Travellers will appreciate the flower-bedecked balconies in Rethymnon's old town, and the Turkish and Venetian influences in its architecture. Tourist development hasn't compromised the authentic mood on the destination's streets or in its tavernas and souvenir shops. One of Crete's longest sandy beaches lies to the east and excursions are easily made to Hania, Heraklion or the Monastery of Arkadhi.
Rethymnon's many gift shops have a beautiful selection of baskets, woodcarvings, pottery and woven goods. Cretan embroidery at Haroula Spridaki and various items carved from olive wood at the aptly named Olive Wood Corner make especially good souvenirs.
Palaiopoleiou has genuine antiques and old textiles, while shoppers interested in modern ceramics and Greek pottery should try Omodamos. Many general stores and mini supermarkets are around to service self-caterers.
Rethymnon's inner harbour sports an array of restaurants and fish tavernas. Pricing varies. Visitors will find some old-fashioned cafes around Rimondi Fountain.
Rethymnon's nightlife ranges from noisy pubs and bars, to more relaxed establishments, where holidaymakers can listen to the sea while sipping on their favourite drinks.
Daily boat excursions take holidaymakers to beautiful beaches and, usually, lunch at a local taverna. Hiking, horseback riding and visiting sights such as the mosque of Sultan Ibrahim Han and the Venetian fortress are other popular activities in Rethymnon.
Rethymnon doesn't have the ruins and archaeological sites many holidaymakers expect in such an old city.