Rethymnon combines a rare mix of qualities: the charm and history of its “old town” – with a beautiful beach for swimming. And even though it is the third largest city in Crete, it doesn’t feel at all like a city the way Hania or Heraklion do. It has kept its provincial character: things move slowly here, and, more important, it has preserved its Venetian and Turkish buildings and atmosphere. A visit to Rethymnon’s famous castle, the Fortezza, will inspire you with images from another era, and for a little while at least you will feel a part of its history.

In the old town you will discover more than just culture and history; in the winding cobblestone streets and alleys you will find many different kinds of shops, and along the edge of the old Venetian harbor the fish tavernas are exceptional.