Rethymnon's attractions are best appreciated by walking through the old town. Start by getting a free map from the tourist office down along the beachfront, or follow the numbers on our Town Plan.
If you have limited time, visit the Venetian Fortress. If you have the time or inclination, look into the Archaeological Museum. Then make your way down to Melissinou and turn left and proceed to the Catholic Church at the corner of Mesologiou. Proceed down Salaminos to Arkadiou; make a left here to the western edge of the old harbor. Curving right down to the harbor is an unexpected sight: the wall of restaurants and bars that effectively obliterates the quaint harbor that drew them here in the first place. Making your way through this obstacle course, you'll emerge at the southeast corner of this curved harbor and come to a square that faces the town's long beach, its broad boulevard lined with even more restaurants and cafes. Turn right up Petikhaki, and at the first crossroads, you'll see the Venetian Loggia (ca. 1600) -- for years the town's museum and now a Ministry of Culture gallery that sells reproductions of ancient Greek works of art. Continue up past it on Paleologou to the next crossroads. On the right is Rimondi Fountain (ca. 1623).
Leaving the fountain, head onto Antistaseos toward the 17th-century Mosque of Nerantzes (originally a Christian church) near the corner of Vernardou; you can climb the minaret Monday to Friday 11am to 7:30pm, Saturday 11am to 3pm (closed Aug). Again, if you have the time, proceed up Vernardou to the Historical and Folk Art Museum. If you follow Antistaseos to its end, you'll come to Porta Guora, the only remnant of the Venetian city walls.
Emerging at that point onto the main east-west road, opposite and to the right are the municipal gardens. On your left is the Orthodox Church of the Four Martyrs, worth a peek as you walk east along Gerakari. You then come to Platei Iroon, the circle that serves as the junction between the old town and the beachfront development.
Turning back into the old town on Arkadiou, you'll see on your left the restored Mosque of Kara Pasha, now converted to a botanical museum (daily 9am-6pm). Continue along Arkadiou, and in addition to the modern shops, note the surviving remains of the Venetian era -- particularly the facade of no. 154. From here, you're on your own to explore the narrow streets, go shopping, or head for the waterfront for something cool to drink.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.