Earlier this summer I spent a week in western Crete, drinking lots of wine and eating delicious seafood. Based in the large town of Rethymno, (or Rethymnon / Rethimno), we leisurely explored the region by car (necessary if you want to see any of the island) and made use of some of Europe’s best beaches.
But overall I felt that western Crete didn’t have a huge amount to do, so while it would be a good fit if you’re looking to relax I probably wouldn’t have a strong desire to go back again, which is rare for me to say! Eastern and central Crete has a number of famous archeological sites, which are well worth a visit out of peak tourist season. But you could find yourself sat in a car everyday, something we didn’t particularly want to do in the heat! I’d recommend choosing your base wisely if you visit Crete, so you can do and see what you want without too much travel.
But there were a few things in the west that I really enjoyed, so here goes:
- I wouldn’t normally rate a hotel this highly in a blog post, but the Rimondi Boutique hotel in Rethymno really was a little gem. It’s a fairly old building but with character, and the patio breakfast and two small pools really were delightful (and without kids in sight)! While there was no parking, we always found a space around the fortezza area.
- I enjoyed our day trip to Chania, probably because we’d expected it to be filled with horrible traffic and a pain to find parking. It was easy to get to (and park), and the harbour area is bustling. There’s so many other places to visit to, but anywhere south west requires a mountainous drive, so be prepared!
- The evenings – this may sound a bit odd but my favourite time of day in Crete were the evenings, with the sun setting on the harbour and the hustle and bustle around us. Eating is such a social event in Greece and it’s no different here.
- We were staying in Rethymnon during the Cretian wine festival, and what better way to visit a citadel than with a glass in hand and twenty or so local vineyards offering up their wares?!
Flights and hotel: British Airways / Rimondi Boutique hotel