Explore Rethymno: Natural Beauty, Gorges, Villages and Palm Trees

Between the regions of Chania and Heraklio is beautiful and quiet Rethymno. In the narrow alleys of the old town under the Venetian fortress, you will discover friendly raki places where traditional Cretan music adds to the delicious food.

If you are interested in a road trip to the southern part of Crete, Rethymno is the ideal starting point. The distance from Rethymno to the Libyan Sea in the south is much shorter than from Chania or Heraklio. Rent a car in Rethymno and drive towards the south to explore the natural beauties, the gorges, the villages and the Preveli palm beach.


Rent a car in Rethymno and discover:


The old town

60 km from Chania and 80 km from Heraklio lies the old town of Rethymno with the Venetian fortress. Park your car close the Garden and walk in the narrow streets, enjoy the local food and absorb the charming vibe of the town. You can also pay a visit to the Paleontological and the Archaeological museums.


Fortezza, the Venetian Fortress of Rethymno. Photo by Olaf Tausch, licensed.


Want to see more of Rethymno? Watch the video from Nearchos’ Koursaros trip to Rethymno here.


The mountainous village of Spili, 28 km south-east of Rethymno

At the foot of Mount Psiloritis is Spili, a mountainous village with cobbled streets, shady plane trees and the Venetian lion fountains of the central square. Spili is on the way to the beaches of the south coast and the last place where you will find services such as bank and post office.


Spili , a picturesque village with un unforgettable view, 28 km south east of Rethymno. Photo by Tango, licensed.


Preveli beach, 38 km south of Rethymno

At the exit of Kourtaliotiko gorge and next to the coastal palm tree forest, lies Preveli beach. There are two ways of getting there by car. It is a good idea to avoid driving down the dirt road, especially in spring and early summer. Chose the asphalt road instead, park your car at Preveli Monastery, and walk one km down to the beach. The palm tree beach and the gorgeous clear waters are worth it.


Preveli beach, 38 km south of Rethymno. Photo by Frente, licensed


Plakias, 40 km south of Rethymno

This coastal resort at the Libyan Sea is ideal for a relaxing holiday as here you will find everything you need. A long sandy beach, hotels, restaurants, sea sports, shops are just some of the available facilities you’ll find here. It can also be a great base to visit the more quiet beaches of the south coast like Triopetra and Logres. For the more adventurous and active types, we suggest exploring the nearby gorges of Kotsifos and Kourtaliotiko or walking uphill to the village or Mirthios for beautiful views of the south.


Plakias beach, 40 km south of Rethymno. Photo by Uoaei1, licensed


Want to discover more of Crete?

Rent a car in Rethymno and go on a road trip on the Grand Tour of Crete


Post featured photo by leoks, licensed.