Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete after Heraklion and Chania. But it is definitely the most picturesque, the most welcoming and the most authentic one. Here, you will come to understand what the famous Cretan hospitality is really about.
As in all Cretan cities, Rethymno is full of Venetian features, constituting one of the best preserved Venetian cities in the Mediterranean. The landmark of the city is the Castle of Fortezza, which was built in 1573 to protect Venetians from Ottoman navy attacks. The Old Venetian Port and the Ibrahim Pasa Mosque are also very important monuments. Behind the castle of Fortezza, lays the Old Town of Rethymno, with numerous scenic alleys and memorials.There are small traditional tavernas and coffee shops everywhere in the Old Town. Make sure that you have a taste of raki, the famous local drink.
During the summer, the city is full of life. Not a day goes by without some kind of cultural event taking place. The highlight is the Renaissance Festival, with a large variety of theatrical and musical performances. If you happen to be here between August and September do not miss it for the world. Also, in June, Rethymno accommodates the Cretan Diet Festival, the most important gastronomic event for the Mediterranean Diet. Traditional summer celebrations continue at the villages nearby.