Rethymno or Rethimno (Greek: Ρέθυμνο) is a beautiful city on the island of Crete in Greece. It has picturesque small lanes of shops selling mostly tourist goods and a newer area of town with normal shops.
Ferry services go daily from Pireaus (Athens) to either Chania or Heraklion, which leave at night and arrive early in the morning. Ferry tickets may be acquired through minoan lines or anek lines.  [formerly dead link]During the high season, there are also ferries to Santorini (not daily), which take around 2.5 hours.
The distance from Heraklion to Rethymno is 80 km, and from Chania to Rethymno — 56 km. Chania airport is much smaller and far less busy than Heraklion airport.
You can get to Rethymno by regular bus lines from Chania or Heraklion (both have an airport). All buses stop at the bus station, just west of the centre of Rethimno. From the bus station it's a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute taxi-ride to the ferry. On weekdays, buses typically leave every hour, though times may vary by day or season. The coaches are operated by two KTEL, Crete Buses. To get to Rethymno from Heraklion it takes approximately 90 minutes and costs slightly over €6.
Rethymno is connected to the bigger cities of Chania and Heraklion by the 'New Highway' that runs along the north coast of Crete. Parking for old town is available just north of the lighthouse for €2/hour.
As with most places in Greece, tickets must be purchased at a shop before boarding public buses.
Taxis can be hailed on the streets, but expect to share with strangers who might also hail the taxi on the way to where you're going.
- Historic buildings. Rethimno has many historic buildings remaining from the Venetian occupation of Crete, including the Fortessa and the lighthouse.
- Old Town. Narrow pedestrian streets full of shops and restaurants.
- Boardwalk. Walk around the very well-kept boardwalk by the sea. Plenty of bars and restaurants with great views of the sea.
- Beaches. The good sandy beach begins in the town and extends several miles to the east, backed by hotel developments. In the west, after a little industrial area, a rocky unspoilt coastline takes you towards another good beach 8 km to the west of Rethimno, towards Georgiopoli.
- Parks. There is a small park in the centre with a very small zoo containing some Cretan mountain goats.
There are multiple options for day trips from Rethymno, many of which can be organized through tour companies:
- Samaria gorge, a long hike from the mountains down to the beach at Agia Roumeli
- Gramvousa and Balos beach are usually together as one tour, with boats leaving from Kissamos
- |Elafonisi beach, the famous pink beach (about 2.5hr drive from Rethymno), though may often be very crowded
- Boat trips are available from the harbour.
During the main summer season, Rethymno is very touristic. Shops and visitors are everywhere, the closer to the beach the more. They offer anything considered "souvenir". Ask your hotel receptionists for recommendations of local shops.
Olives, Raki, Ouzo and wines are common commodities of Crete origin. They are cheapest at the locals supermarkets, away from the hotels and beaches. Aside from oranges and orange juice, fruits and juices are rather expensive.
Very nice restaurants are located inside the city. The restaurants on the beach front are tourist oriented, though food quality is okay (though lower than in most of the small tavernas in the back streets). As the quality changes every season with new cooks and management, your hotel receptionists will be able to suggest good ideas.
- Stella's Kitchen, Souliou 55. 9h-18h. A small food-place in the old town not mentioned in guidebooks nor in the free town maps. It's one of those places where local people go to eat and chat, where travelers can get advice and meet people, where food is not only local but also good and affordable. They offer breakfast, lunch and an early dinner.
Most of the bars close to the Rimondi Fountain are noisy and get very busy, but may be enjoyable if you like to watch the crowds pass. There are more relaxing places in the narrow streets nearby. Try the Punch Bowl just like a traditional Irish pub, it is full of curios and the landlady who is also Irish serves a great pint of Guinness. It is at number 42 Arabatzoglou.
For a late night drink try Extreme, a good venue for rock music; it's in the lane between the museum and the harbour. There are more disco style bars close by. The promenade has mostly cocktail bars which are modern and brightly lit, with music going on to the early hours.
There is "Metropolis" music club near the Venetian harbour.
