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Rethymno

The beautiful town of Rethymno (formerly Rethymnon) is located on the north coast of Crete between Iraklion and Chania. With around 35,000 inhabitants, it is the third largest city on the island and is divided into four municipal districts: Arkadi, Lappa, Nikiforos Fokas and Rethymno.

Rethymno is considered a real insider tip by many holidaymakers on Crete. People have settled here since the late Minoan period (approx. 1350 - 1250 BC). Many historic buildings bear witness to the town's chequered history. The architecture is characterised by Venetian, Turkish and typical Greek elements: Churches and mosques characterise the image of the old town. Tessaron Martiron Square is the centre of Rethymnon and the best place to explore the city. A "must see" is the winding old town with its picturesque alleyways, which are wonderful for shopping and strolling. In the many cafés and tavernas, you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city while enjoying tasty food and drink.

Impressive handicrafts can still be found in many villages near the city. These include Mixorouma with its basket weaving, Alfa and its stone carvers and Anogia - a village where fabrics are still made on a traditional loom. Margarites with its remarkable pottery and the wood carving workshops in Argyroupoli, Konstantinos and Agios are also worth a visit.

One of the most famous monasteries on Crete is certainly Moni Arkadi, located around 20 kilometres from Rethymno. It is considered the most important national monument in Crete and played a central role in the Cretan struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. The monastery church used to be depicted on the 100-drachma note.

The monastery in Preveli, south of Rethymno, is located in an imposing landscape and is home to some interesting artefacts, such as a gilded, gem-studded, carved bishop's seat and a richly decorated pulpit. About 10 kilometres south of Rethymno are the excavation sites of an ancient Minoan cemetery in Armeni, whose name refers to Armenian soldiers who settled here in the 10th century after the struggle for liberation from the Arabs. They are well worth a visit.

The municipalities of the district of Rethymno:
Agios Vasilios, Amari, Anogia, Mylopotamos and Rethymno town.