Holidays in the Cretan resort of Rethymno are usually associated with long walks along the seafront promenade, admiring the panoramic view of the city from the Venetian fortress and palaces with ornate portals.
On the largest Greek island, Crete, are located several beautiful towns that attract thousands of visitors each year, looking for sun and relaxation on loose sand. The local landscape consists of wide sandy beaches and rocky coasts and the coastline has an impressive length of 1040 km.
One of the cities that you have to see while on the island is Rethymno, a tourist resort with 13-km long beach stretching almost from the very center. It lies on the north coast, halfway between the towns of Chania and Heraklion. It had settled on a small promontory, from the south cuddled to the low mountains.
Those, who want to spend holidays in the resort, can fly to Crete by plane - the island has got two airports. It’s also easy to reach by ferry directly to Rethymno, from the port of Piraeus. Wandering in this way, you can take your own vehicle and explore the whole island. The cost of transporting a motorhome on the ferry amounts about 900 PLN (about 215 EUR).
Festivals of Rethymno
Rethymno is very popular among tourists, so it’s not surprising that its coast is dotted with hotels. Vacationers come here from all over the world to relax on the sandy beach and wander through the narrow streets of the old town in the afternoon. The resort attracts guests with magnificent architecture and incredible atmosphere. It’s particularly attractive during the Renaissance Festival, when you can watch many concerts of classical music, shows as well as exhibitions of photographs and paintings. In this period, the town gives the impression as it moved a few hundred years back in time - you can see, among others, knights on horseback on the streets.
A great attraction of Rethymno is also a Wine Festival held in July. During this great event, the city park holds folklore performances and Cretan wines tasting, and both residents and tourists actively participate in the party. In the evening, guests can enjoy taverns, cafes and numerous clubs, where they can party with friends.
It would be hard not to mention about the carnival with costumes, street parades and masquerade balls straight from Venice. It takes place a week before Lent.
Between the streets of the old town
Among the many monuments of Rethymno, first place goes to a huge Venetian fortress towering over the city since the sixteenth century. Its territory holds most of the theatrical performances during the Renaissance Festival. In the past it was supposed to protect against the attacks of the Turks and pirates, and was a city within a city. It offers a great view of the whole resort and the coast. In the immediate vicinity of the fortress stands the old town prison, which now houses the Archaeological Museum.
Leaving the museum and heading south, we get to the old part of the town. Central place is occupied by the Rimondi fountain, which is surrounded by many restaurants and cozy cafes. Here you can sit with a cup of aromatic espresso and charge your batteries before further walks.
Another must-see is the Venetian port. Here we’ll find charming houses with pastel facades and numerous taverns serving fresh fish. It’s full of fishing boats and small colorful boats and the old lighthouse, standing at the end of the quay only adds more picturesqueness.
Overnight under the Greek stars
After a day full of sightseeing in Rethymnon, you can direct your steps to Camping Elizabeth, located approximately 4.5 km east of the city. Accommodation for an adult costs from 6,10 to 7,50 euros, while the cost for the position of the vehicle oscillates between 6,80-8,30 euros a day. Guests can enjoy a free internet access.
Rested and relaxed, we can move on to a meeting with other attractions of Crete. Now we can exlore Knossos and charming Chania, regarded by many as the most beautiful city on the island.