Réthymnon (GR: Ρέθυμνον) is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and it is built between two other large cities of Crete. In the east is Iraklion (80 km) and to the west is Hania (60 km).
It lies along the north coast, having to the east one of the largest sand beaches in Crete (12 km) and to the west a rocky coastline that ends up to another large sand beach after 10 km.
It is the administrative, communications and commercial center of the Prefecture with approximately 25.000 inhabitants.
Today the city's main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products. It is also the base of the Philosophical School and the University Library of the University of Crete and the School of Social and Political Sciences having 8.000 students on its university campus "Galos".
How to get there
There is direct connection all year round from the port of Rethymnon to Piraeus.Tours to Santorini are also organized during the summer.
Rethymnon does not have an airport but the city is served by the airports of Hania and Iraklion.
Public buses can be used for travelling to Hania, Iraklion and most of the towns and villages of the Prefecture of Rethymnon.
We strongly recommend you to rent a car from our website as we offer you the best possible prices in crete! You can book online now or get a quote for your favourite car here and enjoy rethymno the best way possible!
Where to stay
Rethimnon is a city that caters to the needs of the visitor.
There are a lot of places to stay ranging from luxury hotels to rent a room, bed and breakfast apartment buildings.
Rethymnon Old Town
The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, small Venetian harbor and narrow streets.
The small port of Rethymno
I was of great strategic importance during the Venetian period. It was only able to accommodate small ships. From 1300 until today, the Venetian port has undergone numerous constructions. The 1618 wall that surrounds the port from the east is restored today with some recent interventions and additions. The original lighthouse was constructed during the Turkish period and was later replaced by another one. The building on the southeast part of the port was constructed in 1931 and functioned as a customs office. On the same location it is estimated that there was a quarantine house during the Venetian period. The vaulted spaces on the two or three-floor buildings at the port have been transformed to little and picturesque fish taverns, where visitors can enjoy the secrets of the Cretan cuisine.
The Venetian Loggia
an elegant building of the 16th century, that used to be a Venetian gentlemens's club and today houses the information office of the ministry of culture and a sales point of the archaeological museum.
with rich decoration is situated at Platanos square, the centre of the Venetian town. It was built in 1626, by A.Rimondi, in order to provide the citizens with drinkable water.
formerly the Holy Virgin church, was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. Today it is used as a music conservatory. Outstanding elements of this building are the doorframe and the three domes. Next to the mosque there is the impressive minaret, built in 1890.
Kara Mousa Pasa Mosque also a venetian monastery that was turned into mosque by the Turks. Today it is the house of the Restoration Board.
Porta Guora the entrance to the Venetian town is the only remnant of the defensive wall.
Folklore & history museum
(Vernardou 28-30. Open Monday to Friday 09.30-14.30. Closed Saturday and Sunday.) Housed in a restored Venetian building with an interior courtyard. Eight halls with collections that include textile and basket weaving, embroidery & lace, costumes, ceramics, historic photographs and maps, weapons and coins. Over 5.000 items dating from the 17th to the 20th century are displayed.
The Archaeological museum of Rethymno
(8am to 3pm, closed on Monday), just opposite the entrance of the fortress,
exhibits objects from the Neolithic to the Roman period, found at the prefecture of Rethymno (mainly Eleftherna, Monastiraki and Armeni). Clay figurines, funerary coffers, grave offerings, statues, grave steles, red-figure vases, bronze vessels, jewellery and glass vases, are some of the objects on display.
The Fortezza castle
at the top of a low hill named "Palaiokastro" dominates the town. It was built in 1590 to protect the city from the pirates raids and the Turks.
The name "Palaiokastro which means 'The old Castle" was in use even by the Venetians which demonstrates the existance of an even older castle at this place. - Probably the acropolis of the ancient town of Rithymna.
The interior of Fortezza accommodated the following basic buildings: the storeroom of the artillery, where canons and weapons were kept, the residence of the Councillors, where one of the city's two Venetian councillors lived, the residence of the Rector, which represented a luxurious, magnificent building in the central square of the fortress.
