Rethymno
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Rethymno Culture & History

Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

1. Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

Hop in a 4x4 vehicle for a full-day safari adventure and learn about Cretan traditions while indulging in delicious food. Tour the paradisical countryside and swim in the clear water of the South Cretan Sea. Climb to an altitude of 1,200 meters and experience the quietness of the White Mountains and Cretan dances in a fascinating landscape. Keep an eye out for vultures that will take your breath away with their imposing appearance. Visit an old village with a Byzantine Church and a café stocked with Cretan products, including herbs, raki, and honey. See a castle and swim in the pristine waters of the South Cretan Sea before heading to a tavern to try traditional dishes. Visit a family-owned winery and learn how wine is produced on the island. Discover the secrets of Creten olive oil at an old factory and learn how to identify various grades of olive oil. Step into the island's past with visits to historical museums.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

2. From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

Depart Rethymno at approximately 07:45 and travel by bus along the new national road towards the westernmost tip of Crete. Pass the bay of Souda and the former Cretan capital of Chania before your arrival in Kissamos. Upon arrival, climb aboard a boat and cross to Balos Bay at the northernmost tip of the peninsula. Relax on the 1-hour boat trip, and get 2.5 hours at Balos Bay to enjoy the soft white sands and unique blue and green waters of the lagoon. Next, take a 20-minute boat ride to Gramvousa Island for plenty of time to enjoy an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters. If you are feeling energetic, take an optional 137-meter climb up to the 16th-century Venetian Fortress for an incomparable view of the surrounding surroundings. Enjoy approximately 1.5 hours at peace on Gramvousa Island, and then take a 1-hour boat ride back to Kissamos. Upon arrival, continue to Rethymno by bus at the end of the laid-back tour.

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From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

3. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

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Rethymno: Open-Top Jeep Nature Safari with Lunch

4. Rethymno: Open-Top Jeep Nature Safari with Lunch

Your tour starts with a drive down a beautiful off-road track that will lead you away from the city. After an hour of driving, arrive at a small village and take a walk to visit a Byzantine church and old primary school. Here, you will enjoy some Cretan hospitality as you are welcomed into a 500-year-old Cretan home. You will be served Greek coffee and a local pastry handmade by the beloved ‘Aunt Soula’ before continuing your adventure. After coffee, get back in your jeep and head to the south coast of the island. You’ll follow an adventurous route with mesmerizing views all the way to the beach. Hop in the water for a refreshing swim before sitting down for a delicious Cretan buffet. Your last stop will be the popular beachfront center of Plakia. Enjoy some free time for shopping or a coffee, before heading back to Rethymno through the breathtaking "Kourtaliotiko" canyon - where you can take some of the most amazing photos of the day.

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From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

5. From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

Depart Heraklion and journey west by coach to the stunning city of Chania. Learn about its Minoan history and see sights from different civilizations, including the Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian eras. Get a view of the lighthouse in the port, wander the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy some free time for lunch in the pretty harbor. Look for gifts and souvenirs in the famous agora (market) and more. Then, make your way to Lake Kournas and get back to nature in the lush green hills. Keep a look out for rare birds and marine life, including eels and turtles. Go for a swim or take an early afternoon walk in the protected wetlands. Drive back towards Heraklion and stop in the city of Rethymno along the way. Wander the enchanting alleys of the old town, see the domes and minarets of the Ottoman-era mosques and marvel at the 16th-century Venetian fortress.

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From Rethymno: Agia Galini, Matala, & Spili Small Group Tour

6. From Rethymno: Agia Galini, Matala, & Spili Small Group Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Rethymno, and then travel by air-conditioned minibus to the pretty village of Agia Galini on the south coast of Crete. Get an hour to explore the village and its traditional houses and enjoy a traditional Greek coffee in the harbor area. Continue to the village of Matala to enjoy 3 hours on the golden sandy beach, or use the time to explore the artificial caves carved into the bay in the Minoan period. Occupied by a hippy commune in the late 60s and 70s, the amazing attraction inspired artists such as Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. End your tour with a visit to the village of Spili, located in the foothills of Mount Vorizis, 430 meters above sea level. Wander the cobblestone streets to see the famous lion-head fountains and browse the gift shops for souvenirs of traditional products from Crete. Return to Rethymno by minibus and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

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From Rethymno: Explore the Real Crete in a Small Group

