Photo of Rethymno

About Rethymno

Third largest, but arguably the most charming town on Crete, Rethymno has preserved its Venetian and Ottoman treasures well. Situated beside a very long, very sandy and very beautiful beach, our selection of the best places to stay in Rethymno are an easy stroll from both the sand and the sights.

What not to Miss

The Fortrezza dominates the town - and also offers a suitably photogenic backdrop - and below that, pedestrianised streets wind between minaret-topped mosques and Venetian style townhouses and palazzos. It's a good idea to head up to the Fortrezza as your first port of call on arrival, as it's a great place to get the lay of the town and plan your visit. While you're there visit the archaeological museum, the Venetian Loggia, the church, stroll the walls and gaze out to sea…

The old Venetian harbour is a good place to sit down for a coffee, or a meal. Visit the Folklore Museum to find out a bit more about the folks who've lived in these parts - and next door there's an old bakery where you can see traditional filo pastry being made.

Arkadi Monastery is a short drive east, famous for its ossuary and museum. Just beyond that is Eleftherna, an important archaeological site inhabited from ancient times right up until the Byzantine era.

As well as the beaches there are plenty of great places to take your kids walking around Rethymno and on Thursday it's worth staying in town for the weekly market.

There are some excellent local sights if you want to take a day trip or two - your kids might be interested in the grizzly tale of what happened in the cave just outside Melidoni village, or of the Cretan resistance at Arkadi Monastery.

Rethymno is small enough to begin to feel familiar, yet large enough so that you're constantly coming across something new. If you have a car there are some lovely little villages in both directions up and down the coast. Anogia is one of the most famous and most traditionally Cretan.

The long beach attracts carefree sun-lovers, and there are plenty of resort hotels to choose from, but within the Old Town are some truly wonderful old hotel conversions which provide a fitting base for explorations into the history and culture of this romantic old girl and are definitely some of the best places to stay in Rethymno.

For History Enthusiasts

  • An historic castle-turned-guesthouse, Casa Vitae's original Ottoman-Venetian architecture makes it one of the best places to stay in Rethymno for anyone wanting to really immerse themselves in the history of the place. As well as sleeping between ancient walls, and in some cases four poster beds, you're also only minutes from the archaeological museum, the fortress and the old Venetian harbour.
  • The Veneto Hotel is another excellent choice for history buffs. Converted from a 14th Century Dominican priory, the common areas of the Veneto have wonderful exposed stone walls surrounding a beautiful arcaded courtyard where you'll find one of the town's top restaurants.
  • The eight Antica Dimora Suites occupy a charming 19th century mansion block with exposed stone wall and balconies overlooking the sauntering street below. You’re just four minutes from the harbour surrounded by some great restaurant choices.

For Romance

  • For romantics the Rimondi Estate is one of the best places to stay. Luxurious, contemporary and comfortable, the collection of rooms range in size from rooms to suites to whole maisonettes - some with their own balconies and private hot tubs. You don't need to splash out though, there's a wonderful spa and rooftop pool area.
  • The Avli Lounge Apartments are an excellent choice if you're a unique boutique hotel type person. This isn't just boutique, it's eclectic luxury with plenty of personalised charm and one of the best restaurants in town.

For a Beach Break

  • The Caramel Boutique Resort is a luxurious resort on a long stretch of sand just outside Rethymno. There are 69 rooms, plus a large seawater pool with jacuzzi and lily-pad sun loungers. Lots for families but not overrun with kids.

For families

  • The Swell Boutique Hotel is a chic, contemporary hotel with great ocean views from the balconies and terraces each room has. There’s a smart restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool and free wifi - classy and modern.
  • The Mythos Suites is a gem for families who want to self cater. Though you may find you don't need to use the small kitchens as much as you thought - the breakfast spread here is amazing. Friendly, clean, light and close to the highlights.
  • If your family needs a bit more space than you'll find in your average hotel room, the Kapsaliana Village Hotel is a great find - it's a rustic old farmhouse set amongst olive groves, with a welcoming pool, beautiful views and all mod. cons.. Most rooms have their own private terrace, the restaurant serves delicious regional meals, and you have your pick of beautiful sandy beaches just a short drive away.
  • Along the coastline, the White Palace is a former grande dame of the Cretan Riviera which has undergone an incredible white-on-white make-over. This is a large hotel - there are 237 rooms - and you’ll find a choice of dining and entertainment options plus a popular kid’s club.

For an Apartment or Villa

If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Rethymno is about equidistant from Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport, which is about five kilometres outside Heraklion, and is the main airport on Crete and the second busiest in Greece, and Chania Airport, officially called Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport, and about 14kms out of town in the Akrotiri region. Flights into Chania are mostly domestic, though there are some European charter flights during the summer months.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we highly recommend if you’re staying in Rethymno and you want to see more of Crete - we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars
  • The peak season for visiting Rethymno is between April and October, but the best times are probably late spring/ early summer or early autumn - it’ll be a bit quieter then and the weather won’t be as scorching as it can be mid-summer!