Today parts of those buildings, as well as of some others built later, can be seen. The view from up there is magnificent, especially at night.
The municipal theatre "Erofili" stands also at Fortezza's premises. It is an outdoor theatre that hosts almost all the performances during the Renaissance Festival.
The municipal gardens are ideal for those in search of shade and tranquillity.
Throughout the year various activities are organized which draw a large crowd. The Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival is held on 7-8th of November, in memory of the destruction of Arkadi Monastery.
Night life can range from extremely intense on the pubs and bars around the harbor and inside the old city , to relaxed on small bars right on the beach.
There is always fresh fish to be found in the tavernas around the harbor and there are many other restaurants and tavernas outside the city in equally attractive surroundings.
Shopping could also be interesting at Rethimno. There are lots of small shops with attractive merchantise from souvenirs, cards, etc to the most rare kind of sponge.
A city with thousands of years of history, Malia has become a modern, dynamic tourist destination over the years, located along the central northern coast of Crete, the biggest island of Greece.
Standing out for its golden, sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife, Malia is also a wonderful place to spend your holidays if you're looking for culture, stunning landscapes and charming mountain villages.
Due to its central location on the island of Crete and its good infrastructure, Malia is the ideal base to discover the wider region of Crete with an extensive variety of excursions, day trips etc.
We aim this web site to be an indispensable tool and companion for you, dear visitor and to encourage you wholeheartedly to spend your next holidays with us here in Malia!
How to get there by renting a car.
In northern Crete there is one highway, National Road E75, which links Kastelli in West Crete with Sitia in East Crete via Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Ayios Nikolaos. The national road is a single carriageway, meaning that there is one lane in each direction. There are, however, some stretches with two lanes, between Malia and Heraklion in particular. New, wider roads are under construction all over the island.
Most of the main roads are of a good standard, though they can have their flaws and the occasional bump and bubble. Off the main road quality standards and state of repair vary widely, from sometimes deep potholes to asphalted roads that, without apparent reason, turn into dirt tracks on smaller routes. Some mountain roads are really only suitable for a 4WD vehicle.
Scan the road surface ahead.
The quality of asphalt road surfaces is not always good since it is affected by a number of factors, including extreme heat in the summer that has the asphalt almost melting away and floods and rock falls in winter that leave roads littered with potholes, loose gravel or fallen rocks anywhere, anytime.
In general, road surfaces are very ‘polished’, which means their grip leaves a lot to be desired, especially on curves. After summer, when the first rain showers appear, the roads are extremely slippery, making them particularly dangerous or prone to accidents.
There are several car rental firms in Malia. Minimum age varies from 21 to 25 years old. Rates usually include third party insurance and unlimited mileage. Furthermore it is advisable to take out a CDW insurance. You cannot take the car on a ferry without written authorization of the rental firm.
Our car rental services ensure all the above and you have a variaty of cars to select. Suiting your needs we take car rental seriously and provide you with the newest and most luxury cars for your needs.
Where to stay
A popular choice among the young holiday makers in Malia is to stay in one of the many smaller studios / apartments that are strategically located in Down Town Malia, (near or in the entertainment district, most probably noisy) and in Malia’s Old Town. These accommodations are basic and offer good value for money. The message is clear: for anyone looking for a clean, affordable and flexible stay, Malia’s Down Town and Old Town accommodation is the answer!
Malia prides itself on its extensive selection of quality accommodation. Affordable or luxurious, lively or peaceful, you’re guaranteed to find accommodation in Malia that matches your needs and your budget.
A popular alternative for families and couples alike, who like the idea of a more flexible holiday, is a self catering accommodation. The freedom of choice makes them an ideal option, whether you are planning on a quiet getaway just the two of you, an action packed holiday with friends or on spending some quality time as a family.
Malia's and Stalis' central position in Crete and its transport links easily allow you to visit the island’s wider region. Use Malia – Stalis as your perfect base and discover some of the most interesting areas and attractive towns, charming villages and breathtaking scenery.
