Rethymnon (City), Crete Island
The Fortezza was built around 1570 by the Venetians and is considered to be the biggest that they ever built. Inside it is sprawling, with a mixture of open land and scattered buildings. Amongst these is a mosque, a theatre and a couple of churches, and the open land is a nice place to bring a picnic and relax for a while. The views from the ramparts of the Fortezza over the whole of Rethymnon are spectacular.
There's quite a few attractive, historical buildings in the Old Town too, such as this former mosque (Nerantzes Mosque) which is now used as a concert hall and music centre. This was right behind our apartment and the minarette filled the view from our bedroom window. Lovely.
The harbour is lined with restaurants and tavernas, mainly specialising in seafood. The views across the harbour to the lighthouse are very nice, especially in the evening around sunset when the lighthouse is bathed in a warm glow.
The waiters/front men at these places are very pushy though, and physically block your path as you try to walk along the harbour side. This is very frustrating when all you want to do is walk round and have a look at the views etc!
I would have liked to have eaten here one day but there were so many other places to eat that we never got round to it.
The Venetian Harbour area at Rethymon is very attractive, built as it is of very warm coloured stone that looks especially good at sunset. The most prominent feature on the harbour is the lighthouse (shown here) and this is also the best place to go to get a good view back across to the harbourside restaurants, which themselves form an attractive view.
Rethymnon Old Town is a warren of narrow streets filled with colourful buildings, many of which seem to be tavernas, restaurants or shops, though there is plenty of residential housing too around the fringes. It's lovely to just wander through them all, finding what is around the next corner.
Small narrow streets, a lot of souvenir shops, restaurants, everything is very very touristic. This is not the real Crete. Nice too see for one day: venetian fortress, turkish minaret, venetian harbour.
There is a well-preserved Venetian fort behind the harbour and, like the other large towns on the north coast, Venetian influence is apparent in the architecture. Its maze of streets and alleys are now lined with shops, its old beachfront is home to restaurants and bars.
The Fortetza Fortress was built after 1573 to protect the city's population. It comprises four bastions and three entrances while to the north, its design is typical of the period with three look-out posts.
The Venetian harbour.
From 1300, Rethymnon's harbour was constantly being changed and re-built to make it safer and hold more boats. Due to the prevailing currents along the coast, this was never entirely successful. It retains its picturesque character even today.
When you already visited the fortress you should go to see the harbour with the very nice lighthouse and a lot of boads in the port.
The Rethimno Old Town is worth seen by night. There is a lot of small restaurants and shops along with small nice roads.