- Idili Guesthouse (Ξενώνας Ηδύλη), Panormos, Rethymno, 74057 (extra directions if necessary), ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Guesthouse Idili is in Panormos, a very elegant seaside resort, with careful development of tourism between Rethymnon and Heraklion. The building has been restored to a B class guesthouse, while keeping intact the architectural features of the building and the effects of the Venetian-Cretan architecture. €60-105.
- Jo An Beach Hotel, Adelianos Kambos, Rethymno, 74100, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Hotel Jo-An Beach is near Adele village at a distance of 3 km from the beach.
- Youth Hostel Rethymno, 41 Tobazi St. The 6- to 8-bed rooms are clean, but not really cosy. Except the beds there is no furniture. Off-season one always gets a place, the reception is open until 23:00 (high season: 24.00). The hostel is not an "official" one, no International youth hostel card is needed. It is located close to the Guora Gate, the northern entrance to the Old town. €12 per person per night per bed (dorm). High season price (July-15 September) is €14.
- Adele Mare. Located in the Adele Beach suburb, about 10/15 min outside Rethimno, the 4-star hotel is exceedingly friendly and hospitable. Rooms either in main-building (cheap rooms are towards street) or in Greek style bungalows. Food is breakfast + dinner, much and with good variety (daily changing dinner buffet). During daytime, snacks can be taken at the pool or beach bar. Despite being rather rocky (foot protection recommended), the beach is wonderful. Sun chairs are €2.40/day (pool+beach). After dinner a "last drink" at the pool bar is pleasant. Jet Ski, Banana Boat, etc. are available at Grecotel 100m down the beach.
- Axos Hotel (Ξενοδοχείο Αξός), Maxis Kritis 167 Platanias (extra directions if necessary), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. This hotel is family-run and has a friendly atmosphere, according to the owners. This is a modern 3-star hotel within 100 m of a sandy beach and 6 km from Rethymno. It’s suitable for couples and for families. It has 44 rooms: 16 apartments which can hold up to 4 persons and 28 studios which can hold up to 3 persons. All rooms have: balcony, air-conditioning, satellite TV, extra long beds, direct telephone line, radio, cooker, kettle, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer, change towels & linen 2 times per week, baby cot (on request). Reception is open 24 hours a day. €42-110.
- Aquila Porto Rethymno Hotel, Sikelianou & Venizelou 52A (overlooking the sandy beach and the city of Rethymno, 6 minutes' walk from the old town), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Aquila Rithymna Beach, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Accommodation types from main building rooms, bungalows suites and villas to royal pavilions with private pools.
- Sentido Pearl Beach Hotel 4-star hotel 2 km outside Rethymno. The hotel is on the Rethymnon beach. It has 2 swimming pools with free lounge chairs, and a fitness centre with indoor pool and hot tub. The private beach is in front of the hotel. All rooms are air-conditioned and comfortably furnished. Each has satellite TV, furnished balcony/patio and double glazed windows. Breakfast and dinner are served as buffets at the main restaurant. Menu options are available at Loukoulos brasserie, overlooking the pool and the sea.
- 1 Bali Paradise Hotel, GR 74057 Bali Rethymnon (Oo the southern side of Crete next to the harbour of Bali), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Camping Elizabeth, 84 Ionias str. terma (At the end of the Ionas road near the beach), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite the name it is not just for people pitching tents. Options to stay in a tent (€9), bungalow (€27), or caravan (€31) (tent or caravan provided by them, or bring your own for reduced price of €5/€7). The oldest campsite on Crete, it's situated on the only stretch of beach untouched by touristy, impersonal hotels. Hot shower, drinking water, laundry, and wifi all free, along with a beach-view taverna. Short walk to the city centre. Friendly, multi-lingual staff. Also the home of the local sea-turtle protection group.
- 2 Golden Beach, Adelianos Kampos (20 minutes by bus from the old town), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. International and local cuisine. Cleanly, well-designed rooms with safe, TV, A/C and balcony. Family-owned. Large pool and bar area, entertainment program varies daily.