The lighthouse in the port of Rethymnon

Rethymnon

Crete, Greece

Rethymnon is the third-largest city in Crete and an ideal destination for relaxing holidays. It is known for its traditional Cretan character, but for its many options and activities as well. Here you will find all information about the city, its beaches, sights and food. Check all ferry routes to Rethymnon and book tickets online on Ferryhopper!

Vacation in Rethymnon

Rethymno is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Crete. It is located between Chania and Heraklion, very close to magnificent beaches and natural landscapes. Families and couples usually prefer it for their vacation due to its laid-back character, romantic atmosphere and delicious food. Rethymnon is also a standard starting point for trips to the center of Crete in order to find and explore more amazing places.

red sunset over Rethymnon

Magnificent sunset over the port of Rethymnon

How to get to Rethymnon

You can get to Rethymnon by ferry from mainland Greece and the Cyclades. In the winter, there is only the option to travel to Rethymnon with Chania or Heraklion as intermediate stops and then, you can reach the city by car or bus. On the other hand, traveling to Rethymnon in the summer is easier as there are direct ferry routes. Check the section below and find more information about all ferry itineraries and combinations.

What to do in Rethymnon

Rethymnon is a romantic city with a great relaxing atmosphere. A walk in the picturesque alleys of the Old Town will surely amaze you. Near the port, there are various cafés, restaurants and kafeneia, while different events are organized in the central squares. Around the city, there are impressive beaches and sights that will complement your holidays. Don’t miss out to try the local delicacies along with your visit in Crete!

Beaches in Rethymnon

The prefecture of Rethymnon is full of magnificent beaches, as the whole island of Crete. Whether you choose the Cretan Sea to the north or the Libyan Sea to the south, you will definitely not be disappointed by the clear blue waters and the enchanting natural landscape! There are many popular beaches with amenities and umbrellas, sunbeds and beach bars, while others are more isolated and unknown, ideal for some relaxing moments. 

On the north coast we suggest the following beaches:

  • Spilies (“caves”): Beautiful small bay with pebbles, crystal-clear deep waters and huge rocks. The caves with unique rock formations are the trademark of the beach, where Mediterranean seals often find refuge. The beach is quiet, has umbrellas and a canteen.
  • Geropotamos: It took its name from the river that flows into the sea and forms a natural pool near the sandy beach. It’s quiet and calm, with clear waters, umbrellas and a small canteen. Keep in mind that it can be windy. 
  • Glaros: Actually, it is 3 small but beautiful beaches with an impressive seabed, which is ideal for exploration and dives. It has no amenities and visitors mostly choose them for seclusion.
  • Episkopi: It is a large, sandy beach with shallow, crystal-clear waters. It is easily accessible and you can find some tavernas, bars and hotels in the nearby area.
  • Rethymnon beach: The beach of the city of Rethymnon. It is very large, with umbrellas, sunbeds, bars, showers, locker rooms, water sports facilities and lifeguards.
  • Bali: These are 4 beaches near the tourist resort of the same name. They are all windless, with sand and turquoise waters. Families usually choose them for its amenities and beach games.
  • Missiria: A large, sandy beach with umbrellas and sunbeds. You can find many options for food, drinks and accommodation around it.

On the south coast, Ferryhopper suggest these beaches:

  • Preveli or Finikas: One of the most stunning beaches of Crete, with a unique natural landscape and exotic beauty. The golden sand, the emerald waters and the palm forest behind the shore remind of an oasis! The river Kourtaliotis also flows into its sea, forming a small lagoon that further compliments the scenery. Preveli has no amenities, but you can find a canteen near the coast.
  • Souda: It is a well-known beach with a stunning landscape. The palm trees, the dense vegetation, its coarse sand and clear blue waters compose an enchanting scenery. However, the north winds can be intense during the summer months.
  • Agios Georgios: These are 2 sheltered bays with pebbles and crystal emerald waters. On the east side of the beach, there are umbrellas and a taverna.
  • Ammolofoi (“dunes”): Another idyllic beach of Crete with huge dunes and turquoise waters. The big rockets in the middle of the coast offer their shade to the visitors. The beach is quiet and calm but can be windy. 
  • Ligres: Beautiful large beach with coarse sand, wonderful deep waters and a waterfall. It has a taverna and access to the beach can be challenging. 
  • Skinaria: It is considered one of the best beaches on the island. It is small, with gray sand, pebbles and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The impressive clarity of the waters and the rich seabed make it ideal for exploring with a mask. It is no coincidence that there is a diving school on the beach.
  • Damnoni: A relatively large beach with beautiful turquoise waters and coarse sand. It has amenities such as umbrellas, showers, locker rooms, snack bars, tavernas, hotels, water sports facilities, diving school and equestrian center. Its eastern part is less crowded and calmer.

