The prefecture of Rethymno is the smallest of the 4 prefectures in Crete. It borders to the west with the prefecture of Chania and to the east with the prefecture of Heraklio.
Seat of the prefecture: Rethymno Prefecture population: 81.936 (2001 census)
The main areas of the prefecture are: Agia Galini, Plakias, Anogia, Preveli, Spili, Panormo, Amari.
Besides tourism, the main resource of the prefecture is the olive tree cultivation. The olive-tree groves of the prefecture belong to the most extensive and most productive, not only in Greece, but also in the entire Mediterranean area. Also important is the production of cereals, legumes and grapes.
Rethymno is the third city in Crete from a population point of view, following Heraklio and Chania, and it is located on the northern coast of the island.
The city of Rethymno attracts many tourists, offering them quite vacation times. The visitor can walk along the picturesque narrow streets of the old town, see the historical monuments and the natural sights of the area, and enjoy the sun, the sea and the traditional Cretan hospitality.
In the old town one can admire the majestic Venetian fortress of Fortetsa, the Venetian building compound called Loggia, the Rimondi fountain bearing the emblem of the Venetian governor Rimondi, the Guora Gate which is the main entrance of the continental part of the Venetian walls, the majestic church of Agios Frangiskos (St. Francis), the church of the Lady of the Angels and the Venetian harbour.
Inside the city one can also see many Turkish buildings and mosques, remnants of the Turkish occupation.
Rethymno has an Archaeological, a Folk art and an Ecclesiastical Museum, as well as a Paintings Gallery.
In Amari one can visit the church of Agia Anna (St. Anna) with murals dating back to 1225, the monastery of Asomati, founded before the 13 th century, the Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi (St. Paraskevi) and ruins of a small tower.
In Anogia, a traditional mountain village, is the Ideon Andron cave, with its majestic entrance. The cave is of great archaeological importance. Archaeological digs have revealed that it used to be one of the most important places of worship in the Minoan times.
Equally important are the caves Sfendoni in Zoniana and Melidoni in Geropotamos.
In the village of Anogia is also built the Church of Agios Ioannis (St. John) with murals dating back to the 12 th century.
Other areas of the prefecture with points of interest and archaeological sites are: Axos, Arkadi, Koxare, Chronomonastiri.
Besides its traditional architecture, the prefecture of Rethymno also features many splendid beaches.
In the area of Plakias, there is the small and quiet beach of Souda, with very fine pebbles, surrounded by verdant green hills.
The beach of Agia Galini is known for its shallow and warm water. Close to it is the exquisite beach of Agios Pavlos, where the rocks and the sand dunes form smaller secluded beaches.
In Preveli there is a beautiful sandy beach with palm trees. The setting reminds of a tropical lagoon with palm trees, oleanders and small waterfalls all the way to the sea.
Besides the landscape diversity and the great natural and historical sights, the prefecture of Rethymno is characterised by the hospitality and warmth of its people, which make the visitor want to come again to this wonderful place.
How you can get there
By air: Rethymno is served by the airports of Chania and of Heraklio. The flight duration is about 60 minutes.
Coastally: There are daily time-tables from Piareus to the port of Rethymno. The voyage lasts about 10 hours.
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