The Prefecture of Rethymno is the heart of Crete and one of the most beautiful places in Greece. It is one of the four prefectures of Crete built in the northern part of the island. Rethymnon is bordered to the east by the prefecture of Heraklion and to the west by the prefecture of Chania, furthermore on the north side lays the Cretan Sea and on the south the Libyan Sea.
Rethymnon stretches from the White Mountains to Psiloritis and covers a territory of 1496 sq. km with a population of 70,095 inhabitants.
The prefecture of Rethymno is the most mountainous region in Crete. 510 sqm οut of 1,496 sqm are agricultural land, 933 sqm are pastures, 36 sqm are covered by settlements and only 17 sq. km. are covered by Mediterranean forests of oak, pine and maple.
The Mediterranean climate is temperate and mostly dry-warm. The sunny days encounter about the 67% of the year and the temperature ranges from 12oC to 27oC. The prevailing winds are usually from the North and Northwest. Also winds from the southern are also strοng.
Rethymno with Psiloritis and the blue sea, with traces of 4,500 years of civilization, with numerous Byzantine churches and monasteries, with magical Venetian monuments, with the most well preserved Renaissance city in Greece, with endless beaches, caves, gorges, unique flora and fauna , is waiting for you.
Rethymno is the home of Zeus, the god of hospitality. The majority of repeated visitors confirm the poet’s words: “Rethymno is not a place to go but to return”.
In place of today’s Rethymno was ancient Rithymna, as there is evidence of cemetery findings of the Late Minoan period found at the Mastaba area.
Rethymno is also the capital of the prefecture which is built between the two other major cities:
on the east is Heraklion (80 km distance) and on the west is Chania (60 km distance).
It is a combination of a comfortable, modern and an old town with about 20,000 inhabitants, administrative, transportation and commercial center of the prefecture, with great tourist development, significant cultural activity and a strong participation in the intellectual life of the island, focusing on the University of Crete branch.
The city hosts artistic events, exhibitions, theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, etc. It has a transportation bus service with the main towns and villages of the prefecture as well as with Heraklion and Chania.
The city flourished during the Mycenaean period, while in the 3rd century AD lost its reputation, for an unknown reason, and is referred to as “komi”. But it retained its autonomy and independence, as it appeared from the coins which continued to mint as a free city. In the Byzantine period continued to be inhabited.
In the city were found units of Roman and Byzantine mosaics.
During the years of the Venetian occupation the city experienced a great growth, since the Venetians used it as a port between Heraklion and Chania and as an administrative center of the area.