Note: We suggest that you visit the small uninhabited Paximadia (“rusks”) islets south of Agia Galini. The Mikro Paximadi islet has 4 magnificent beaches with fine pebbles and amazing crystal waters. They are easily accessible by small boats. 

Preveli beach in Rethymnon

The stunning Preveli beach near Rethymnon

Sightseeing and activities in Rethymnon

The Old Town of Rethymnon is truly impressive and worths a visit along with your holidays in Crete. It stands out for its architecture, as it was built almost entirely by the Venetians in the 16th century. Strolling around the picturesque alleys of Rethymnon, you can admire the imposing Venetian buildings with charming decorative details. Some of the most famous sights of Rethymnon and the surrounding area are:

  • the Old Town of Rethymnon
  • the Rimondi Fountain
  • the Venetian Fortezza castle
  • the Holy Monastery of Arkadi
  • the caves of Rethymnon
  • the Rethymnon Archaeological Museum

Note: The Carnival of Rethymnon is a great and popular custom of the island. It is worth visiting to have fun in the rhythms of “Apokries” by the sea! 

Nightlife in Rethymnon

The nightlife in Rethymnon is quite calm, ideal for families and couples. Near the port, there are several restaurants and tavernas where you can enjoy the delicious recipes of Crete. At the same time, there are many bars where you can have drinks or cocktails, while in the kafeneia of the city you will try raki and mezedes, often listening to live music. The large beach in the city is recommended for romantic night walks!

Food in Rethymnon

As in the rest of Crete, in Rethymnon, you will find delicious Cretan recipes and local products. There are numerous restaurants and traditional kafeneia where you will drink raki as a treat and try flavorful dishes. We suggest the following delicacies in Rethymno:

  • antikristo (roast lamb)
  • skioufixta (traditional Cretan pasta)
  • staka (Cretan dairy product)
  • kalitsounia (traditional sweets)
  • apaki (smoked pork)
  • ntakos or dakos (Cretan meze with rusks, tomato and cheese)

fortezza castle in Rethymnon

Fortezza, the Venetian castle of Rethymnon

Useful information for Rethymnon

Rethymno is one of the most popular and largest cities in Crete, in which there are departments of the University of Crete. Rethymno offers all services you will need for your vacation: supermarkets, ATMs, pharmacies, gas stations and stores. In terms of accommodation, there are many rooms and hotels throughout the city and in the surrounding area. In Plakia and Agia Galini, near Rethymnon, you will also find organized campsites.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Rethymnon

Some useful contacts for your holidays in Rethymnon are:

  • General Hospital of Rethymnon: +302831087100
  • Rethymnon police: +302831088155
  • Rethymnon citizen service center (KEP): +302831340101
  • Rethymnon intercity bus station (KTEL): +30283122212
  • Port Authority of Rethymnon: +302831022276

Transportation in Rethymnon

Rethymnon is a well organized, contemporary city with a good road network. It is highly recommended that you bring your vehicle with you or rent one in order to get around the city easily and organize trips to nearby places. At the same time, there are taxis, local buses, and intercity buses that connect Rethymnon with other Cretan cities, villages and beaches.

Cruise ship in the port of Rethymnon

A cruise ship departing from the port of Rethymnon

Island hopping from Rethymnon

During the summer, Rethymnon is connected with frequent crossings to some Cycladic islands, like Mykonos and Santorini. More specifically, from Rethymnon there are direct ferry routes to the following ports:

  • Mykonos
  • Naxos
  • Ios
  • Santorini
  • Milos

On the Ferryhopper Map of Ferries, you can check all available ferry itineraries, direct or indirect, to and from Rethymnon. Choose the combination you prefer and plan your vacations easily and quickly!

Rethymnon ferry: schedules and tickets

In the winter, the ferry route from Piraeus to Rethymnon is operated with Heraklion or Chania as an intermediate station. Then, Rethymno is a 1-hour drive from both Cretan cities. In the summer, there are direct ferry itineraries to Rethymnon from Piraeus and Rafina. At the end of July 2019, the ferry company SeaSpeed Ferries started the seasonal route Piraeus - Milos - Santorini - Rethymnon. The route is operated 4 times a week by the vessel OLYMPUS and the trip Piraeus - Rethymnon lasts about 13 hours. More information about the direct route Piraeus - Rethymnon can be found on the Ferryhopper blog. 

Note: You can also find helpful information on getting to Crete in 2021 and organize your trip to Rethymnon.

Where to book ferry tickets online to Rethymnon

On Ferryhopper you will find all information about holidays and ferry routes to Rethymnon. On our search engine machine, you can compare prices, schedules and companies in order to book cheap ferry tickets to Rethymnon, at no extra cost! For any additional questions, please contact our customer support services.


Rethymnon has direct ferry connections with 13 ports:

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