Rethymno: A journey to History and Multiculturalism
Rethymno is situated on the north coast of Crete. The city is inhabited since 1600 BC; its history and cultural identity has been influenced from the Turkish, Arabic and Venetian domination. A visit in the historic center offers the ascertainment that Rethymno is a multicultural, colourful and well-preserved city.
Starting from the Old Town, one of the best-preserved cities of the Renaissance that is located in the heart of modern Rethymno, you will admire the oriental characteristics of the Turkish period as well as the Renaissance-style Venetian architecture. Meeting the small harbour in the Old Town, you will be impressed of the 13th-century Venetian mole which was used as its protection. This is the ideal starting-point for a visit to the Fortezza, the Venetian fortress of Rethymno (16th century), that is located in the centre of the Old Town.
Rethymno is a region with historical monasteries and cathedrals, beautiful museums, amazing streets, shops and architecture. Its quiet, idyllic villages as well as its long, sandy beaches offer some trouble-free moments, inviting visitors to come back again and again.
Located 35 km south of Rethymno, the beach extends east from Plakias village. It is one of the biggest sandy beaches in Crete, offering its visitors a sense of space and comfort. It is well-organized with cool green waters. The east end of the beach is mainly used by naturists.
Ten km east of Plakias, beach of Preveli (also known as Lake Preveli or Phoenix), is located at the exit of the imposing Kourtaliotikos Gorge, where Megas Potamos flows. With thousands of visitors every summer, Preveli remains one of the most popular beaches in south Crete. The palm trees around the beach give a sense of a tropical landscape, offering shade and cool breeze. During the 60s and 70s, the beach was a favorite destination for the hippies.
It is located 32km south of Rethymno and 4km east of Plakias. The place has a characteristic green slippery rock in the middle and the beach is slightly organized, with umbrellas and some tavernas nearby. Ammoudi has thick white sand, a bright green color water and rocky seabed, ideal for diving and snorkeling. Moreover, you can find a scuba diving centre. Next to the beach there are many tamarisk trees, under which you can find shade and camp.
SKINARIA BEACH (OR SHINARIA)
Skinaria is a small beach with crystal blue deep water, soft gray-beige sand and fine pebbles. The beach is located 33km south of Rethymno, in the east part of Plakias area. On the beach there are small ponds with fresh water from springs that carry water from the mountain of Kouroupa. Around these lakes the landscape gives visitors the sense of a tropical environment.
Bali has four beaches (Livadi, Varkotopos, Limani, Karavostasis) which are formed in sandy coves with green waters. The beaches are almost calm all the time, since the bay of Bali faces to the west. They are all well-organized and suitable for children and families. Furthermore, water is cool because of the several springs around, that carry fresh water from Psiloritis Range into the sea.
Located 14km away of Rethymno, in a fertile valley, Episkopi has a 3,5km of sandy beach long, shallow and mostly wavy, like the average of beaches in North Crete. It is well organized with several hotels, restaurants, cafes, tavernas and bars. However, you can certainly find a quiet spot, especially in the easternmost part, next to Petres bridge.
In a distance of 61km south of Rethymno, Agia Galini is one of the most popular seaside resorts of the area. The sea is almost always calm. The part of the beach near the port is very well organized and the water is cold with fine pebbles, due to the river of Amarianos which is located 200m east of the port. When you cross the river, you will find the second beach which extends to the east. It has small pebbles and is less organized. In the area near the river, ruins of an ancient temple of Artemis have been excavated.
West of Agia Galini, 58km south of Rethymno, the beautiful beach of Agios Pavlos is well-hidden in a sheltered bay with green deep waters and magnificent rocky seabed. The place is peaceful, ideal for quiet family holidays. Basic services such as umbrellas, sunbeds and pedal boats, are provided, while near the beach you can find a few rooms and tavernas. Above the beach you may visit the small church of Saint Paul; according to the legend Saint Paul lived here during his journey to Rome
The beach has a length of 13km starting from inside the city and extending to the hotels area on the west until Scaletta. It’s a beautiful beach with golden sand and crystal-clear shallow water, very well organized. The beach gets quieter towards the west, past Missiria and Platanes. It should be mentioned that the sea turtle Carretta-Carretta has chosen Rethymno beach to lay its eggs on.
is situated about 20km east of Rethymno, in the province of Milopotamos. Panormos is a natural harbour with calm water. There are two main beaches and a few smaller ones. The harbour (Limanaki) beach serves as the port of the area. It is sandy and shallow and the sea has clear water. The beach is well organized with umbrellas and showers, ideal for families with small children. The second main beach named Limni is located just 200m west of the village. It’s also sandy and well protected by a rocky dock.
is located about 52km south of Rethymno. It lies in the central part of a long beachfront, called Akoumiani Gialia. The main beach of Triopetra, (called Chatzi), extends to the west for some kilometers, and from there you can watch a fantastic sunset. The sea has a beautiful water color. The east part of the beach is mildly organized with tavernas, rooms and umbrellas. There is a small river, with fresh water all year round.
are two uninhabited islets off the Gulf of Messara, 12km south of Agia Galini. Their length is about 3km and they are separated by a narrow strip of sea, called Bogazi. The east Paximada which is the smaller one, hosts four beautiful tiny beaches with crystal-clear waters and pebbles. You can access the place by excursion boats from Kokkinos Pirgos and Agia Galini.
KORAKAS BEACH (RODAKINO)
Two km away of the traditional Rodakino village (located 45km southeast of Rethymno), you will come across some beautiful and tranquil beaches. The first beach that you will meet at the exit of the dried river is called Korakas and is one of the most beautiful ones, with long fine pebbles. Korakas has amazing clear waters and it is well-organized with umbrellas and some tavernas.
is located 51km south of Rethymno, south of the village Kerames, at the foot of the imposing mount of Siderotas. Ligres is a wide beach with an amazing deep sea. The beach is not organized, but there are some tavernas and a few rooms. At the west part of the beach there is a beautiful waterfall, all-year round, which falls next to the sea. Ligres remains one of the nicest, tranquil and most secluded beaches on the island.
PIRGOS BEACH, KERAMES
Two adjacent beaches with fine pebbles and sand, are between Gialopotama and the harbor of Agia Fotini, about 45 km south of Rethymno. They are called Pirgos and are surrounded by huge rocks with three imposing caves situated above. Pirgos beach is ideal for snorkeling and naturism.