Top things to do

Top Choice Fortress in Rethymno

Fortezza

Looming over Rethymno, the star-shaped Venetian fortress cuts an imposing figure with its massive walls and bastions but was nevertheless unable to stave off the Turks in 1646. Over time, an entire village took shap…
Top Choice Greek in Rethymno

Raki Baraki

Rustic, colourful and lively, this is a fantastic place to while away the evening over mezedhes (appetisers) like sardines stuffed with herbs, sausage with grilled vegetables, or mussels steamed with sage. The fried…
Landmark in Rethymno

Venetian Harbour

Rethymno’s compact historic harbour is chock-a-block with tourist-geared fish tavernas and cafes. For a more atmospheric perspective, walk along the harbour walls, past the fishing boats to the prominent lighthouse,…
Museum in Rethymno

Archaeological Museum

After its former digs in a Venetian prison near the fortress had become unstable, Rethymno's archaeological collection moved to the Venetian-built former Church of St Francis in May 2016. Tightly curated, but beauti…
Chapel in Rethymno

Agios Spyridon Church

Built right into the cliff beneath the Venetian fortress, tiny Agios Spyridon has enough atmosphere to fill a cathedral. This Byzantine chapel is filled with richly painted icons, swinging bird candleholders and the…
Greek in Rethymno

Castelvecchio

In a Venetian-era building a bone toss from the fortress, chic yet chilled Castelvecchio is perfect for date night – especially if your date is a plate of tender boneless lamb, done up in numerous creative ways, inc…
Cretan in Rethymno

Avli

This well-established Venetian villa serves creative Cretan food with a side of romance. Farm-fresh fare steers the menu, resulting in dishes with bold flavour pairings such as creatotouria (ravioli filled with lamb…
Greek in Rethymno

Taverna Knossos

Most tout-fronted tavernas in the Venetian Harbour focus more on folkloric ambience than on food quality. Owned by the amiable Stavroulaki family for half a century, Knossos is a happy exception. When Mama Anna is i…
Bar in Rethymno

Chalikouti

In the alt-flavoured quarter below the Fortezza, this cooperative-run cafe draws chatty locals keen on coffee from Mexican Zapatistas, sugar from landless workers in Brazil, and organic raki from Cretan producers. A…
Bar in Rethymno

Livingroom

No matter where the handles are on the clock, the comfy lounge sofas of this stylish hang-out are always packed with hip town folk. Mellow in the daytime, the vibe gets progressively more high-octane after dark. A g…