Rethymno TOWNS


Photo The seaside village of Agia Galini is located about 56 km. southeast of Rethymnon. It is believed that in ancient times this was the site of worship of the goddess Artemis. This was also the location of the ancient village of Soulia or Soulina. Later on, the Monastery of Galinios Christ, giving its name to the village, was built on the ruins of the temple of Artemis. During the last few years, Agia Galini has developed into a resort attracting many visitors in the summer. Its stone covered alleys with the traditional whitewashed houses, built at the centre of the small, distinctive harbour give the village a notable beauty. From Agia Galini you have easy access to the nearby sea caves, which you will visit on a traditional "khaiki" (fishing boat) and will have a chance to admire the exquisite colours of their waters.


Photo Amari is a typical mountainous village, with authentic Cretan colour. Located 40 km away from Rethymno, it was once the capital of the county of the same name. The area is very fertile, full of cherry- trees, apricot-trees and all kinds of fruit-trees which give the area unique colour. When at Amari, one can visit the famous church of Agia Anna with the beautiful frescoes (1225 AD), while from there, one should travel to Monastery Asomaton, just 5 km away from the area.


Photo The picturesque village of Anogia is located on the border of the Prefectures of Rethymno and Heraklio. Its history reaches the end of centuries, as the Doric expressions, used in the local dialect, indicate. The people of Anogia helped significantly in the fight against all conquerors. The village was destroyed twice, the first time in 1822 by the Turks, and the second, in August 15th 1944, by the German. The people of Anogia are very different from the other Cretans. They keep tradition alive as far as clothing, food, dialect and social gatherings are concerned. The local costume is very famous. From Anogia, one should visit mount Ida (Psiloritis) and Idaion Andron.


Photo The seaside resort village of Bali is located at a distance of about 31 km. northeast of Rethymnon. According to historians, this was the site of the ancient town of Astali, which was the port of ancient Axos. Today Bali is typical village community, with about 150 inhabitants, built at the centre of the Galinios Bay which attracts a great number of visitors during the summer months. From Bali the visitor has easy access to the 16th century Monastery of St. Jonh the Baptist.


Photo The traditional village of Margarites is located at a distance of about 31 km. southeast of Rethymnon. According to legend, the village was founded by Queen Margharita, who gave her name to it. Today, Margarites has about 350 residents, who live mainly off animal husbandry, agriculture and pottery. At the village shops you will find beautiful pottery and other items of traditional art.


Photo The seaside resort of Plakias is located at a distance of 34 km. south of Rethymon. The few residents live off fishing and tourism , since the last few years the area is characterised by tourist development, and its extensive beaches attract great numbers of visitors during the summer months.


Photo Rethymno is is the capital city of the homonymous County, at the north side of the island. At the site of the contemporary town, it is believed to have existed the ancient city of Rithimna, populated during the later- minoan period, a fact which makes more sense since the discovery of a later-minoan age tomb, of great historical importance, in the Mastabas neighbourhood. During the venetian occupation of the city, a strong fortress was built with a length of 1.400 meters, as well as the well known castle of Fortetza, in order to protect it from enemy forces. Modern day Rethymno, with about 20.000 residents, is built mainly around the busy harbour. In its picturesque streets you will find contemporary buildings, traditional homes as well as mosques, byzantine churches, and structures of the venetian and turkish occupation periods. Among them you will notice the historic buildings of the Venetian Lotzia, the venetian mansions, the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the churches of Santa Maria, the Lady of the Angels, and of San Francesco, the mosques of Veli Pasha, of Kara Moysa Pasha, of the Great Entrance and the Neratzes Mosque. Also, the turksih school, the turkish baths and the beautiful Rimonti spring. In the city of Rethymnon you can also visit the Art Gallery, as well as the worthwhile Archaelogical and the Historic-Laographic Museums.


Photo The picturesque village of Spili is located at a distance of 28 km. southeast of Rethymnon and it has about 800 residents. This is a mountain village, built at an altitude of 430 km. in an area full of trees and many streams. In the village central square you will find 25 marble springs, bringing crystal clear, drinking water from the Psiloritis mountain. Among the traditional village homes, you will locate the Churches of Aghioi Theodori, Aghios Georgios and the Metamorphosis of the Sotira (Saviour), inside which you will admire the beautiful wallpaintings and the icons. From Spili you can easily visit the Skisma Cave.