Explore the waterfront and streets just behind. Walk along the harbour wall to the Venetian lighthouse.
The Fortezza (fortress)
as built by the Venetians (1573) to protect the city. Not only are walls, church and the remains of its buildings of interest, the views from it to the town are a great way to start planning your tour of the town. There are also sweeping sea views. Open daily.
Αt the entrance to the fortress. Open daily 08.30 to 15.00. Closed Mondays. Very small but with some interesting (and big!) exhibits from Neolithic to Roman times. Includes Archaic and early Christian finds from Eleftherna and Minoan finds from Armeni and Monastiraki sites. A wonderful clay larnax is visible as you enter. Also don’t miss the Minoan goddess figurine.
The Venetian Loggia,
Dating back to the 16th century. Used as the archaeological museum’s shop. (Books, models, jigsaw puzzles and cards). Open Monday to Friday 08.00-15.00.
This is a good landmark as a meeting/rendezvous place. There is a travel agent opposite with a Piraeus Bank cash machine and on the opposite corner a shop with maps, guidebooks in several languages, foreign press rack and magazines.
Folklore and history museum
On Vernardou 30. Open Monday to Friday 09.30-14.30. Closed Saturday and Sunday.Housed in a restored Venetian building with an interior courtyard. Eight halls with collections that include textile and basket weaving, embroidery & lace, costumes, ceramics, historic photographs and maps, weapons and coins. Over 5.000 items dating from the 17th to the 20th century are displayed.
Next door is a bakery where the baker keeps his ancient door open and is happy to show how he makes the traditional “fyllo” pastry leaves.
The main minaret (Neratze mosque)
is on Venardou street, though it is surrounded by a very hefty scaffolding structure for a while. Used currently as a music school (odeon).
At the bottom of Arkadiou street (corner of Ougo str.), the Kara Musa Pasa mosque. See also the uptown minaret, Veli Pasa mosque, under some refurbishment. Up from the post office, near corner of Markellou and Andoulidaki streets.
The Rimondi fountain,
with the pleasing cafe “Galero” to sit at right next to it – which also has internet access, as many cafes do in the centre of Rethymno.
Souliou street –
much jewellery and large selection of English titles at its bookshop. If one street is to be the single place for gathering all the gifts you need to complete your shopping tasks this is it: gather herbs, cosmetics, books, a variety of jewellery, pottery and many other different items.
The shop Raw Materials,
by the Avli restaurant owners. An amazing array of products and produce from Crete and all over Greece. A great place to buy things for people who like cooking, food and wines.
At the back is the wine cellar –
The dramatic and large wine tasting room sees wine-tastings in progress every Tuesday. There are more than 460 Greek wines (labels) in the shop.