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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 fyllo 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.

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 made-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.
  • r5If 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 Holiday Autos.
  • 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

  • White Palace 237 rooms from $322


    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.

    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
    Great walks  -  Wander down to the Venetian Harbour
    Check prices
  • Rimondi Estate 21 rooms from $113


    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.

    Romantic Break  -  In the romantic Venetian quarter of Rethymno with an interior to match
    Swimming Pool  -  Heated outdoor pool with palms on the fringes.
    Sights nearby  -  Situated in Rethymno Old Town
    Spa  -  Turkish bath available too.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels
    Check prices
  • Caramel Boutique Resort 69 rooms from $365


    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.

    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.
    Spa  -  Elixir Spa and ayurvedic treaments
    Check prices
  • Casa Vitae 8 rooms from $85


    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.

    Value chic  -  A stylishly renovated old Venetian castle house, central and great value.
    Sights nearby  -  Minutes away from the archaeological museum, Venetian harbour and Fortessa
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Check prices
  • Swell Boutique Hotel 28 rooms from $91

    Rethymno 741 00

    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.

    Local exploring  -  Moments away from the city with all important historical sights and supermarkets, restaurants and bars
    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 markets  -  Several shops within walking distance from the hotel
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  • Veneto Hotel 10 rooms from $86


    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.

    Foodies  -  Noted for it's fine Cretan cuisine and excellent wine list
    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
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Check prices
  • Mythos Suites 15 rooms from $137

    Rethymno (Crete)

    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.

    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.
    Check prices
  • Antica Dimora Suites 8 rooms from $137

    Rethymno (Crete)

    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.

    Local exploring  -  Within walking distance of both the beach and many of Crete's top sights
    Beach Life  -  Just a five minute walk from the beach
    Local markets  -  Craft shops and small boutiques
    Great walks  -  Municipal Gardens nearby
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  • Avli Lounge Apartments 12 rooms from $126


    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, lots to do around.

    Romantic Break  -  Beautifully romantic rooms & suites, Unique hot tub on the roof terrace
    Luxury  -  Truly spoiling with attention to detail
    Foodies  -  Acclaimed restaurant.
    Sights nearby  -  Walk around the old Venetian harbour with the well preserved Fortezza Castle.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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