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Rethymno

  • Cressa Corona Boutique Hotel Rethymno Old town, 74100 5 rooms from £48

    Boutique  -  Set in a former Venetian mansion which has been beautifully converted into a chic boutique
    Romantic Break  -  With four-poster beds and a romantic roof terrace to enjoy a cocktail on
    Great walks  -  Take a picnic and set off on one of the lovely coastal walks with a beautiful mountain backdrop
    Cooking classes  -  Enjoy a cooking class on the hotel rooftop
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A stylishly modern hotel set in a 16th-century Venetian townhouse with a pretty sun-soaked roof terrace. Interiors are fresh and minimally elegant, while rooms feature chic and simple modern furniture with an emphasis on clean lines and natural materials. A sophisticated choice and great value too! See More

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  • Casa Maistra Residence Rethymno (Crete) 3 rooms from £55

    Beach Life  -  Located close to the seafront, this is a great option for a beach holiday for those who prefer self-catering
    Romantic Break  -  The romantic traditional setting and discreet private apartments make this a popular choice with couples
    Families  -  Some of these apartments are designed specifically for families, with beds for children included
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Venetian fortress Fortezza, one of the town's most famous historic sights

    These seafront apartments are housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building in the heart of Rethymno. Rooms are simply dressed, allowing the building's exposed stone walls and sea views to shine through. The suites are great for families and cater to children. A traditional seaside stay. See More

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  • Casa Vitae Rethymno 8 rooms from £64

    Boutique  -  Interiors perfectly mixes the building's original style with contemporary rustic-chic design
    Value chic  -  A stylishly renovated old Venetian castle house, both central and great value
    Coastal  -  Nearby Preveli beach is beautiful and boasts natural spa pools
    Sights nearby  -  Minutes away from the archaeological museum, Venetian harbour and Fortessa

    A historic castle guesthouse with original Ottoman-Venetian architecture. Traditional rooms and suites have wooden floors, stone walls, and four poster beds. A romantic choice, full of character, great value, and walking distance to beaches, restaurants and museums. See More

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  • Veneto Hotel Rethymno 10 rooms from £65

    Foodies  -  Noted for its fine Cretan cuisine and excellent wine list
    Beach nearby  -  300m walk from the nearest beach
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the heart of Rethymno's Old Town, don't miss the Venetian harbour
    Cooking classes  -  Learn the art of Cretan cuisine

    A gorgeous rustic hotel with a fantastic restaurant. Suites and studios (with fridges) have stone walls, wooden beams and cast iron beds. Lovely balconied courtyard and lots of charm. A quaint spot for foodies or romantic breaks. See More

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  • Swell Boutique Hotel Rethymno 741 00 28 rooms from £69

    Beach Life  -  A beachfront hotel. Every room comes with a balcony/sit-out terrace with views of the Cretan Sea.
    Romantic Break  -  Elegantly decorated rooms with balconies, in-room dining and some with hot-tubs
    Local exploring  -  Moments away from the city with its historical sights, restaurants and bars
    Local markets  -  Several shops within walking distance from the hotel

    One bedroom suites come with a separate living room and offer great views over the ocean. Interiors are chic, contemporary and comfortable. There is a smart restaurant and bar. Free wifi throughout and an outdoor pool area with terrace. A classy, modern hotel. See More

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  • Rimondi Boutique Hotel Rethymno 21 rooms from £86

    Families  -  The maisonettes that sleep four are a great choice for small families
    Romantic Break  -  Choose the spa suite for an indulgent romantic break
    Beach nearby  -  Located near an enormous swathe of sandy beach
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool with palms on the fringes
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels

    A luxury contemporary classic hotel moments from the beach. A collection of stylish rooms, suites and maisonettes all with lots of natural light, some with private hot tubs, balconies and big open spaces. Wonderful spa and roof top pool area. A romantic spot, yet very family friendly. See More

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  • Pepi Boutique Hotel Rethymno (Crete) 17 rooms from £92

    Beach Life  -  Well-located for accessing pretty, sandy beaches, this is a good option for a seaside stay
    Local exploring  -  Situated within the historic town of Rethymno, this is a great base for local exploring
    Romantic Break  -  The luxurious suites and private hotel pool make this hotel a favourite with couples
    Sailing  -  Explore the beautiful coastline starting at this former fishing village; enquire at the hotel about local boat hire

    This boutique hotel is nestled in the heart of the historic town of Rethymno. Rooms have a rustic feel, dressed in warm, earthy hues with wood furnishings. Suites offer a separate mezzanine and kitchenette. Enjoy a drink from the bar by the cosy outdoor pool. An intimate and charming guesthouse. See More

