If you’d like to soak up some Greek sunshine then read this week’s guest post from Chris Christensen at the Amateur Traveler, the king of the travel podcasts. Chris’s site features a weekly travel podcast on destinations as diverse as Iran, Nashville, Finland and Turkey as well as videos, news items and travel resources. Check out his archives for endless travel inspiration, including the interview I did with Chris on my trip to Valencia.
Tucked into a quiet harbor on the north shore of the island of Crete is the town of Rethymno (or Rethymnon). Rethymno has a wonderful combination of a beautiful picturesque old town, a vibrant night life and one of the best beaches in Europe.
The old town is build around the small Venetian harbor that now has more seafood restaurants than actual fishing boats. At night each restaurant has a kamaki (literally “the one who speaks”) in front of it trying to drawing in the tourist crowds. And this quaint old town does draw in tourists.
Between the old harbor and the beach is an even longer string of outdoor restaurants facing the water. Some of the restaurants and bars look more like someone has moved their living room outside to enjoy the beautiful weather of Crete. We may have had a difficult time deciding which restaurant to eat at in Greece, but in my experience it is difficult to find a meal that is not good. Greek food is of course the main attraction but Italian food is also prevalent and Rethymno even boast a Mexican restaurant and a Chinese restaurant an expat friend called surprisingly good.
Should the Venetians ever decide to return, the town is still watched over by the large well-preserved fortress that they built. It would have been nice if more interpretive information was available at the fort but such was not the case.
The old town is a warren of small streets with interesting shops and wonderful photography opportunities. Sidewalk cafes beckon the weary traveler.
The beach at Rethymno is one of the finest I have seen in Europe. It has real sand, not pebbles like so many on the French Riviera. The water temperature in May was pleasantly warm. As with many European beaches you can rent an umbrella and chaise or bring your own towel to lie on the beach. The beaches are large but due draw a good crowd of both tourists and locals.
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Sunday morning Greek coffee and Glika on Zakynthos
A view from the castle over Zante Town