Go beyond the guidebook and get to know the real Crete! You could read pages of history, but they won’t tell you the stories of Rethymnon like we’ll tell you – that’s a task best left up to locals. This walking tour of the old town of Rethymnon will show you the city the way locals see it. From the classic historical sites to the local craftsmen and vendors that make Rethymnon the city is, we’ll show you everything you need to understand the city the way the locals do.
Given Rethymnon’s long, rich, thousand-or-so years of history, it’s only appropriate that we kicking things off with a bit of this history. The city began to grow after it was conquered by the Venetians, evidence of which can be spotted throughout the city.
We will start our day with a freshly brewed Greek coffee and learn how the different conqueres influenced the island’s culinary traditions but also read your future at a cup reading attempt!
From there, we’ll wind our way through Sabbionara, entering the old Ottoman district. Known for its impressive door frames and mix of histories, we’ll walk by Mosques and Catholic Churches, alongside Venetian mansions, temples turned into mosques, and find out how all these have influenced the Cretan music by visiting an artisan that still makes handmade musical instruments.
Next, it’s time to discover Crete through its incredible flavours. Learn the secrets of the famous Cretan diet, sampling local bites such as traditional koulouri, a sesame seeded bread ring (similar to Turkish simit), and cheese and olives (naturally), and of course learning why Cretan olive oil is considered one of the best in the world by tasting it.
Moving on, we’ll continue our personal conquest of Rethymnon by venturing through the most noteworthy streets of the old city, checking out “Instagram” photo stops, and shops selling authentic local souvenirs. We will walk you into a secret garden to sip some local wine (which has been cultivated here since 1600 BC!).
It’s here that we’ll end our walking tour of Rethymnon, and it’s the perfect place to continue your walk through the city or enjoy the beautiful waterfront views. Your guide will be more than happy to make recommendations for what else you can do in the city, especially where to grab more food!