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  • Thalassa Boutique Hotel Rethymno (Crete) 21 rooms from £93

    Local exploring  -  Located in the historic town of Rethymno, this hotel is a great starting point for exploring local sights
    Beach Life  -  Sitting in a prime location on the seafront, you can't get a more convenient base for a beach holiday
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Monastery of Arkadi, a historic monastery which, according to tradition, was founded by Emperor Heraklion
    Local markets  -  Explore Heraklion's central market and find unique souvenirs to take home from your holiday

    This exclusive beachfront hotel in Rethymno recently underwent a full renovation. Boasting four stars, rooms are dressed in a traditional style; premium linens complement exposed stone walls and the best suites have terraces with sea views. Take a dip in the courtyard pool; a stylish seaside hotel. See More

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  • Avli Lounge Apartments Rethymno 12 rooms from £95

    Foodies  -  An exceptional courtyard restaurant serving up highly acclaimed Cretan dishes paired with fine wines
    Boutique  -  Pop colours stand out against original stone in this oh-so-chic boutique
    Romantic Break  -  Beautifully romantic suites complete with chandeliers and object d'art
    Sights nearby  -  Walk around the old Venetian harbour with the well preserved Fortezza Castle
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Exceptionally luxurious boutique hotel with an award-winning restaurant and beautiful rooms. Romantic rooms and suites meld rustic chic with modern art. Eclectic living areas and fabulous food. Romantic, gourmet, and plenty to do locally. See More

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  • Mythos Suites Rethymno (Crete) 15 rooms from £104

    Value chic  -  This charming ivy covered hotel is great value for money, with airy, chic rooms boasting private balconies and courtyard pool.
    Sights nearby  -  Be sure to check out the historic and impressive Venetian Fortress, within a few minutes walk of the hotel.
    Swimming Pool  -  Stunning outdoor pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.

    This boutique self-catering setup is a peaceful and friendly haven in the heart of Rethymno. Light and comfortable rooms have private balconies, small kitchens and access to lovely breakfasts. Enjoy the small pool and being near the hub of the town. See More

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  • Antica Dimora Suites Rethymno (Crete) 8 rooms from £104

    Local exploring  -  Within walking distance of both the beach and many of Crete's top sights including a monestery and a number of museums
    Charming  -  A charmingly traditional hotel with exposed stone walls and antiques
    Local markets  -  Craft shops and small boutiques in the neighbouring streets
    Full of character

    Situated in a 19th century mansion, full of character and authentic charm. Bedrooms have exposed stone walls and four poster beds, with balconies overlooking the sauntering street below. Just four minutes form the Venetian harbour, there are plenty of great seaside restaurants nearby. See More

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  • White Palace Rethymno 237 rooms from £247

    Watersports  -  Banana boating, wind surfing and much more are available on the nearby beach
    Families  -  There is a popular kid's club allowing grown ups some fun of their own
    Romantic Break  -  Utterly chic interiors with sea views - great for a romantic getaway
    Diving  -  The nearby diving school offers private lessons

    White on white interiors with accents of sea blue. Utterly chic. The former grande dame of the 'Cretan Riviera' has been given a full make-over, a new title, and a bigger, grander choice of accommodation, dining and entertainment options that seem to please couples and families from all over Europe. See More

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  • Caramel Boutique Resort Rethymno 69 rooms from £280

    Families  -  With a spa for adults and a kids club complete with boundless activities for children, this is an ideal choice for families
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor "confetti" pool - Large seawater pool with Jacuzzi, lily-pad designer sun loungers, day beds.
    Sights nearby  -  Just minutes from Rethymno's ancient Venetian Harbour
    Kids Club  -  The hotel has plenty to keep all ages occupied.

    Luxury resort with lots to offer families with children of all ages, but not overrun by kids. On a long stretch of sandy best close to Rethymnon – Crete's cutest town - Caramel is around an hour from Heraklion and Chania airports. See More

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  • The Syntopia Rethymno (Adelianos Kampos) 119 rooms from £508

    Beach Life  -  Set close to the beach on the sunny Greek island of Crete, book this hotel for a relaxed seaside getaway
    Romantic Break  -  Couples are well-catered to at this adults-only bolt-hole; book a luxury suite for a private jacuzzi
    Local exploring  -  This hotel offers easy access to the heart of Rethymno, making it a great base for local exploring
    Sights nearby  -  See Rethymno’s beautiful Venetian harbour and Egyptian lighthouse, located in one of the most picturesque parts of the old town

    This stylish, adults-only hotel is tucked away close to the coast in Crete. Boutique rooms have a nomadic feel, with raffia light fittings, handmade rugs and rustic soft furnishings. Mingle with other guests on the poolside terrace at one of the hotel's live Greek music events. See More

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