The municipality of Malia lies along the north central coast of Crete, the biggest and most southern island of Greece. It unfolds from the slopes of Mt. Selena with the mountain villages Krassi and Mohos, continues over the fertile plain with the coastal villages of Malia and Stalis to end at the shore of the incomparable Aegean Sea.
The area of coastal Malia and Stalis has a mild Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, 6km of fine sandy beaches, only 30min. drive away from the airport of Heraklio.
The beaches along the coast of Malia and Stalis are of the most developed on the island. With 6km of fine sandy beaches and access to a gradually deepening sea, they belong to the area’s most treasured assets.
Malia’s prominent nightlife scene attracts visitors from all over Europe. Over the past few years, it has gained a reputation of being one of the most dynamic and vibrant holiday destinations in the Mediterranean. This is reflected in the fantastic range of entertainment and nightlife venues that are on offer, with an endless choice of bars, pubs, cutting-edge nightclubs and special events. Now your only problem in Malia will be: how to manage all of them in one holiday.
Bar / Pub aficionados can eat their heart out in one of the countless bar venues of Malia; and that’s only the beginning.
Pubs and bars are focal points for socializing; pubs serve food and drinks in the daytime, while in the evening they turn into sports cafes and entertainment centres, with big screens for all your games and matches on SAT TV. Unlike the male-dominated bastions, most pubs encourage female customers and families.
Also the bars host big screens and SAT TV and show the latest films on DVD. During the day they resemble cafes and at night time they become small nightclubs. No need to tell you that most action takes place outdoors!
The nightclub scene dominates the smaller hours with intoxicating options for non-stop partying in airy, trendy interiors: Loud and proud, well into the small hours with no face control, no stress: just a good vibe in a cool atmosphere.
As Malia hosts a cosmopolitan public, it offers cosmopolitan music: a happy mix of the latest chart music, RnB, 70s and 80s disco, soul, party music and Indie pop, rock, house, garage, trance and techno follows you wherever you go. Pretty much all tastes are catered for. The beat goes up after the sun goes down, with no dress code – as long as you keep things civilized.
Before its rapid development, Hersonissos was a small harbor that served the needs of the local fishermen. Over the years the port grew and the village became a small town and a popular tourist resort. On the west side of the coastal road, 1km west of the harbor, you will find the Cape of Sarandaris with the picturesque chapel of St. George, which is worth visiting. From there start the alternating coves of Hersonissos with the nice colored beaches. Along the coast there are many hotels, cafes and restaurants.
East of the coves you will meet the Hill of Kastri, west of which the main town actually starts. Over the hill, you should visit the ruins of an old basilica with many mosaics. Just on the east is the picturesque chapel of Agia Paraskevi, part of which is built into the rock. The Church overlooks the nearby scenic port of Hersonissos with its beautiful lighthouse. Excursion boats run daily from the port, making trips to Dia island and the surrounding coast.
How to get there
Hersonissos is situated 24 km east Heraklion airport and 26 km east of Heraklion port. The access is very easy. You can take a taxi from the port and follow either the old or the new national road to Agios Nikolaos, or the public buses which operate the route Heraklion - Lassithi and pass through Hersonissos. Note that the old national road goes through Limenas Hersonissou (Hersonissos Port), while the new one gets past Hersonissos.
But we strongly suggest you renting a car so you can enjoy sightseeing Crete with your car travelling to monasteries, beaches, cities, old towns and villages.
You can rent a car from Heraklion airport or visit our office in Hersonissos. You can also book online through our website and pick a car of your dreams among a variety of cars and car categories. From cheap cars to luxury ones we have the choice of yours!
Where to stay
There are many hotels, accommodations you can choose from and enjoy your vacations in Hersonissos.
