With three days in Heraklion (aka Iraklio), you can discover the area’s 4,000 years of history, savor the local cuisine, wander landscapes like the Samaria Gorge—and even visit another island.
Though often overlooked by tourists in favor of Heraklion and Chania, Rethymno makes an excellent base on Crete as well as a worthwhile day-trip destination for those staying elsewhere. Guided walking tours provide an intimate look at the town’s Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman connections, as well as ticking off top sights such as the Venetian Fortezza and the Mosque of Kara Musa Pasha. Some city tours include tastings of local Cretan food and wine.
Great way to see old town
We had a blast. It is a good way to see old town because you can't cover that much area by walking. Our tour guide Ninette (sp?) was very helpful and kind. The owner Giannis is super nice and informative. The whole family loved it.
Vadim_M, Aug 2022
Things to Know Before You Go
Rethymno is a must for history buffs and the culturally curious.
If exploring in summer, bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat for protection.
Lots of artisan shops and tavernas can be found around town.
How to Get There
Rethymno is situated on the north coast of Crete, the largest of Greece’s Aegean Islands. Ktel bus lines 1 and 2 connect Chania to Rethymno, a journey of about an hour. The trip between Heraklion and Rethymno via Ktel bus line 1 takes around 1.5 hours.
When to Get There
The midday heat in July and August can be intense, so it’s best to explore early in the day or in late afternoon. Be sure to take ample rest stops to hydrate and cool down. One of the liveliest times to visit is during the annual Carnival of Rethymno in January and February, when the streets are the setting for parties, dances, and parades.
Highlights of Rethymno
Rethymno is home to several notable sights, ranging from historical landmarks to natural attractions. Enclosed within sturdy walls is the 16th-century Venetian Fortezza, a fortified castle complex built to protect against Turkish attacks. Also of note is the Venetian Harbor, dominated by a 17th-century lighthouse, and the 17th-century Rimondi Fountain in the old town, featuring three water-spouting lion heads.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Rethymno (Rethimno)?
What else should I know about attractions in Heraklion?