In size, Rethymnon is the third city of Crete and has approximately 30.000 inhabitants. It is possible that you receive different information regarding the population of Crete and her cities. The reason for this is that the first official counting started in the year 2000. The final results however, have not been fully published yet.Rethymnon is a “modern” Cretan city with several universities and high schools. The old town though is certainly worth visiting and is an attractive medley of Turkish and Venetian influences. History reveals that Rethymnon was not very important in the Minoan times; not many significant archeological findings have been revealed up until now. A small fortress town came into existence in the 13th century and thus the harbor became more important as a trading center. At the end of the16th century the Turks burned down half the city. In consequence of that the Venetians built the big fortress, the Fortetza, on the rocky peninsula above the old town. Due to several revolts of the Cretan people most of the Turks were forced to retreat. After a short Russian occupation, also Rethymnon came under the protectorate of the allied powers. After the affiliation of Crete with Greece in 1909 and the ordered exchange of inhabitants (according to the 1923 Peace Treaty of Lausanne), also the last Turks (who had worked and lived as Cretans in the meantime) had to leave this city.

“A visit to the Fortetza, with her beautiful view over the harbor and the old town, can be recommended.”

The evening hours are the best to explore the old town on foot. Take your time and enjoy this hotchpotch of different architectures, with their many eating-places and little shops. This will give you a much better impression of the town instead of the boulevard, which can be packed with people.Rethymnon has several interesting museums and points of interest, such as the Archeological Museum, the Ethnological Museum, The Rimondi Fountain and some very interesting monasteries. Also Rethymnon was partly destroyed during the Battle of Crete (in the Second World War) and the monasteries played a big part in the resistance through this Partisan War. The beach in the city is very busy and continues for kilometers eastwards. Rethymnon can be boring at a certain point. It is however, also a perfect basis for trips to the points of view in the area. For the sportspersons reading this, don’t forget the hike through the Samaria Gorge. (See for more information Chora Sfakion.)We always say to each other that the beauty of Rethymnon is connected with her surroundings and the west part in particular. Here you do find quiet beaches, many points of interest, a wonderful natural world and a rich culture. On several other pages in this website we can inform you about these.