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Rethymnon in Crete

Built to the east of Iraklion and to the west of Hania, Rethymnon is a lovely Cretan city with around 25,000 inhabitants. Although there is no airport in the city, there are airports in both of the neighbouring cities and regular bus routes between each of them. The season runs from Easter right the way through to October. The temperature that you can expect during those times is between 12 and 27 degrees. It is cooler around Easter and then peaks during the height of the summer months. The city is popular with both adults and children alike, with the majority of visitors being couples and families.

The city is famous for its beautiful, ancient buildings. Some of them date from as early as the 16th century and the arched doorways and stone staircases prove very popular with those interested in architect. The wonderful countryside surrounding the city has been used for farming and grazing for centuries and much of the local produce can be found in small shops in and around the city.

Places Of Interest

The Fortezza Castle is situated at the top of a small hill, which causes it to dominate the town. It is well worth a visit if you are interested in the history of the city. Also worth a visit is the Porta Guora, which was the entrance to the Venetian town and the only thing that remains of the defensive wall around it. If you have a particular interest in the city, there are many museums with friendly staff who would take the time to talk to you about the various historical features of the city.

Where To Stay

There is a wide variety of accommodation in the city, ranging from bed and breakfasts to five star hotels and which one you choose is entirely up to you. Some of the hotels have views of the sea, whilst others have views of the mountains, so whichever you prefer, you are bound to find something to suit your individual needs.

Shopping

There are lots of small shops in the city where you are able to buy gifts, souvenirs and local goods. On a Thursday, there is also a large market, in which you can buy a lot of local produce from the surrounding farms, along with more unique items which wouldn't be available in the shops.

Beaches

If you like to sunbathe, then Rethymnon's beaches will appeal to you. Episkopi is a sandy beach, perfect for walking shoeless across the sands, however, there are some parts of the beach with no facilities, so be aware of this if you are planning on taking a walk. Gerani and Geropotamos are pebbly beaches with spectacular views and probably more suited to a couple rather than a family. Panorma boasts both sandy areas and pebbly coves for more private relaxation. If you wish to travel a little further afield, Bali is 30km east of the city and boasts sandy beaches and breathtaking views across the sea.

If you enjoy nature, head down to the valleys where you will find many species of rare flowers, including makia bushes and laudanum. There are some wonderful walks around the valleys which provide a completely different setting than the beaches.

The largest mountain ranges in the area are the white mountains, Psiloritis and Kouloukounas. Mountaineer excursions are available from local instructors and it is advised that you do not attempt to climb these mountains unaided and without the right equipment as it could be dangerous.

Eating Out/Nightlife

There are many pubs, taverns, cafes and restaurants in the city. These provide an eclectic range of foods which appeal to all visitors. Most popular by far are the fish caught in the bay by the local fishermen which are then perfectly cooked and served to the highest of standards. You might wish to bear in mind that in Greece, it is the norm to spend a long time eating and savouring a meal, so leisurely service is to be expected. Children are always welcome at restaurants in the city and will be able to get a portion suitable for them. The city provides a good range of pubs and clubs for night time entertainment. You can either spend the night in a quiet, relaxed atmosphere of a local pub, or go to one of the more intense clubs.

No matter which of the activities you choose to pursue during your break, you are certain to find something within the city that will interest you. It isn't surprising that Rethymnon remains a popular holiday destination year after year.