The Most Convenient Day Trips and Tours from Rethymnon, Crete

Greece - Crete - Triopetra beach - Check some of the best tours, excursions and day trips in Rethymnon, Crete and explore the best of the region!

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West of Heraklion and east of Chania, Rethymnon is often chosen as the place to stay in Crete by those who love exploring. Staying in Rethymnon lets you move in any direction without facing endless hours on the road. This helps you maximize your holiday time and get to know a bit of every corner of Crete. It’s a great idea to rent a car and explore on your own, but organized tours can be a great solution for a more relaxing experience. Here you can check the best tours and day trips from Rethymnon (but also in Rethymnon) to enjoy during your vacation in Crete. Check them out!


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Top Day Trips in Rethymnon, Crete

Day Trips from Rethymnon, Crete… So Much to Discover!

Rethymnon is a great place to start your journey to discover Crete, with so many wonderful things to do and spots to see during your vacation. The region is home to Crete’s highest peak (Mount Psiloritis), gorges, valleys, mountains, and stunning beaches. There are also museums, archaeological sites, and two of Crete’s most important monasteries, Preveli – with its unique palm tree beach – and Arkadi. The old town is another gem to explore, you can either do it on your own or book an organized walking tour!

day trips from Rethymnon
Mount Psiloritis, Rethymnon

Although traveling around Crete on your own rental car can be one of the most rewarding experiences, oftentimes, joining an organized day trip or excursion will let you know more and know better. Check here, for some of the best value-for-money tours in, around, and from Rethymnon.

Let’s Start by Getting Ready for Crete!

RESOURCES TO BOOK YOUR TRIP:

Book your flight: I use Skyscanner to compare prices before booking a plane ticket.

Book your ferry: When ferries are more convenient than air travel, I use Ferryhopper.

Book your accommodation: I’ve tried many different platforms for accommodation, but none of them beats the advantages of Booking.com.

Book your car: The best way to find an affordable car to rent is to use a powerful search engine that compares all the rental companies in the market. I use Discover Cars.

Book your tours: Live unforgettable adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide. For instance, you can Visit Elafonisi, discover Balos Beach, hike Samaria, or explore Knossos.

Don’t forget travel insurance: Things can go wrong at times, but travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I recommend Safety Wing for peace of mind.

Best hotels in Rethymnon
Affordable: Ilian Beach and Summer Drem in Rethymnon Town.
Mid-range: Archipelagos Hotel in town or Veneto Boutique Hotel.
Luxury: Avli Lounge and Rimondi Boutique Hotel in the old town. Or read my review of this top old-town boutique hotel.
Check also Rethymnon Accommodation Guide and Rental Homes and Airbnb in Rethymnon.

Convenient Day Trips from Rethymnon, Crete

In no particular order, check these great excursions and day trips in and from Rethymnon that are good value for money…

Crete Amazing Places: Margarites, Arkadi,
Rethymnon Old Town

day trips from Rethymnon
(Courtesy Viator)

Margarites, Arkadi Monastery, and Rethymnon Old Town: A fantastic group tour from Rethymnon to spend a whole day visiting three of the best areas in the region. Start with a visit to the colorful pottery village of Margarites, learn about one of the most ancient traditions on the island, and even try your skills on the pottery wheel! You’ll have so much fun!

Later on, go back to your comfortable van and prepare to fully immerse in the past of the island, Explore the ancient Monastery of Arkadi, probably the most important religious monument on the island.

day trips from Rethymnon
Arkadi Monastery (Courtesy Viator).

Finish your day visiting the old town, exploring romantic alleys, and discovering ancient crafts. Admire the Venetian fortification, Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques, majestic mansions of Venetian architecture, arches, and cobbled paths.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Full-Day Land Rover Safari to Preveli: The Most Stunning Cretan Safari

day trips from Rethymnon
Kourtaliotiko Gorge

Full-Day Land Rover Safari to Preveli: One of my favorite tours in the whole of Crete! This super 8-hour tour takes you back to nature on a full-day safari by Land Rover to discover the hidden sides of Rethymnon.

day trips from Rethymnon
Old Venetian Bridge near Preveli.

Sip some authentic locally produced tsikoudia and taste other specialties at a traditional tavern overlooking the Libyan Sea.

Swim in Preveli’s crystal clear waters and explore the palm forest. Feel the wind in your hair as you get back to nature in the Kourtaliotiko Gorge. End with a panoramic view of Rethymno before dropping you off at your hotel.

Believe me, this tour is one more unmissable thing to do in the area!
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Knossos & Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
From Rethymnon

day trips from Rethymnon
Knossos Palace.

Day Trip to Knossos Palace and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: Don’t miss a visit to the most visited place on the island, the fantastic archaeological site of Knossos. Spend a day discovering the mysteries of Crete’s ancient civilization, the Minoans.

After a 2-hour tour of the Palace, you’ll have the chance to discover one of the most important archaeological museums in Greece and Europe.

Get ready to be even more dazzled at the advanced sophistication of the Minoans. The museum includes exhibits from all the eras of Cretan prehistory and history but also collections with unique masterpieces of Minoan art.

To end your day, enjoy some free time exploring, shopping, or eating your way around Heraklion, the vibrant capital of Crete.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Wondering how to dress for this tour? Check what to wear to visit Knossos in full comfort.

Private Tour of Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Spinalonga from Rethymnon

day trips from Rethymnon
(Courtesy Viator)

Day Trip to the East (Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Spinalonga island): This is a gem of a tour you cannot miss if you’re staying in Rethymnon and decided not to hire a car. It will take you to explore the eastern region of Lasithi and visit a remarkable group of places in the area.