Hersonissos is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Crete, located 28km east of Heraklion. Here you will find whatever you desire. During the day you can enjoy nice beaches or water parks, drink your coffee in the seaside road, visit the local archaeological sites, stroll in the villages of Ano Hersonissos, Piskopiano and Koutouloufari, trek in the gorges of Avdou valley, visit the cool Lassithi Plateau and much more. Similarly, during the night the choices for entertainment are too many, with the nightclubs of the coastal road gathering most people. Hersonissos in summer is crowded by young tourists, coming from all latitudes and longitudes of the earth to enjoy their vacation.
The seaside road that crosses the town starts in the port. There are many nightclubs, cafes, restaurants and bars on the road. Here you will find thousands of tourists partying in the nights until dawn. If you turn from the road and head north, you will find yourself in the small narrow streets of Hersonissos and after a while you will reach the main road, which has many restaurants, shops, banks, clinics, pharmacies, etc. If you walk to the east instead, along the coastal road, you’ll meet the bustling beaches of the eastern Hersonissos and the great hotels of the region. Nearby there is a water park and kart! As you head to the east, the beaches get more peaceful. There, before Cape Drapano, you will find the traditional museum Lychnostatis, which is worth visiting to see how Cretans lived in the past.
How to get there - Rent a car from Heraklion airport
Heraklion is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. It is easily reached by plane from all over the world, its international airport is first in charter flights, and by boat from Piraeus and the nearby Greek islands. Travelling within Crete is also very easy with bus connections to most places around of island.
We highly recommend to rent a car for your most comfortable vacation and ability to tour the city and the whole crete. You can pick your favourite car from a variety of cars and book online! We offer the airport pickup ability.
Where to stay
Heraklion offers many fine hotels of all categories, bed and breakfast and rooms for rent, which are host to visitors all the year round, and most tourist, car and motorbike rental offices facilitate the visitor and give guidance in touring the beautiful island of Crete, its coasts and beautiful countryside.
Coming to Heraklion for the first time, the visitor nowadays may be somewhat surprised by the changes that are taking place in Crete''s capital city; Heraklion is celebrating its rich history and moving onwards to a future full of potential.
Where, at one time, the number of cars in the city centre would have made walking difficult, you will now find large city-centre spaces cleared of traffic. You can enjoy walking in one of the most historically and socially fascinating cities facing the Mediterranean, on streets free from traffic noise and rush. The city has opened up in so many ways, making the city a place of discovery. These changes bring a harmony too; between the traditionally warm, considerate people of Heraklion, and the fine buildings that surround us, the open public spaces and views over the ocean. Many landmarks tell their story about the city and the island that gave birth to gods, to rebellion, and to a place that inspires everyone who feels the spirit of Crete.
Heraklion today is living between the fast moving currents of regeneration and a deep desire to maintain links with a past. Both these strands define its character. In the last hundred years alone, we have seen huge changes, which can be quite easily followed, in buildings and streets that reflect the changing fortunes of Crete. The ‘old town'' areas of the city, established from mediaeval times, now offer visitors some fantastic walks in the heart of the city.
If you begin a walk around Heraklion, starting at the fishing harbour close to the modern port, what will strike you first is the Venetian fortress at the harbour gate. The fortess was originally built by the Venetians and calledRocca al Mare, but is now known by its Turkish name, Koules. It has a mixed history; for centuries it was used as protection against invaders, as were the great city walls and ditches. These are among the longest city walls in Europe.
With its huge dark hallways and cells, the fortress was also a prison to many Cretan rebels and those who broke the rules imposed by successive occupiers of Crete. Koules is built on two tiers and offers a commanding view of Heraklion from the battlements. Nowadays, the harbour itself is home to brightly coloured fishing boats and busy tavernas selling fresh fish.
Looking back towards the city you will see the strong arches which housed boats under repair and were used as an arsenal for storing guns and gunpowder. The greatest threat to the Venetian stronghold of Heraklion, or Candia, as it was named, was thought to come from the seaward side of the city, and indeed, many naval skirmishes were fought off this coast. The view northward takes in the uninhabited island of Dia, where evidence of ancient Minoan settlement (approx 2700-1450 BC) was found by the diver, Jacques Cousteau. Boat trips can be booked from travel shops throughout central Heraklion, as can excursions to various places of interest.
