Best of Rethymno

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Rethymno
Rethymno location in the center of Crete historically served it well: after the Venetians conquered the island they decided they needed another commercial base between Heraklion and Chania, and so Rethymno blossomed. Its old town, built by the Republic of Venice, is one of the best-preserved on the island and it has retained its own identity proudly distinct from Crete's bigger cities, with a multitude of offerings. The Venetian Fortezza, built in 1573, is an iconic landmark overlooking the city, providing historic insights and excellent views. Get acquainted with the city on a walking tour of the old town complemented by a visit to Crete’s oldest pastry shops, try a traditional cooking class, or sip wines in the cellar of a thousand-year-old monastery.

Sitting right in the center of the island makes Rethymno an ideal base for exploration and you can day trip to spectacular sights like Arkadi Monastery, one of Crete's finest Venetian churches, as well as to many beautiful beaches. Do all this and still make it back to the city to sample its lively dining scene and nightlife.

Previous kimkim travelers have learned that Rethymno is also a hub for many artisans who keep the island’s traditions alive. A guided shopping tour in the old town’s walkways will lead you from colorful ceramic shops, to leatherworkers who unfold their art in front of your eyes, to traditional Cretan knives and instruments, to antique book shops. Go deeper into local culture with a visit to the Historical and Folklore Museum, another Venetian building offering a glimpse into everyday life in Rethymno from the 17th century to the present day.
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Rethymno Essentials

Santorini views
Map of 1 Week in Greece - 6 Family-Friendly Itineraries
1 Week in Greece - 6 Family-Friendly Itineraries

With a week to spend, you and your family can find plenty of ways to explore Greece. Whether you want to hit the highlights with interactive tours in Athens and Santorini, get into some less-explored parts of the country with a Corinthian canal cruise, or head out on a scavenger hunt through the streets of Crete, there's something waiting for everyone.

Sunset shades in Santorini
Map of 2 Weeks in Greece - 6 Family-Friendly Itineraries
2 Weeks in Greece - 6 Family-Friendly Itineraries

Two weeks gives you and your family plenty of time to traverse the nearly 1,000 miles of coastline that Greece has to offer. Whether you're going for a deep dive into the northern Greek mainland, island-hopping through the Cyclades, or getting cultural on Crete or in the Peloponnese, you'll find something that speaks to you.

The old streets of Rethymno
24 Hours in Rethymno

Many travelers spend a few days on Crete, splitting their time between Chania in the west and Heraklion in the east. As you make your way from one region to the other, don't miss the chance to spend some time in the Rethymno, home to a famous monastery, a charming old town, and excellent restaurants. What to do, where to go, and what to see—especially if you only have 24 hours to spend? Follow this guide to find out.

Restaurant in the medieval center of Rethymno
Best Places to Eat in Rethymno

Charming Rethymno has more to offer than beautiful beaches and a gorgeously preserved medieval center. The city, located on the western side of Crete, is also a foodie destination. Sample fried snails, slow-roasted goat, locally produced wines, and potent raki — a traditional spirit — while exploring the quiet streets of the old town. Whether you're dining with a sea view or in a lush courtyard garden, you're sure to eat well.

Photo courtesy of Pepi Boutique Hotel
The 7 Best Boutique Hotels in Rethymno

The best hotels in Rethymno combine the city's beach access with the Cretan culture, serving up local specialty dishes alongside historic stones under the sun. Whether you're enjoying a former schoolhouse turned boutique, savoring suites accompanied by one of Greece's best restaurants, or slowing down on a wellness-focused farm stay, it's hard to go wrong with these options.

Rethymno Itineraries

Elafonissi Beach in Crete
Map of Interactive Athens and Crete for Families - 7 Days
Interactive Athens and Crete for Families - 7 Days

Spend a week getting in touch with Greek culture alongside your school-aged children on this itinerary. The first half of your trip takes place in Athens, where you'll find inspiration at the Parthenon and the rest of the Acropolis and practice your running form at the Panathenaic Stadium. Then, head to Rethymno on Crete to explore ancient ruins and try your hand at an excavation.

The iconic domes of Santorini
Map of Crete & Santorini - 9 Days
Crete & Santorini - 9 Days

This active island-hopping itinerary visits two gems in the Aegean Sea—both world-famous for different reasons. You'll start in Crete, largest of the Greek islands and home of ancient Minoan palaces and striking landscapes like canyons, gorges, mountains, and beautiful beaches. You'll then ferry over to the smaller volcanic island of Santorini and have three days to explore its whitewashed cliff-side villages with hiking, swimming, sea kayaking, and, of course, romantic sunsets.

Enjoy the beaches of Crete
Map of Interactive Athens and Crete for Families - 14 Days
Interactive Athens and Crete for Families - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary gives you and your school-aged children plenty of time to get their hands on Greek cultural activities in Athens and the major cities of Crete. Start in Athens, where you can paint the Parthenon and exercise like an Olympian at the Panathenaic Stadium. You'll fly to Crete, where you'll participate in mosaic-making workshops, archaeological adventures, and botanical treasure hunts, alongside plenty of time to wander at your own pace or relax on the beach.

Other popular travel destinations in Greece
Athens · Greek Islands · Cycladic Islands · Santorini · Crete · Naxos · Mykonos · Chania · Peloponnese · Northern & Central Greece · Nafplio · Tinos · Heraklion · Meteora · Ionian Islands · Kalabaka · Zagori · Thessaloniki · Corfu · Nafpaktos · Paros · Sparta & Mani · Olympia · Delphi · Syros · Mani Peninsula · Monemvasia · Dodecanese & Northern Aegean Islands · Rhodes · Milos · Kalamata · Corinth · Sparta · Saronic Islands · Sifnos · Gortynia · Messinia · Drama · Hydra · Sifnos Port