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72km (45 miles) E of Chania; 78km (50 miles) W of Iraklion

Whether you visit on a day trip from Chania or Iraklion or use it as a base in western Crete, Rethymnon can be a pleasant town -- provided you pick the right Rethymnon.

The town's defining centuries came under the Venetians in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, then under the Turks from the late 17th century to the late 19th century. Its maze of streets and alleys is now lined with shops, its old beachfront is home to restaurants and bars, and its new beach-resort facilities (to the east of the old town) offer a prime (some might say appalling) example of how a small town's modest seacoast can be exploited. Assuming you have not come to see these "developments," we'll help you focus your attention on the old town -- the side of Rethymnon that can still work its charm on even the casual stroller.