Welcome to the city of Rethymnon, a place blessed with beauty, embraced by breathtaking mountains and the deep blue of the Mediterranean, decorated with renaissance colors and inhabited by people known for their hospitality, honoring their ancestors and traditions. The layout of Rethymnon is directly linked to the sea, with the main Venetian street, the Ruga Maistra (today's coastal Venizelou Avenue) running parallel to the sea. The opposite is true of Heraklion and Chania, where the town is closed to the sea for reasons of defence and the main street is at right angles to the coast.
The Venetian harbour
Rethymno's harbour area is a fine place for a coffee at one of the cafes and perhaps you will chance to eat there, just for the atmosphere. Look out from the harbour edge at the state of the buildings and seeing the abuse of this historic area you may be disappointed - perhaps you should suggest a renovation or two!
But not to worry, there is much else to see and enjoy, no shortage of other places of great character to stroll, stop in cafes, eat and generally enjoy the enormous amount Rethymno offers you.
The Fortress dominates the city and makes Rethymno very photogenic, its pedestrian streets below, strewn with charming old buildings. Venetian influences abound and the minarets and domed mosques remind of the Turkish influence long gone.
Numerous shops for souvenirs (with many local products now available), trendy fashion or imaginative jewellery...the old and the modern combine to make a colourful and buzzing town.
Venturing outside the town, some days you will visit dramatic gorges, monasteries, time-trodden villages with ancient churches, the south coast Libyan sea, spectacular mountains of Psiloritis and the Lefka Ori (White Mountains).
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