Check the beautiful city of Agios Nikolaos and the place where Lake Voulismeni connects to the sea. Enjoy some hours in Elounda, one of the top seaside resorts on the island, and then embark on a boat trip to step into the recent history of Crete… Spinalonga.

The now-abandoned island which has been transformed into an archeological site was one of the most tragic corners of Crete, one of the last leper colonies in Europe, and the place where the famous English writer Victoria Hislop got the inspiration to write the breathtaking novel The Island.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Rethymnon Inland: The Best Day Trip
from Rethymnon

day trips from Rethymnon
Patsos Gorge (Courtesy Viator).

Rethymnon Inland: Probably the best value-for-money day trip out there which in a day will take you to discover a fantastic itinerary! The trip includes the following stunning stops:

>> Old Town Rethymnon

Spend an hour wandering the narrow-paved alleys of Rethymno Old City and enjoy the artistic cafes, craft shops, mosques, churches, and Turkish and Venetian mansions.

>> Margarites Pottery Village

Visit the magnificent village of Margarites and discover the old art of ceramics which has been alive on Crete for centuries.

>> Ancient Eleftherna

day trips from Rethymnon

An unexpected visit to one of the most remarkable archaeological excavations – still in progress – on Crete. Situated in a lush area of the island, explore the mystery of the ancient civilization that thrived in this area until Byzantine times.

After the visit, you can also explore the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna which exhibits unique findings from the ancient city.

>> Arkadi Monastery

The next top in this intense itinerary is at the historic and solemn Arkadi Monastery. This religious site, which was an important center of the Cretan Resistance against the Ottoman Empire, remains a symbol of the fight for freedom.

>> Spili Village

day trips from Rethymnon

One of the most magical places in Rethymnon, the village of Spili is better known for the unique Venetian springs.

Explore the village and discover the amazing lines of lion-head fountains in the main square of the village.

>> St. Anthony Gorge

Also known as Patsos Gorge, this is one of the most beautiful but also easy-to-explore gorges in Crete. Wear your most comfortable shoes and hike until you reach St. Antonios Cave, a unique, rewarding experience.

>> Preveli Beach

day trips from Rethymnon

Among the most beautiful beaches in South Crete, the last stop will not disappoint you!

To reach this spectacular scenario where the river meets the sea and the palm trees highlight the landscape, enjoy a scenic drive through Kourtaliotiko Gorge and spend some time enjoying the fantastic beach of Preveli.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Flower Power

day trips from Rethymnon
The red tulip of Crete (Courtesy Viator).

Cherries, Churches, and the Valley of Amari: A day trip to explore the hidden paradise between the mountain Kedros and Psiloritis. This is a tour perfect for the days of Spring when the valleys of Crete are covered with flowers, trees, and fragrant herbal bushes.

You’ll discover a hidden spot where a unique variety of orchids and irises grow and blossom every year. One of the highlights of this plateau is the extremely rare Tulipa doerfleri, also known as the red tulip of Crete, which is so abundant that it colors red entire fields.

After the visit, you’ll enjoy an authentic Cretan lunch in a traditional taverna and you’ll also explore the village of Spili.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Lake Kournas and Springs of Argyroupolis

GREECE - CRETE - GEORGIOUPOLI - AGIOS NIKOLAOS CHAPEL

Lake Kournas, Georgioupoli, and the Springs of Argyroupoli: Start your day visiting a local oil mill to see how Crete’s famous olive oil is produced. Then, visit the charming white chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas in the village of Georgioupolis, built more than a century ago on a rocky islet about 100-meters into the sea.

The journey continues with a stop to visit the springs and waterfalls of Argyroupoli, an area known for the imposing lush vegetation and small rivers.

Finally, you will explore the beautiful natural Lake Kournas, with enough time to enjoy a swim and eat Cretan delicacies at the many tavernas around the lake.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

From Rethymno: Day Trip to Elafonisi

day trips from Rethymnon

Day Trip to Elafonisi from Rethymnon: You can also discover the magnificent pink sand beach of Elafonisi even if you’re not staying in Chania, this tour will take you there and back to your hotel to avoid the stress of driving!

Along the road, you can take in the lush green landscape as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees.

Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4 hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon from Rethymnon

sea, beach, sand, Crete

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa: The perfect pick to explore an area of unique beauty but with no easy access for less-experienced drivers. With this day trip, you’ll be able to visit the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and then explore the spectacular landscape of Balos Beach.

An unforgettable excursion to check the westernmost tip of Crete on a scenic bus and boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon.

You’ll have enough time to dip your toes in the soft white sand of some of the most beautiful beaches you ever have seen!
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Damnoni & Preveli Palm Beach Small-Group Tour
from Rethymnon

Greece - Crete - Preveli River Sea

Preveli and Damnoni: South Rethymnon has some magical places to visit, and this tour offers a great opportunity. Depart from Rethymnon with a small group and spend the day exploring the traditional village of Spili, the dramatic scenery of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, and the medieval Preveli Monastery.

After this visit, you will reach Preveli Palm Beach below the monastery at the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko, where the sea combines with the lush green of the palm forest.

You’ll spend some time in Preveli Beach and then get on a boat to explore the beautiful Damnoni beach.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.

As you can see, when it comes to Rethymnon, as well as the nearby regions, you can pick tours, experiences, and adventures no matter what you enjoy doing the most. Hiking? Lazy day on the beach? Local tastes?. Rethymnon offers it all… Are you ready?


Which of these day trips in Rethymnon would you like to book?
Let me know in the comments below!

You might also want to read these articles about Crete:

Pin This Great Day Trips from Rethymnon Guide!

Top Day Trips in Rethymnon, Crete

About the author of this blog:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.


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