The centre of Minoan civilisation and capital of Minoan Crete, Knossos, lay 5km south of Heraklion. Knossos flourished for approximately two thousand years. It had large palace buildings, extensive workshop installations and luxurious rock-cut cave and tholos tombs. As a major centre of trade and the economy, Knossos maintained ties with the majority of cities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
A wealth of cultural events are organized every year. If you wish to listen to the municipal symphonic orchestra or to dance pentozali, you can always find a place to go.
The Municipality of Heraklion is also a supporter of many exhibitions, seminars and other cultural events throughout the year.
The annual Summer Festival lasts from July 1 until the mid of September. It presents significant artists in a festivity of music, dance and colors.
Crete has one of the oldest and most tasty gastronomic traditions in the world, a tradition of tastes, aromas, ingredients and skills which begin from the prehistoric years and continue until today.
The Cretan diet constitutes the subject of study, since the majority of studies demonstrates that the Cretan cuisine is the most characteristic example of the Mediterranean diet.
Visit traditional tavernas or modern restaurants, spread all over the city, and taste their Cretan cuisine.
Heraklion is on of the most lively cities of Greece. You can find something for everyone. Nightclubs, bars, traditional coffee shops and modern cafeterias are located all over the center of the city.
Lions Square, Freedom Square (Plateia Eleftherias) and the streets around them are full of bars, cafeterias, tavernas and restaurants. The costal area of the city is also a place to visit with nightclubs and tavernas beside the sea.
During the summer, numerous art festivals and cultural events are organised, with tradional cretan music and modern music, dance and theatre performances.
Heraklion is a lively shopping city with a lot of shops within walking distance. It offers an exciting mixture of modern shops, stock houses, pedestrian areas and galleries.
Daidalou, Dikaiosinis, Kalokairinou and their surrounded streets are full of exclusive fashion and big chains'' shops. Talos Plaza, a shopping center in the costal area of the city, offers convenient shopping in one place.
Open markets are organised every weekday in several areas offering fresh fruits, vegetables and cheap clothing
Always the first thing you hear about Chania - the Venetian Harbour, the old port, the narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants.
Chania is also one of the two places you are most likely to see on arriving in Crete. It is beautiful - that is to say much of the Chania you will want to see is clustered close to the harbour - old buildings, museums, churches and crafts shops (some with genuinely interesting and sometimes local, products on offer).
Food is offered in great variety and sometimes great similarity - there are many restaurants and also cafes, at which to reflect upon the experiences of places you have just explored together with the enjoyment of some tasty food - we have suggestions for restaurants further on.
The atmosphere has a touch of Florence and Venice (a few years ago when those cities still had some room to walk), combined with the culture and character of Cretan people and traditions.
The Chania harbour is wonderful and at any particular time of day the light produces a different result, creating a "different place”.
This is the best chance to see some of the old buildings - of Venetian and Turkish design, that Crete once had across the island - many have since been destroyed by the ravages of war and plunder.
Chania is surrounded by numerous rich options for sightseeing, exploration and discovery. Mountain villages provide a view into the "inner Crete". The Samaria and many other gorges can be hiked, archaeological sites abound.
How to get there
Chania has an international airport with scheduled flights year round and abundant charter flights serving much of Europe during the season - April to October. Buses from the airport are virtually non-existent. If you're not driving, you should take a taxi.
Ferries sail to and from Athens (Pireas) daily - the port for ferries for Chania is at Souda, a few kilometres away. When the ferry arrives, if you manage to scamper onto the bus in time, this will take you to Chania. But it is best to plan to take a taxi.
Of course if you are renting a car on arrival, you can drive to your chosen destination at will! If a pause in Souda before your first sighting of Chania seems just right, try "Exandas" cafe which serves Illy coffee and the famed, welcoming treat of a "bougatsa" (pastry with cheese or cream filling).
