Rethymno is surrounded by the sea from the north. Rethymno's beach is spreading from the centre of the town, along it's new part, for 12km to the east. To the west, starts the palm-lined promenade leading to the picturesque old Venetian port of Rethymno and continuing through the town's harbour to a rocky shore, along the Venetian fortress.
Some interesting monuments and sights to visit:
- Fortezza castle. At the place where the ancient acropolis was, one of the largest Venetian castles, overlooking the sea and the town. It was built in the 16th century to protect the population of the town against the pirate raids. Inside, where once a big number of buildings could be found, now only some tanks and a mosque (before a Catholic church) with a very big cupola, stay almost intact. These remains, as well as the view of the town and the coast, make it highly recommended to visit. The walk along it, from the side of the sea, at sunset, offers a glorious view of its impressive defending walls and ramparts -that become illuminated at night-together with romantic images of the coast.
- The Venetian harbour. Originally built in the 13th century, it still remains unharmed from the battle with the rough Cretan Sea. The entrance is dominated by the imposing lighthouse, a 17th century construction.
- Rimondi fountain. In the lively centre of the old town, it was built in 1626 by the Venetian lord A. Rimondi ,on the remains of the older one. Rich in architectural and sculptural decoration, it freshens the passers by for hundreds of years.
- Loggia. At the corner of Arkadiou St. and Paleologou St., it was built in the middle of the 16th century as a gathering place of the nobility, discussing politics, economics and all the important matters of the region. It was also used as an entertainment hall. The building is one of the characteristic examples of Renaissance architecture in Rethymno. During the Turkish occupation it was converted into a mosque. Recently it was renovated to become a gallery that houses and sells copies of the Archaeological Museum's exhibits.
- Saint Francis church. The church of the Franciscan order's monastery, with nice architecture and a richly decorated door.
- Neratzes mosque. The largest of the five surviving mosques from the original eight. Previously the Santa Maria church of the Augustinian order, it was converted into a mosque from the Turks. It is topped with three cupolas and today it is used as a music conservatory. Next to the mosque there is the impressive minaret, built at 1890. The view from the top cannot be enjoyed, since the entrance is not allowed for safety reasons.
- Kara Mousa Pasha Mosque. At the end of Arkadiou St., where before was a venetian monastery dedicated to Santa Barbara. Today it is the house of the Restoration Board. It is a nice combination of Venetian and Ottoman architecture.
- Veli Pasha Mosque and its minaret. It was surrounded by an islamic monastery, of which 13 continous cells have been preserved. Nowadays it hosts the Paleontological Museum of Rethymnon.
- Porta Guora. The entrance to the town during the Venetian occupation and the only remnant of the defensive wall. In the beginning of Ethnikis Antistaseos St.
- The Municipal Garden. At P. Kountourioti Ave., open all day. In summer it hosts the Wine Festival.
- Distance from the main points of interest:
FORTEZZA CASTLE = 100 ΜETERS
VENETIAN HARBOR = 100 ΜETERS
RIMONDI FOUNTAIN = 200 ΜETERS
LOGGIA = 200 ΜETERS
SAINT FRANCIS CHURCH = 500 ΜETERS
NERATZE MOSQUE = 300 ΜETERS
KARA MOUSA PASHA MOSQUE = 1500 ΜETERS
BELI PASHA MOSQUE = 1000 ΜETERS
PORTA GUORA = 800 ΜETERS
MUNICIPAL PARK = 1000 METERS
SHOPPING AREA = 200 ΜETERS
MARINA – NEW HARBOR = 800 ΜETERS
HOSPITAL = 1.500 ΜETERS
TOWN HALL = 1.000 ΜETERS