Prefecture of Rethymnon

The Prefecture extends in the north from Dramia to beyond Sisses, and in the south from Cape Kaloyeros to Kokkinos Pirgos.

The peripheral unit Rethymno is subdivided into 5 municipalities. These are: 

The main town - Rethymnon – was originally built on a peninsula. Today it extends along the 13 km long sandy beach and finally merges almost without a break into a series of smaller tourist villages. The harsh landscape of the hinterland is characterized by high mountain chains such as those of Psiloritis and Kedros.  These are crossed by beautiful valleys, for example that of Amari.Warm summers and mild winters define the climate. The winter rains provide for a green landscape. Steep rocky coasts alternate with wonderful long, sandy beaches. The region is suited to beach holidays, as well as those in pursuit of culture and walking.

The Prefecture has been inhabited continuously for almost 5,000 years, as is evidenced by archaeological excavation - for example at the palace complex at Monastiraki in Amari, and the cities of Axos, Lappa and Eleftherna. The city of Rethymnon itself first gained importance with the arrival of the Venetians. They built the Fortezza, and thus made the city into a defensive centre. During this time, many splendid private and public buildings were constructed there. In addition the Turks, after their conquest of Crete, left not only architectural traces behind them. Thus today the city is a harmonious mixture of different architectural styles, cultures and a great place for sightseeing.




- such as Maroulas, Chromonastiri, Moundros and  Amnato will surprise you with their Venetian architecture.


-such as Garazo, Spili und Anoyia maintain their traditions and culture.




A Minoan cemetery, with rock-cut graves.



The ancient city was founded by the Dorians, and flourished both commercially and in political spheres down into the Byzantine period. Excavations have revealed parts of the cyclopean walls, the foundations of ancient Axos, and remains dating from the archaic period



The city was founded in the 9th century BC, experienced a period of great prosperity, and was inhabited down into the Byzantine period. It was situated on the two hills called Nissi and Pirgi. Recent excavations have uncovered the remains of a defensive tower, an ancient bridge, a cemetery, and cisterns hewn into the rock.


A Minoan settlement on the NIDA Plateau, around 20 km from Anoyia.



This was one of the most important Cretan cities in antiquity. Well-preserved graves and the remains of walls bear witness to its long history. The water there was already used in Roman times for mills and baths.





Churches and monasteries

The Monastery of Arkadi 

lies around 23 km south-east of Rethymnon. It dates from the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful monasteries on Crete. Its museum houses valuable exhibits which also testify to the political importance of the monastery in the Cretan resistance to occupying forces. The last resistance fighters in the revolt against the Turks blew themselves up in the powder magazine there.



Preveli  Monastery

 lies around 36 km south of Rethymnon, and is an important monastery on Crete with an interesting museum. The view out over the Libyan Sea is breathtaking.



The palm beach at Preveli

The springs at Argyroupolis

BIOTOPI bei Rethymnon  mehr unter