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The department of Rethymnon (continued)

The GORGES of the DEPARTMENT (continued):

The gorges of the department of Rethymnon are of exceptional beauty... Among the most beautiful, the Kourtaliotiko gorges, 3 kilometers long,  which end in the Prévéli lagoon, the gorge from Kotsifou, near the village of Kanevos or the Mili gorges. A small preference concerning us: the Patsou gorge, for family excursions with picnic-nic or a good lunch at theat taverna Drymos.It is here that the shepherds' festival takes place every year (last weekend of June): the shearing of the sheep before the summer, followed by a big meal during which we taste the anti-Christi. (vertically grilled meat, unbeatable flavor)

The region is listed inthe "NATURA" network, and is very famous for its ornithological interest. Important waterfalls are also regularly home to several rare species of Cretan flora.

The waters of the Kourtaliotis pass by a very beautiful bridge, before crossing another small gorge drowned under the palm trees. The close presence ofPreveli Monasterymakes the region even more remarkable.

DEPARTMENT SIDE : your choice will go more easily to the beaches to the west, between rethymno and Giorgioupoli. Few tourist infrastructures and therefore little mass tourism (except Giorgioupoli which must absolutely be avoided). The south coast offers very beautiful sandy beaches, isolated and calm (Triopétra, Akoumiani, Ligrès, Aghia Fotia...).

The Lagoon de Prévéli actually constitutes the estuary of the Mega Potamos. With its Theophrastus palms, the region evokes a tropical landscape. A multitude of small beaches east of Plakias, and the village of Rodakino.


Scuba diving

Shimmering wrasses, serans, blennies, scares, sars, groupers meet in the transparent waters of the Rethymno region. Octopus, cuttlefish, squid, prawns, crabs and many other crustaceans abound, both in the Aegean Sea and in the Libyan Sea. Snorkeling is allowed everywhere, while scuba diving is VERY regulated in Crete. Prefer the supervision of approved centers for your dives.


The part of the European Path E4 that crosses the county of Rethymno includes two sectors: South and North. One starts from Argyroupoli and the other from Rodakino. The two routes cross the department, in the middle of an exceptional nature and constantly renewed landscapes. They climb to Mount Kedros and Psiloritis, to meet on the plateau of Nida, from where one of them goes east. The E4 trail is very well marked in Crete. It crosses superb landscapes, dotted with Byzantine chapels, monasteries, abandoned citadels, traditional villages and high peaks... 

Réthymno: the city of arts and letters

RETHYMNO, the beautiful Venetian city: (the Minoan RETHYMNA) is a particularly authentic city rich in cultural events. The monuments of the old town testify to its long centuries-old history. The Venetian port, the citadel (Fortezza), the Great Gate, the Loggia, the Basilica of Saint Francis, the fountains...

29,000 inhabitants, rather oriented towards culture and art... Rethymno has escaped the economic and tourist development which affected Heraklio and Xania. Commercial activity is concentrated in the old town, which is also the historic heart. Alternately occupied by the Byzantines, the Saracens, the Genoese and finally the Venetians in 1210, Rethymno keeps very beautiful buildings from the past, which it has managed to preserve. The fearsome pirate Barbarossa, in the pay of the Ottomans, caused fear to reign and led numerous attacks against the city. It is here that the Cretan Renaissance was born, to which the Rethymno intellectuals of the "Venetocracy" contributed generously in the 16th century. It was the Franco-Anglo-Russian coalition that dislodged the Ottomans in 1898. Practically nothing remains of the buildings of the time (except the Great Gate: the Porta Guora).

The Rimondi fountain 

The Venetian Port 

Turkish rule therefore lasted more than 200 years. The conquerors settled in the Venetian mansions, enriched them with their own architectural style and accentuated their presence by building minarets and mosques. This is how the "SACHNISIA" appeared: wooden balconies, today lovingly maintained by the Rethymniots. It was also at this time that many churches were destroyed. A series of revolts took place, but the Christians did not manage to win until 1821 and remained subject to the Egyptian regent Mehmet Ali until 1841. The great Cretan revolution, whose emblematic event is the holocaust of the Monastery of Arkadi, lasted until 1897.

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