Generally speaking, both of the beaches are organized and crowded but with calm waters. In this area, you can try watersports.
- Beach of Rethymno: If you spend your holidays in Rethymnon and you want a clean and beautiful beach, but also a way to avoid the hassle of traveling, beach of Rethymno is the perfect choice for you. It is huge, fully organized and with many lifeguards. It is a very good choice for families since the waters are calm.
- Paximadia Islands: Basically, Paximadia are two uninhabited islets. You can go there for swimming by boats which starts from Agia Galini and Kokkinos Pyrgos everyday. They arent organized, so you can feel absolutely the nature and the wonderful seabed, an unique experience. They are suitable for nudists and people who love peace and calm situations.
What to do in Rethymnon:
- Wander in the old and picturesque city of Rethymno: The city of Rethymno is divided in the old and new town. The old town is definitely a must-see place. Walk through the picturesque narrow streets and admire the traditional architecture of the buildings, an experience which travels you back in time. In this area you will find many landmarks like the Castle of Fortezza and the Venetian harbor. Moreover, the old town has many dining options. Dont miss to taste apaki, snails, rooster with pasta and many more local flavors. If you want, you can rent a bike for your walks.
- Visit the traditional villages of the county: If you travel at Rethymno take your car and take a trip to the picturesque villages. Located about 50 km away from the city, you will find the traditional mountainous village of Anogia. Great personalities like Nikos Xylouris and Psarantonis grew up at Anogia. Near Anogia, it is located another small village, Zoniana. This village played an important role in the liberation of Crete. You can visit the waxworks museum Potamianou and the cave of Sfentoni. Some more must- see villages are Axos, Livadia and Veni. In every village you can buy traditional textiles.
- Visit monasteries: The county of Rethymnon is full of interesting monasteries and churchies. There are more than 300 churches and 30 monasteries you can visit! Some of the most popular are Preveli Monastery, Vosakou Monastery, Agios Eftychios at Chromonastiri, the Old Christian Basilica of Panormos, Panagia in Thronos, Moni Dioscuri and the Monastery of Halepa.
- Visit museums: Rethymnon offers you the opportunity to visit museums and attractions. Must-see places are the Museum of Modern Art, the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon Historical Museum and Folk Museum. Moreover, you can visit the archaeological site of Ancient Eleftherna in the village of Eleftherna.
- Admire the natural landscape: Rethymno is the county of contrasts. You will see beautiful plains, imposing mountains and beaches in harmony. There are gorges you can cross (Kourtaliotiko, gorge of Patsou, gorge of Kotsifos), lakes (Lake Kournas) and valleys. Take a trip to the dam of river Amari which is very close to town. In addition to this county you will meet about 800 caves. The natural beauty of the place is undoubtedly the most important of the sightseeings there.
- Renaissance Festival of Rethymno: It is an every year festival. If you are in Rethymnon at August do not miss to attend the Renaissance festival. Its purpose is to promote the cultural heritage of the area which flourished during the Venetian period.
Where to stay in Rethymno:
Rethymno offers to you the opportunity to choose the ideal place for you, so your vacations will be unforgettable. There are many options, some of them are cheap and others luxurious. Everyone can find what suits him the best.
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