Rethymnon region

Four are the different regions in Crete, each of them with a fantastic landscape, unique traits, and so many things to discover.

The third most important region in Crete is Rethymnon, a land of beautiful scenes and nature, churches, monasteries, villages, and a pristine South coast to discover. >> Bookmark this page to come often and discover new things to do in Rethymnon!

About Rethymnon

A suggestive array of seaside resorts, traditional villages, and breathtaking landscape, Rethymnon is the third most important region in Crete.

The region is home to Mount Psiloritis, the highest peak on the island, which is surrounded by beautiful valleys and stunning caves open for you to explore.

The southern coast of Rethymnon hosts a wilder landscape and a remarkable beach where a sparkling river meets the sea in a unique palm tree environment.

The capital of the region, on northern coast, is the charming city of Rethymnon, with its old town, Venetian harbor, and romantic lighthouse, right by the Sea of Crete.

Map of Rethymnon

When to visit Rethymnon

There’s no moment like February or March to visit the region. The Carnival of Rethymnon every year attract hundreds of visitors from the rest of the island and from all over Greece because of their authentic Venetian atmosphere. The celebrations include dancing, parades, and unique Carnival costumes.

Summer is a perfect moment of the year to reach the different beaches of Rethymnon. You can choose to stay on the northern coast, more vibrant and touristic, to visit the beaches in Panormo or Bali. Or you might want to reach the south of the region to visit the popular Agia Galini or lesser known shores, such as Ligres, Triopetra, and Agios Pavlos.

In Spring, hundreds of local flowers bring color and fragrance to the local landscape. The temperatures are quite pleasant to discover the mountain paths, exploring the gorges, or the unique monasteries of Rethymnon.

Once the Fall arrives, you can enjoy a still warm sea on virtually empty beaches. The crowds that have already left the island and it’s time to enjoy the best of what Rethymnon has to offer.

How to get to Rethymnon

You can reach Rethymnon from Chania driving along the National Road to the west, the trip takes about 45 minutes. From Heraklion, instead, you need to drive east along the same road. The trip is about an hour.

In Summer, twice a week, you can reach Rethymnon by boat from some of the Cycladic islands (Santorini, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos).

How to move around in Rethymnon

Rethymnon has a good road system on the northern coast. The national road connects Rethymnon both to Chania (West) and Heraklion (East).

To reach the southern part of the region it’s necessary to travel across the valleys and the mountains. There’s also a road that connects Rethymnon to Agia Galini.

The best way to move around is driving your own rental car. If you’re in need of extra advice, check this tips to drive safely in Crete.

The public bus system regularly connects different touristic centers in the region from April to October. The Public Bust Station is located a few meters from the Fortezza, right opposite the coast.

What to see and do in Rethymnon


Best things to do in Rethymnon

Check this guide to discover the 10 best things you can do in Rethymnon. Whether it’s the old Venetian town or the rest of the region, this is a thorough list of top things to do.

Old port, boat, lighthouse, Crete

Rethymnon itinerary for 1-3 days

You can make the most of Rethymnon even if you don’t have a lot of time. Discover what you shouldn’t miss in Rethymnon if you’re there for a few hours, a whole day, or a bit more.

Where to stay in Rethymnon

Rethymnon hotel guide

In this guide, you can find the best places to stay in the old town and close to the city center, nearby resorts and villages too. The guide has different budget categories to make it easy for you to find a place to stay.


Best Airbnbs in Rethymnon

Are you traveling to Rethymnon any time soon? Use this guide to find the perfect accommodation you’re looking for! Check the best Airbnbs in Rethymnon, Crete.

More things to see & do in the Rethymnon region


Arkadi Monastery

The monasteries in Crete have played a remarkable role during the years of foreign occupation of the island. This guide helps you plan a day trip to Arkadi Monastery.


Amari Valley

This unique valley at the foothills of Mount Psiloritis is a fantastic place to visit. Travel around the villages in the area to learn more about the history of Crete.

Klados Winery

The region of Rethymnon is the birthplace of the most famous grape variety in Crete, Vidiano, so why not discovering one of the top wineries in the region?

Coming to Crete any time soon? These fantastic resources will help you organize the trip!

Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!

  • I never move around the island with any of these… my Osprey backpack has been the most loyal travel partner over the last 5 years. It’s sturdy, light, roomy, and super comfortable! I just love it. To visit the old town, archaeological sites, and museums, this little crossbody bag is always around.
  • When driving around Crete, I always pack my Michelin map, clear, accurate, and easy to read and my Nikon D7200, I’m lost without any of them. In summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion, the sun on the island can be pretty aggressive.
  • Greece, and especially Crete, is a fairly safe destination, however, I’m sure you know that it’s always better to travel with an insurance policy for complete peace of mind. My favorite? World Nomads. Already left home? Buy your travel insurance online now!
  • Always bring with you a good travel guide to Crete! The best Crete Travel Guide I’ve found so far is the one published by Lonely Planet. It has all the information you need.
  • Airfares to Crete can vary immensely from one airline to the other, make sure you always compare ticket prices with a powerful search engine. Getting to Crete can be really comfortable with an airplane, but nothing beats the romantic experience of traveling by sea. I always choose Direct Ferries to visit other Greek islands or to travel directly to Crete from Athens. It has a powerful search engine to get the right ticket you need!
  • If I need to book accommodation in Crete or anywhere else, I personally use Their Genius Loyalty Programme allows me to find better fees. As they say, the more you stay with them, the more rewards you get.
  • Road trips in Crete are the most authentic way to explore the island. Find the cheapest rental car using a good car rental search engine. Discover Cars searches over 500 trusted rental companies for you to find the best deal. Compare prices for rental cars in Crete here.
  • Sometimes, the best way to get to know a place better and make the most of your time on Crete is to join an organized tour. GetYourGuide has a great selection of proposals that help you save time and money. From cooking lessons to archaeological site tours, skip-the-line attractions, and even airport transfer!

Do you have everything you need? Then you just have to get ready to discover Crete, Greece’s most beautiful island!

This guide to Rethymnon is updated regularly with new content.
Bookmark this page and come back for more!

About the Author

Hola! I’m Gabi. I moved to Crete to explore the island all year round.
I love taking pictures and driving on the mountain roads of Crete.
I’m a beach freak and on this island, I’ve found heaven on earth!

Gabi Ancarola
The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog