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Things to do in Rethymno

With natural beauties, archeological sites, and sandy beaches, this Cretan town has something for everyone.

Our most recommended things to do in Rethymno

From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

1. From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

Choose from a morning or afternoon Quad Bike safari, and benefit from a hotel pick-up from Rethymno, Bali, or Georgiopoulis. Journey to the base in Rethymno town and get kitted out with all the necessary equipment. Listen to a detailed briefing before you set off for some serious off-road fun. Journey up into the mountains of Maroulas, and head for the summit for a 10-minute break to take in the panoramic views. Then, continue on your bike for another 20 minutes to reach a spot where you can relax over coffee at a traditional kafeneion (Greek coffee house). Soak up the peace and quiet of Café Gidospito overlooking beautiful Lake Potami before making your way to the picturesque village of Prassies for a quick snack to refuel after your Quad Bike experience. Return to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel to relax and freshen up after your dusty adventure.

From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

2. From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

Take a day trip from Rethymno to set out on an outdoor adventure into Samaria Gorge National Park. Hike at your own pace with a guide over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river, and by fresh-water springs. Keep an eye out for mountain goats roaming in the wild. Begin your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge with pickup and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. Challenge yourself with 17 kilometers of walking over rocky terrain. Be accompanied by a mountain escort who speaks English, German and French. Get briefed about your hike and get your tickets for the entrance and ferry boat from your escort. These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon, board a boat to go from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the pickup point.

Rethymno: Sunset Cruise on a Wooden Pirate Boat

3. Rethymno: Sunset Cruise on a Wooden Pirate Boat

Board the wooden pirate boat named "Captain Hook" at the port of Rethymno and get set off on a serene cruise into the sunset. Enjoy the glorious views of the city and the Cretan mountains in the background while the sun sets on the horizon. Snap some photos of Fortezza Castle, the Venetian Port, and the city of Rethymno lit up in the twilight. Sip on a beer or a refreshing soft drink with your partner, family, or friends for a perfect and relaxing end to the day.

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

4. From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli.

Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

5. Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvoussa Island & Balos Lagoon

Set off on a day trip by bus and boat to the magnificent Balos Lagoon and the Gramvousa island, on the northwestern coast of Crete. Travel by air-conditioned bus to the port of Kissamos and board the boat for a cruise with swim stops and a visit to a castle. After an early morning pickup near your hotel, sit back and relax as you pass through beautiful scenery to get to the Port of Kissamos. There, you'll pay for the cruise and board the boat which will take you in the sea for about an hour till you reach Gramvousa island. Once at Gramvousa, you'll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore the Venetian Fortress which offers breathtaking views from the top. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat to take advantage of the bar restaurant or you can relax at the beachside. Afterward, the boat will continue for about 20 minutes to reach the Balos Lagoon. There, you'll have 2.5 hours of free time on the beach. Swim, snorkel, sunbathe and explore the dunes in the background. In the afternoon, the boat will begin the cruise back to Kissamos and from there you will be driven back to your Hotel area in Rethymno.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

6. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. After your tour, enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea and lunch at a village taverna. Enjoy hotel pickup and arrive at Imbros around 10 AM. Have breakfast and then hike about 2.5 hours to discover the beauty of this narrow natural passage. Learn about the rock formations and the legend of the 2 brothers that Imbros is named after. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected Chania to Hora Sfakion. Stroll through a piece of World War II history, as you walk where thousands of British soldiers passed through after the Battle of Crete to get to Egypt.  End your hike in Komitades Village and then depart for Sfakia. Take a swim in the refreshing Libyan Sea and eat lunch with the locals in the taverns before returning to your hotel.

From Rethymno: Day Trip to Preveli Beach & Damnoni Beach

7. From Rethymno: Day Trip to Preveli Beach & Damnoni Beach

Discover 3 of the most famous beaches on the south coast of Crete. Travel through the wild Kourtaliotis Gorge where you will stop to see the magnificent waterfalls and the springs of the river Preveli that flow inside the gorge and which result in the river at Preveli Beach. The first stop in the south is at the sandy beach Damnoni, where the boat is waiting to take you to Palm Beach Preveli at the south-end of Kourtaliotis Gorge, at the mouth of the river Preveli. Enjoy some time for a splendid swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea, sunbathe and relax, and embark on a short hike through the tropical forest. Visit the south of Crete and stop at the viewpoint above where you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view and take some fantastic pictures. Hop on the boat to take you to Preveli, a unique mixture of the sandy beach and the green river which is flanked by palm forests and rocky surroundings. Here you will have time to enjoy the refreshing Libyan sea and the Cretan Sun. Continue to the sandy beach of Damnoni, where the boat is waiting to take you to Palm Beach Preveli at the south-end of Kourtaliotis Gorge, at the mouth of the river Preveli. Enjoy some time for a splendid swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea, sunbathe and relax, and embark on a short hike through the tropical forest. Hop back on the boat and return back to the sandy beach of Damnoni. The next stop is the small resort Plakias, situated in a natural bay. Here you can have lunch, go for another swim or do some shopping. We will take another road to return to Rethymno, driving through the impressive Kotsifou Gorge.

From Rethymno/Chania: Day Trip to Preveli Palm Beach

8. From Rethymno/Chania: Day Trip to Preveli Palm Beach

Visit Preveli beach, the Kourtaliotiko gorge, and the resort village of Plakias on this tour with hotel pickup and drop-off in Rethymno or Chania. Cruise aboard a boat on the Libyan sea, swim in crystal-clear waters, and relax on a sandy beach.  Start your tour from your accommodation where your guide will meet you. Take a short scenic drive through to Damnoni beach where your personal boat driver awaits. Find yourself in Preveli after a short, picturesque boat ride. Enjoy a swim in the Libyan Sea at Preveli beach and feel free to explore the Kourtaliotiko gorge and marvel at the mountainous terrain. Connected to Preveli beach is a series of springs and waterfalls that lead into the gorge which can also be visited. Discover a mixture of sandy beaches, lush forest, and mountains. The next stop is the small resort of Plakias, situated near Souda Beach. Have free time go for lunch, swim or go shopping. Return to your accommodation on a route through the Kourtaliotiko gorge.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

9. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Rethymno: Winery and Olive Oil Mill Tasting Tour with Lunch

10. Rethymno: Winery and Olive Oil Mill Tasting Tour with Lunch

Learn about traditional Cretan olive oil and wine on this tasting tour through the island of Crete. Begin your tour at the Kanakis olive oil mill, and learn all about the process of making olive oil. Hear experts describe the steps of production and afterward, enjoy a taste of their exquisite virgin olive oil. Continue on to one of the best wineries of the region, Dourakis Winery. There, enjoy a half-hour guided tour to learn about the history, tradition, and production of Cretan wine. After the tour, move to the wine tasting room, where you can taste up to five types of Cretan wine. Finally, end the tour with a visit to either the village of Nipos or Vryses (depending on the weather and the day). Both villages offer up beautiful natural views alongside a traditional delicious lunch.

Top sights in Rethymno

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What people are saying about Rethymno

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,669 reviews

Highly recommend this e-bike tour! Michalis and Lena were very friendly and Michalis was a fantastic guide. He was very knowledgeable and shared just the right amount/depth of interesting information. The tour was very well-paced with a mix of stops: a couple of monasteries, the military museum, a hike through the stunning Myli Gorge, a viewpoint, and lunch (which was one of the best meal experiences of my life between the beautiful view and delicious food). We don't bicycle often but the motor made the hills extremely easy and the views throughout were incredibly beautiful!

Our guide Kostos made the tour informative, fun, interesting and very enjoyable . His knowledge of local and country history, architecture and Greek mythology , traditions of Creten life, families / communities helped us appreciate and enjoy our time here all the more. The food was amazing , we will buy honey and olive oil with knowledge now and of course the sampling of local alcohol . We thoroughly recommend this tour to add depth and fun to your holiday in Rethymno . Brilliant fun

the trip was amazing! pick up and drop off from the hotel went smoothly, our guide was amazing and spoke English as well as German perfectly, she also respected when everyone went to sleep on the bus and didn't say anything for that time, it was great. Elafonisi is one of the most beautiful places on earth rest assured, I'd definitely go again. tour was well organised and it deserves a hundred stars! I'd absolutely recommend it to everyone.

The lake is cool, but perhaps not as beautiful as it is depicted in photographs (that being said I did see it on quite an overcast day). However, the towns were absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed just strolling through and exploring a different side of Crete! Really loved the guide as well!

Wonderful experience for my husband and daughter .