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The Rethymnon - Crete SkyMap

LIKE Chania, in the west of Crete, Rethymnon owes both its name and much of its ambience to the Venetians.

Founded in the Minoan era - and tussled over by the Turks and Russians too - it is the Venetian echo that lingers loudest among the narrow colourful streets, daring balconies and along the whimsical waterfront of Rethymnon old town with its ancient citadel.

More provincial and relaxed than Crete’s two larger cities - Chania and Heraklion - Rethymnon has a large student population to keep the city vibrant in the winter months, long after the tourists have vacated the sprawling beach hotel strip.

Equidistant between Crete’s two airports, Rethymnon is also prized for its dramatic inland gorges, and for the loggerhead turtles who faithfully visit each summer to lay their eggs along the beaches.

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