7. From Rethymno: Explore the Real Crete in a Small Group

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the Rethymno area, and then explore the traditional lifestyle and historical legacy of Crete in a small group. Learn the Neolithic history of the Melidoni Cave and discover the pottery traditions of the village of Margarites. Continue to the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna, where artifacts found in the nearby archaeological site of Eleutherna and the necropolis of Orthi Petra are on display. Discover the oldest monastery in Crete at the 16th-century Arkadi Monastery, and then go to the village of Apostoli to visit an old olive oil factory. Enjoy lunch in a traditional tavern and listen to the beautiful sound of live folk music before making your way to St. Antonios Gorge. Stop at the Fragma Potamon dam before making your way back to Rethymno.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

8. From Rethymno: Full-Day Knossos and Heraklion Tour

Depart from Rethymnon at around 8:30 AM, heading eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards the inland of Crete until you reach the tour's highlight – your visit to the Palace of Knossos. This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. You will be guided (for about 2 hours) through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and hear about both the Minotaur and Ariadne.  Afterwards the bus brings you to the heart of the capital city of Crete – Heraklion. There you have the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally you will have two hours of free time to enjoy the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch and drink raki. Time will pass before you know it, and at around 6:00 PM the bus will depart on its return journey to Rethymnon.

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Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

9. Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

The bus departs around 09:00 from Rethymno for the drive to Crete’s capital city of Chania, the most beautiful town on the island. Settled more than 4,000 years ago, Chania is one of the oldest cities in Europe. On this full-day excursion you’ll have 5 hours to explore Chania, with plenty of free time for a romantic walk through the idyllic old town. Visit historic neighborhoods, churches and museums and take a walk to the beautiful Venetian Port for shopping, a cup Greek coffee and lunch (not included in the tour price). At around 16:00 the bus will depart for the return trip Rethymno.

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Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

10. Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

This tour is for those who would like to get to know Cretan culture and traditions while enjoying a four-hour off-road excursion. You will visit a modern olive mill, so that you can see how olive oil is produced, and you can also enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the oils. After this, you will explore some myths and stories hidden in the stones of an early Christian church which was used as a hiding place by people who were evicted by the Turks. You also learn about the history of a 400-year-old tower which was built by the most fearsome Turkish Janissary and is still almost intact to this day. After that you will climb 1000 metres above sea-level on an off-road route. You will travel through the Lefka Ori woods and you will be stunned by the panoramic views from the trail. Later, you will meet a shepherd who will show you how Cretan cheeses are made and you can try some of the cheeses he makes himself.   Finally, the evening will come to a close with a traditional evening meal. There will be lots of food and traditional dishes for everyone to enjoy, and the evening will leave you with fond memories of your day spent exploring Crete. 

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What people are saying about Rethymno

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 376 reviews

I originally booked the Samaria gorge trip, but as it was cancelled due to the weather conditions I was offered this as an alternative for the day. The hike itself is fairly easy, they give you almost 3 hours to complete it, we did it in about 2 with plenty of photograph stops, so even if you’re not super fit it’s doable, however be prepared that pretty much the whole path is downhill and on rocks, so appropriate footwear is important as it can be hard on your knees and ankles. The second stop in Sfakion by the sea was nice but short as the weather was too cold/windy to swim in the sea, on a nicer day I’m sure it’s a lovely experience as well. Everything was very well organised and Ingrid is a lovely guide, I can recommend this trip if you’d rather chose an easier but similar adventure to Samaria.

Full, fun packed trip covering some important aspects of Crete. Really well organised and Barbara the guide was excellent. Started with Melidoni Cave (home of the bronze giant Talos) we also visited Arkadi monastery, Margrites pottery village, a gorge and had lunch with music in a local taverna. By far the best of the tours we have done in Crete.

Michalis and Lena were excellent tour hosts, showing great flexibility regarding inclement weather problems. Michalis is an entertaining and knowledgable tour guide, the points of interest were well described and the inclusive lunch was of a high quality. Equipment was well maintained and properly adjusted for all in our group.

This meal was one of the highlights of our trip to Crete. Sitting in a family owned olive grove, we were introduced to the flavors and recipes of the healthiest food culture in the world with authenticity and heart. Will recommend to everyone in the area.

Nice Guide, nice tour, very service oriented. Value for money.