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Rethymnon, Crete

Cheap holidays to Rethymnon

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Rethymnon Overview

Relaxing holidays: Lying on the north western coast of Crete, it’s fair to say that Rethymnon holidays are a little out of the way compared to the bustling holidays in Malia and Hersonissos. But Rethymnon holidays have lots to recommend them, and being a major city of over 40,000 people, Rethymnon is also bigger that most other holiday resorts in Crete.

Historical holidays: The whole area of Rethymnon has a deep historical tradition going all the way back to ancient Minoan times over 4,000 years ago. Although much of the structures still standing today are actually more recent and come from the 16th century when the Venetian conquerors of Crete built extensively here.

Beach holidays: A massive curving horseshoe of golden sand, Rethymnon’s long 12-mile beach is a large part of what makes holidays here so popular. It’s well facilitated with showers and toilets too.

Shopping holidays: Rethymnon holidays are also some of the best holidays in Crete for shopping. There’s everything here from glamorous shopping centres to charming little souvenir shops.

Attractions in Rethymnon

Fortezza Castle: This majestic Venetian structure is one of the best preserved castles in Crete. It was built in 1580 in a strategic position alongside the coastline for a safeguard against the Ottoman Turks. You’ll get some incredible photos from your holidays as you take in the almost 360 degree panoramic scenery of the surrounding sea.

Arkadi Monastery: This beautiful monastery is over 800 years old, so it makes for a fascinating visit during your holidays in Rethymnon. The interior is adorned with golden chandeliers and colourful paintings, while the outside is notable for its elaborately designed stonework and bell towers.

Venetian Loggia: Another example of the impression made on Rethymnon by the Venetian presence, this perfectly square building was created in 1625 as a meeting place for Venetian nobles. It certainly helps to highlight how much attention was paid to Rethymnon during their occupation!

Activities in Rethymnon

Archaeological Museum: Considering Rethymnon has such a rich source of archaeological finds and historical artefacts, it seems fitting that there should be an archaeological museum here. Inside, you’ll see impressive exhibits that date way back from the Neolithic period, making this a memorable visit on holidays in Rethymnon..

Historical & Folklore Museum:n Although seemingly small, this museum has over 5,000 items native to Rethymnon and Crete. You can gaze at traditional Greek dress, jewellery, basketry and pottery, as well as learning about the typical instruments, occupations and even weapons of yesteryear.

Municipal Gardens: These pleasant green gardens offer cooling shade in the heart of Rethymnon, perfect for when you’re a little too hot after spending your holidays on the beach. There are also several concerts and festivals held here, such as the wine festival held near the beginning of July and a November festival commemorating the destruction of the original Arkadi Monastery.

Beaches in Rethymnon

Rethymnon Beach: This gently arcing beach of dark golden sand is surprisingly long – 12km long in fact. It means there’s plenty of space for sunbathing on your beach holidays in Rethymnon. And the warm waters of the Mediterranean and the northerly breeze can help you cool down during your holidays. With a beach of this quality and cleanliness, it’s easy to see why it’s been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag.

Plantanias Beach: Very similar to Rethymnon Beach in all but name, Plantanias Beach is a long dusky golden beach just minutes from the centre Rethymnon. Luckily, it’s also open to the north too, so it enjoys those cooling northerly breezes that make the weather on holidays in Rethymnon so pleasant.

Perivolia Beach: Even though Perivolia Beach is only around 2km from Rethymnon, the only reason it’s worth travelling the extra distance to this beach is for a change of scenery, or maybe a change of restaurants and bars! Otherwise, it’s a very similar affair as the other beaches on Rethymnon holidays – expansive dark golden sand and whirlpool warm water, but then, who can argue with that?

Restaurants in Rethymnon

Castlevecchio: The star of the show at this restaurant is certainly the setting. On two balcony levels the cream cobbled stonework and rustic red wooden furniture add charm to the decor. From an elevated position it looks out upon rows of white sugar cube houses and forested mountains off in the distance. The food, as you might expect on holidays in Crete, is classically Greek, with dishes such as roast lamb with rosemary.

Avli: Here’s a unique twist on the traditional Greek taverna! Ingredients are sourced locally to create contemporary versions of classic Greek dishes. Food is presented artfully on the plate, in neat shapes with splashes of sauces and dressings. It’s incredible dining that you just have to experience on holidays to Rethymnon.

Veneto Restaurant: With a charming vine-covered courtyard terrace and a cosy stone interior, the Veneto Restaurant makes dining out feel like you’re relaxing in a welcoming Greek village. Try exciting dishes such as sea urchin salad, wine leave rolls with courgette flowers and walnut cake with gum ice cream.

Nightlife in Rethymnon

Great variety: Rethymnon holidays offer the full spectrum of nights out, from loud and lively clubbing holidays to peaceful beachside retreats. Stylish places include Living Room, an uber-cool cocktail bar with contemporary decor, and Paralia Club which has huge soft leather sofas. If you prefer your nightlife a little less dressy, you could always head to the popular Irish theme pub called the Punch Bowl. There’s rustic memorabilia adorning the walls, and as you might expect, you can get a great Guinness or Irish coffee in here! The Rock Cafe also has a pretty lively atmosphere, and despite its name it’s neither rock-focused nor a cafe! Whereas, if you fancy having a drink in somewhere truly unique during your holidays in Rethymnon, opt for the Figaro art cafe you’ll see modern art mingled with deco designs in this intriguing place – it’s certainly different!

Shopping in Rethymnon

Souvenirs and famous labels: Being a fairly large town, shopping on Rethymnon holidays is actually a varied and engaging experience. You can visit the main arcade for shopping in clean, cool surroundings with a large selection of quality shops like designer boutiques, surprisingly great value jewellery and unique handmade items that make bargain buys for cheap holidays in Rethymnon. You’ll also find plenty to take your interest on the main shopping streets of Arkadiou Street and Psarou Street, although the individual shops here are aimed squarely at tourists. As opposed to souvenirs, if you fancy picking up some original Cretan and Greek fare during your holidays, why not visit the farmer’s market with a good selection of dry goods like honey, herbs and olive oil which you can easily bring back home with you.

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