The third largest town on Crete is located in the northwestern part of the island and is a beautiful spot to base yourself for a few days of scenic sightseeing and relaxing, with some traditional Cretan food and wine at one of Rethymnon’s many tavernas and cafés. If you’re making plans to go, use our guide to get even more excited about your trip with our tips on how to get there, and what to see and do while you’re in Rethymnon.
Rethymnon doesn’t have its own airport so you’ll likely be arriving at Chania or Heraklion airport. From Chania International Airport, take the bus to Chania’s town centre and then board a different bus to Rethymnon. The bus stop is just outside the terminal building and the trip will cost EUR 2.30 to Chania, and then from Chania to Rethymnon it will be another EUR 6.70. That trip is about an hour.
Similarly, from Heraklion International Airport, you’ll need to catch a bus to the town centre and then another bus to Rethymnon. The bus into Heraklion costs EUR 1.20, and then it’s ERU 8.30 to get to Rethymnon with a total travel time of about 90 minutes.
From both Chania and Heraklion there is a bus every hour for Rethymnon.
Due to its compact size, walking is the best option for getting around Rethymnon, especially in and around the Old Town.
If you plan to go further afield, the bus is an option. The central bus station is on the coastal road west of the fortress and fares cost between EUR 1.40 and EUR 2.50. Public buses in Crete are run by KTEL company and a current schedule can be found here. It’s wise to check it since schedules can change with the seasons.
One of the most picturesque things to do in Rethymnon is to explore the Old Town, something that’s easily done on foot. This is also where you’ll find many of the town’s main sights and attractions, not to mention an abundance of tavernas, cafes, and shops among the winding, narrow streets. Old Town is also where you’ll find the charming Venetian harbour where an array of colourful fishing boats are docked in the summer and fish restaurants offer the catches of the day. The Venetian Fortezza is another stop to make on your tour of the Old Town and a major landmark in Rethymnon. The imposing fortress offers great photo ops as well as beautiful views over the town.
The small but informative Folk Art Museum of Rethymnon is a good way to learn more about traditional rural life. The museum can be found in the Old Town and houses items ranging from ceramics and metalwork to costumes and embroidery.
In the summer, the Renaissance Festival is the place to be. The festival got its start in 1987 and runs July through September, encompassing theatre, dance, and music. Almost all performances take place at the historic Erofili Theatre in the Fortezza.
If you happen to be in town during the winter, in particularly February, you might want to check out Rethymnon Carnival, the second largest of its kind in Greece. The first Carnival was organized in 1914 and the colourful extravaganza involves elaborate floats and costumes and a whole month of festivities including dancing, music, and food. Rethymnon’s Carnival makes for a great way to experience local culture and celebrate among both locals and visitors.
Looking for more things to do? Urban Adventures offers day tours in Rethymnon and beyond, all led by local experts that will give you a taste for local life on Crete:
Gourmet Trail of Rethymnon
Taste your way through the old city of Rethymnon on this evening food tour that uncovers the hidden spots not found in guidebooks. Eat and drink the best products of the region, talk to local vendors, and find out why Crete is a foodies’ paradise!
Conquer the historical city of Rethymnon (just like many, many others before you). Hear tales of previous conquerors like the Byzantines, Venetians, and pirates (for real), and trace the footsteps of aristocrats, sultans, and warriors as you walk the winding streets of this fascinating city. See the colours and taste the flavours that only locals know!
Bygone Crete Adventure
Spend a day in the great outdoors, exploring the rich Cretan culture, villages, and hiking trails that don’t see too many tourists. We’ll visit a medieval town, pass through the oldest olive groves in the Mediterranean, see iconic historic sites, bake bread in a wood-fire oven, explore an abandoned monastery, and even trek through a gorge! Adventures await!
The Best of Far West Crete
Head to Sfakia on the far west side of the island, where towering mountains, deep gorges, tales of adventure, and local cuisine await. You’ll get it all on this full-day Crete tour that combines everything you could want from a great Greek day: hiking, cooking, wine-tasting, cheese-sampling, storytelling and more.
While movies set in Rethymnon are tough to come by, you can get a feel for what to expect when you get there with a few videos of the town, like this one.
Listening to some local folk music, like what you’ll hear in this video, is a good way to get excited for your visit to Rethymno.
Get in the mood for a trip to Rethymnon by reading some novels written by the Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis.
If you have any questions about Urban Adventures on Crete, feel free to contact us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at +30 69 8678 0970. And follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for more information and travel inspiration.
The Mediterranean’s fifth-largest island, Crete is a remarkable mosaic of stunning gorges, rugged mountains, and beautiful beaches. With Europe to the north, Asia to the east, and Africa to the south, Crete has always been at the crossroads of civilisations, having been visited, conquered, and fought for, all while retaining its unique character and traditions.