Rethymnon is the capital of the prefecture of Rethymnon and the third biggest city of Crete. It lies between Chania in the west and Heraklion in the east. It lies along the north coast of Crete having one of the biggest coast lines in Crete (7 km). Its population is approximately 35,000 people and it goes up to 40,000 during high season.
There is a direct connection all summer round from the port of Rethymnon to Piraeus. During the summer, tours are organised from the port of Heraklion to Mykonos, Milos, Santorini and many more summer destinations to extend your experience in Greece. Rethymnon does not have an airport, but the people are served by the airports of Chania and Heraklion which are very close and easy to reach. Public buses are very cheap and easy to use and reach Chania (60 km), Heraklion (80 km) and all the places of interest in and outside the prefecture.
Rethymnon was built on the ancient town of Rithymna, a site that flourished during the Mycenean times. But only until the Venetian captivation, Rethymnon became a city and started to grow. A port was built in order to maintain their operations to the bigger cities, Chania and Heraklion. Rethymnon began to grow and it became a commercial and cultural center. The city was destroyed in 1567 by Algerian pirates and the Turks took over at 1646. For many years the city was in to decline and its people were struggling for freedom and survival from the Ottoman rule.
In 1897 it was the turn of the Russians to take over Rethymnon and held it until 1909. In 1913 Crete became a part of Greece. Until then, the island was independent. Rethymnon began to grow again and significant structures such as bridges, road and schools were built. But that was only until 1941. During the World War II and the German occupation the city was seriously damaged, but the old town was almost intact and it is until now a famous attraction and the best preserved Venetian old town in the whole Greece. The Rethymnians took an active part in the resistance against fascism despite the poverty and hunger that almost every family experienced.
In the last 25 years, Rethymnon has seen a significant growth in the economy by the significant development of tourism and culture by the operation of the University and numerous Museums and archeological sites.