Paleontological Museum

Museum in Rethymno

Dwarf Cretan elephants and hippopotami aren’t likely to start a ticket stampede, but it’s well worth swinging by this museum for its setting in the restored 17th-century Temple of Mastaba (aka Veli Pasha Mosque) surrounded by gardens. Nine domes shape its silhouette, overlooked by the city’s oldest minaret, while the once-communal gardens are steeply scented with thyme and oregano. The permanent exhibit displays tusks and fossils from hippos hunted to extinction 10,700 years ago.

The complex, a branch of Athens’ Goulandris Natural History Museum, often has touring exhibits from the capital and abroad.