„On Crete, island of the hundred towns they call me the heart, because I have been built in the middle of the island, not between the mountains but on the shore, and my sight causes great pleasure.”
Rethymno and its citizens were never lacking in self-confidence, as these few lines may prove. Indeed, this city is, besides Chania, the most beautiful and impressive in Crete, with its old town that reminds of the past on every single corner: Minarets, Venetian and Turkish portals – there is a reason that Rethymno is also called “city of the portals”, Turkish wooden bays, Venetian palaces, an impressive fortress, combined with a long beach and a small fishing harbour. The unity of the old town with its many carefully restored heritage turns Rethymno into a first class cultural monument of first class.
Rethymnon has a great attraction on locals as well as on foreigners. The 25.000 citizens and the surrounding countryside have blossomed into a leading tourist centre of the island and year by year, more tourists are attracted to pay Rethymno a visit. Rethymno is not only a tourist centre in a historical dress, but has always been seen as the spiritual centre of the island. Several writers and poets were born here. Here is also the philosophical faculty of the University of Crete located with about 3.000 students studying philology, philosophy, pedagogic and other subjects.
Ideal start off for a walk is the archaeological museum, which is located in the pentagonal building in front of the Fortezza. The small but well made up museum informs about the history of the region during ancient times.
The Venetian fortress, also called Fortezza, is no doubt, the most important sight of the city.
This is the actual centre of the old town of Rethymno. The well is named after the Venetian Governor Alvise Rimondi, who had this fountain installed in 1629.
Museum of Marine biology
It is worth having a look at the Museum of Marine biology with shells and corals and other findings from the Mediterranean.
The selection presented here is dedicated to rural Crete. A loom and its accessories, woven goods, embroideries, ceramics, baskets and farming equipment, mock-ups, photos and pictures show the rural life on Crete.
Venetian Harbour and Beach
The Venetian harbour is maybe the most picturesque spot in Rethymno and the site where the most photos of Rethymno are taken.
Right next to the Venetian harbour starts the shadow-free long sandy beach that stretes out 15 km towards the east.