Crete-Rethymno

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General Information for Rethymno

RethymnoRethymno as the most picturesque and the nome of Rethymno a representative miniature of Crete. The beauty of the landscape, the natural splendor, the luxuriant vegetation of very tall plane and oak trees, the olive groves, the deep ravines, the rivers and brooks , alternate harmoniously with the barren landscape of the south shores of the Libyan Sea. High mountains somewhere bare and elsewhere verdant. Numerous scenic villages with genuine proud and arrogant, at the same time genial and hospitable Cretans. The name also offers many antiquities. The city and capital, Rethymno, retains its traditions and it is one of the very few towns that kept its ancient name (Rithymna) almost intact. It is an extension and sequence of that Minoan city, on the ruins of which, Rethymno was built. In the city you may admire Minoan, Venetian and Byzantine monuments. In the north part the castle Fortezza is worth seeing. See the Meghali Porta (Porto Guora/Great Gate), the only gate remaining of the Venetian fortification; the Lotzia, the architectural masterpiece, where the Archeological Museum is housed today; the Rimodi Fountain with the water-gushing lion heads and among other sights, the imposing Neradges Mosque, in the old Venetian Square. The Archeological Museum exhibits pieces from the Neolithic period to the Turkish Era.

The Gallery Kanakakis, Centre of Contemporaty Art, displays not only the artist’s work but also the works of other modern artists as well. Some of the most interesting outskirts of Rethymno are: Koksare (appr. 14 miles) near the entrance of the Kourtalioti’s gorge (narrow and long with a savage charm); Plakias (21 miles) a captivating resort with beautiful shores in the Libyan Sea; the beautiful Speli (18 ½ miles) where crystal water emanating from Mt Psiloritis (Ida), is spouted off the 25 fountains (with reliefs of lion heads). Another traditional village, at the foothills of Psiloritis, is Margarites (19 miles). The coastal village Panormos has a unique charm and Bali (20 miles) is one of the most picturesque of Rethymno, built on the ruins of the ancient city Attali.

Seashores: The wide sandy beach of Rethymno offers shallow very clear waters. East of the city there is a 7 ½ miles beach that reaches to Stavromeno, beware of the waves, however, they can be very powerful. Six miles from Rethymno the shore of Petra is very good, the idyllic Aghia Ghalini, Panormos and Bali also offer you a pleasant swim and all kinds of water sports.