You can pick up your favourite car from our variety of cars for rental through our website. You can book online or get a quote. We offer you a car hire at best available prices in crete.
Where to stay
Many hotels and apartments exist which you can book in Chania. We recommend you to find one in old town. The prices there are a bit higher but it’s totally worth it as you can enjoy the history of Chania in a beautiful street full of tradition.
Explore the waterfront and streets just behind. Walk along the harbour wall to the Venetian Lighthouse.
Visit the wonderful Naval Museum (Maritime Museum) - it delivers a superb introduction to the History of Crete and is by no means only for maritime mavens, you will learn more here in half an hour than most could teach you, about the events that filled Crete's moving past. Excellent, well done. Open: 10.00 to 14.00 daily, except Monday. Tel: 28210-91875. Admission: 2.50 euros.
The Archaeological Museum on Halidon Street is smaller than its grand Heraklion cousin, though well worth visiting and appealing even to non archaeologists. Open: 8.00 to 17.00 (to 19.30 April-October) daily, except Monday. Tel: 28210-90334. Admission: 1.5 euros Historical Archives (museum): Open 9.00 to 13.00, Monday to Friday. Tel: 28210-52606. Admission: Free. Byzantine Museum. Open: 8.30 to 14.00 daily, except Monday. Tel: 28210-96046. Near the waterfront (at the back of the Naval museum).
Visit the Maritime Museum on the west side of the port and walk along the port till Arsenali where is situated the Arsenali Centre of Mediterranean Architecture that organises exhibitions and has as primary goal to promote the Mediterranean arts.
Visit Venizelos Graves, which has magnificent views from amongst the trees, on a hill above Chania, across the the town, Venetian harbour and sweeping over the sea & beyond. Best place to pause & enjoy the view, Ostria cafe.
Visit Tabakaria a district with old leather processing houses found on the rocky eastern side of the city of Chania. The area was chosen for the following reasons: the abundant brackish subterranean waters used to soften leather, and its relative closeness to the city. Today some of the leather processing houses are still in operation. Adjusted to the natural properties of the land, the buildings have only one floor on the side of the street and two or three floors on the side of the sea. They are made of stone with tile roofs. They are built close to each other with very narrow, steep passages and steps going down to the sea. Tabakaria constitute a unique architectural complex.
Visit villages near Chania, where the old men talk, argue, discuss, play cards at their local kafeneio or simply find a stretch of beach and immerse the cares of yesterday in the waters of today. With children you might treat them to a visit to the water park at Limnoupolis.
In Summer, the municipality hosts cultural events around the town, including these in the public gardens and at the open air-theatre on the outskirts of the town walls, which has various music and theatrical performances.
Swim. The nearest beach is 500m away, Agii Apostgolli Beach is 4 km, and the famous long beach of Agia Marina, is 7km away. Or maybe you prefer the enclosed waters of Marathi bay, on the Akrotiri peninsula.
Outside Chania: trips to the many surrounding monasteries, the Samaria Gorge (take a bus to Omalos or a tour as you will walk the Gorge, take a ferry from the end at Agia Roumeli to Sfakia and then a bus back to Chania).
Chania is full of traditional tavernas (restaurants) and nice cafes next to the main port of old town. Beautiful stores and streets crowded with people full of life and entertainment.
The night life in Chania is superb with bars and clubs.
The night lights of Chania are wonderful and we strongly suggest you take a walk among the old streets.
How to get there
Just over an hour (64 km) from Heraklion airport or port by car or taxi. See flight information. There is regular bus service from Heraklion (and to Ierapetra - Sitia). The bus station is off centre, near the hospital.
If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car. We suggest to search our website and find your favourite car, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport. You can book online or send us a quote.
In case that you prefer the convenience of a taxi, then you could book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location.
Where to stay
Hotels, apartments and camping areas exist near the lake.
There are many cafes and night bars next to the lake where you can have fun and entertain yourself until morning hours. There are many traditional restaurants to taste the local food and the whole city is crowded every summer night with activities and events.