Sightseeing in  Rethymno

  • Fortezza Castle

The Venetian castle of Fortezza dominates the town of Rethymno and is definitely a “must see”. It was built in 1590 in order to protect the city from the Turkish forces and the pirate raids. It is extremely wellpreserved and it offers a magnificent view of the north seaside of Rethymno.  
Inside the castle, the beautiful outdoor theatre Erofili, which hosts almost all the performances of the Renaissance Festival during July and August, highlights the place. In front of the main gate of the Fortezza fortress stands the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno. It includes a rich selection of exhibits from Rethymno’s greatest prosperity period.


  • Venetian Town

Porta Guora, which was the entrance to the Venetian town, is the only remnant of the defensive wall. The Rimondi fountain with its rich decoration is situated at Platanos square, the centre of the Venetian town. Neratzes mosque with its outstanding doorframe and the three domes, which was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans, is used today as a music conservatory. Kara Mousa Pasa Mosque is also a Venetian monastery that was turned into a mosque by the Turks. Today it is the house of the Restoration Board of the city.
Next to Neratzes mosque there is an impressive minaret, built in 1890. The Historical and Folk Art Museum of Rethymno, situated in the Old Town, exhibits a wide variety of traditional Cretan arts and crafts such as lacework, basket weaving, metal work, jewelry and pottery.


  • Monastery of Arkadhi   (23 km from Rethymno)

This monastery during the 1866 rebellion against the Turks it became refuge for Cretan insurgents. Surrounded by the enemies and after two days of fighting, the Cretans purposely ignited the gunpowder storeroom and killed hundreds of them and Turks. It is possible to see the roofless room where the explosion took place, monk cells and oratories as well as the surviving 16thcentury church that is one of the loveliest Venetian buildings on the island. There is also a small museum.


  • Armenoi   (8 km from Rethymno)

The Late Minoan cemetery of Armeni, with over 200 chamber tombs excavated so far, is located on the road to Spili and Agia Galini. If possible, take a torch since very few of the tombs are lit. At Lissos, an ancient town famous for its healing spring, you may visit a small Asklepios temple, dedicated to the Greek god of healing.


  • Eleftherna   (25 km from Rethymno)

The ancient Dorian city of Eleftherna is situated at the northern foot of Psilorotis Mountain. The excavations revealed a Byzantine tower, roman cisterns and a fabulous Hellenistic Bridge. At Katsivelos, you will admire a beautiful threeaisle basilica with a marvelous mosaic decoration.


  • Anogia   (55 km from Rethymno)

A traditional village on Psiloritis Mountain, Rethymno’s outstanding symbol, Anogia is famous for its resident's resistance to Turkish and German conquerors. You should definitely visit the breathtaking Nida Plateau on an altitude of 1500m, 25 km away from the village and the Ideon Andron cave, where according to Greek mythology Zeus grew up.


  • Kourtaliotiko Gorge    (20 km from Rethymno)

This gorge is located between the mountains of Kouroupa and Xiron. The ruins of a small church (Agios Nikolaos) sit within the gorge and there is also a 40 meter high waterfall. The cliffs on the side of the gorge provide a roosting site for the Griffon Vulture. The village of Koxare is at the northern end of the gorge.


  • Argiroupoli   (22 km from Rethymno)

Built on the remains of the ancient city of Lappa, one of Western Crete’s most important ancient cities, it is surrounded by springs, watermills and picturesque waterfalls. The beautiful scenery and the rich flora of the landscape make this village ideal for leisurely strolls.



  • Margarites   (30 km from Rethymno)

Margarites is widely known for its pottery. Beautiful handmade clay objects and wonderful architectural details such as narrow alleys and Venetian doors can be found in this small village.


  • Agios Konstantinos   (16 km from Rethymno)

You may walk among the fantastic Venetian buildings of this lovely village. You can also visit the Artemis Women’s Cooperative, where you can buy homemade liqueur, natural soaps and scented olive oil.


  • Kournas Lake   (28 km from Rethymno)

Being the only freshwater lake in Crete, Kournas lake is surrounded by dense vegetation. A strip of sand creates an ideal swimming and sunbathing spot. Many tavernas and cafes can be found in the area.


  • Panormo   (22 km from Rethymno)

It is a seafront village developed in a small bay. With few fish tavernas it has a dreamy atmosphere. The ancient town of Panormo flourished from the 1st to the 9th century A.D. when it was destroyed by the Saracens. A tourist minitrain leaves from the main street to the nearby Melidoni Cave and the village of Margarites mentioned above.