Touring around the prefecture of rethymnon
Rethymnon - Panormo - Bali
Heading east from the centre of the town of Rethymnon and taking the new National Road (either at the intersection of Atsipopoulo to the west, or at Misiria, 3 km east of Rethymnon) in the direction of Heraklion and after 21 km turning right you come across the coastal village of Panormo. Located on a beautiful bay, the beach is inviting for a swim. Also worth visiting are the remains of the early Christian basilica of Agia Sofia with its wooden roof. During ancient times Panormo acted as the harbour for ancient Eleftherna.
Leaving the village and returning to the new National Road continue east until the 34th km sign at the coastal village of Bali with its clean beaches and its advanced tourism infrastructure. Turning right 1 km before the crossroad to Bali you can visit the well restored Monastery of Atalis.
Rethymnon - Stavromenos - Viran Episkopi - Alexandrou Hani - Perama - Melidoni - Agios Syllas - Mourtzana - Garazo - Axos - Zoniana - Anogia
Heading east on the old National Road to Heraklion, after 11 km you come across the area of Stavromenos and the Monastery of Arsani. Following the old national road to the east you will arrive at the village of Viran Episkopi, where the remains of an Early Christian basilica dedicated to Agios Dimitrios were discovered in 1959. It is presumed that the village represented the Seat of the Episcopate, which was destroyed during the Arab occupation and therefore was given the name Viran, which means destroyed. 8 km to the east is the village of Alexandrou Hani and 3 km further on you arrive in the village of Perama, which represents the centre of trade and administration for the wider area of Mylopotamos. After following the provincial road for 4 km you arrive in the village of Melidoni Cave, where the homonymous cave is worth a visit.
From there follow the old national road to Anogia, passing through the villages of Syllas and Dafnedes until at the 33rd km marker you reach the village of Mourtzana with its Venetian buildings and lush vegetation. There turn right and reach Garazo after 4 km, which is renowned for its view and its production of citrus fruit, and from where we continue in the direction of Axos.
After Axos continue to the village of Zoniana, which is only a short distance off the main route, and visit the Sfendoni Cave. 54 km from Rethymnon, you will arrive in the traditional village of Anogia, which is located on the northern foothills of Mount Psiloritis. A visit to the Ideon Andron is easy from here. The cave is located at a height of 1499 m and 22 km from Anogia.
Rethymnon - Platanias - Adele - Amnatos - Arkadi - Eleftherna - Ancient Eleftherna - Margarites - Hani Alexandrou - Rethymnon
The village of Platanias is located on the old National Road some 5 km from Rethymnon in the direction of Heraklion. Turn right at the crossroad to Arkadi. After a few kilometres you will pass the village of Adele, home of Kostis Giamboudakis, the hero of the Arkadi holocaust. The village of Adele is the administrative centre of the Municipality of Arkadi. 1 km further down the road you pass the village of Pigi. Turn right towards the village of Agios Dimitrios, where you can visit the Byzantine church of the same name.
After this brief detour, return to the road leading to Arkadi. After 18 km you will arrive in the village of Amnatos, the home of Hariklia Daskalaki, the heroine of the Arkadi holocaust. The village has a beautiful view, Venetian buildings and a distinctive door frame with an inscription. A short distance from Amnatos you will arrive at the crossroad to the settlement of Kapsaliana, which is also worth visiting.
This traditional settlement, which formerly housed the olive press of the Arkadi Monastery, has recently been restored and there is the Museum of the Olive tree. After returning to the initial route, and covering a total distance of 22 km from Rethymnon, you will arrive at the historical monastery of Arkadi.
From there continue in the direction of Eleftherna, which is 7 km from Arkadi and shortly after is ancient Eleftherna. The village of Margarites where the traditional art of pottery is still flourishing is 6 km from ancient Eleftherna. The village has beautiful panoramic views, Venetian buildings with magnificent door frames, the Byzantine Churches of Agios Ioannis Theologos (14th century with frescoes), of Agios Georgios (14th century) as well as the bust of the abbot Gabriel Marinakis, who was born in this village and played a leading role during the Arkadi events.
From the village of Margarites you can return to Rethymnon, passing through the village of Alexandrou Hani.
Rethymnon - Agia Irini - Roussospiti - Chromonastiri - Myli - Rethymnon
Heading east and turning right into Theotokopoulou street follow the road up-hill for about 7 km. After the intersection to the settlement of Mikra Anogia, you will arrive at the Monastery of Agia Irini.
Following the same road for another 2 km, you will come to the village of Roussospiti, where the Venetian buildings and the famous fountain are worth visiting. Continue in the direction of Chromonastiri. In this area you can visit the churches of Panagia Kera and Agios Eftychios and the Venetian mansion 'Villa Clodio' which houses a war museum.
Heading south, after 1.5 km you will arrive at the deserted village of Mili which is located on the bottom of the homonymous gorge. You will have to walk down the path which leads to the gorge. Its name is derived from the many water mills, which were operating once. A visit to this village is also worthwhile for its abundant vegetation and picturesque location.
Return to the road and continue towards Rethymnon. Shortly after Mili you will see the church of Panagia Halevi to your left as well as the remains of the monastery of the same name. Following the same road you will arrive in Misiria and after 3 km in Rethymnon.
Rethymnon - Prasses - Potami - Patsos - Apostoli - Syvritos - Moni Asomaton - Monastiraki - Meronas - Gerakari - Spili – Rethymnon
Heading east the old national road to Heraklion, turn right at the intersection in Misiria with direction towards Amari. 12 km later you will pass the village of Prasses and after another 10 km the village of Potami.
At Potami leave the main road and turn in the direction of Bolionies. Continue along this road for 10 km up until you arrive at the village of Patsos, where the Kraneo Andro or Agios Antonios Cave (to the left) in the beautiful gorge of Patsos is worth a visit.
After that return to the village of Potami and continue on our main route from the point where left it. After some 8 km is the village of Apostoli which is built amphitheatrically. You can visit the church of Agios Nikolaos (14th century), which is decorated with frescoes. 1 km from there you will pass the village of Agia Fotini, where you turn left towards Thronos (1 km) and the ancient village of Syvritos. The village has a panoramic view of the Amari valley and the 14th century church of Panagia, which is ornamented with frescoes.
Leaving the village of Thronos continue towards Moni Asomaton where a magnificent monastery existed during the Byzantine period which flourished during the 17th century and was turned into a school of agriculture in 1930. Following a track outside the village you arrive at the church of Agia Paraskevi.
From the village of Moni Asomaton continue towards the village of Monastiraki and from there to the west. After 7 km you arrive at the village of Meronas with its rich vegetation and beautiful view. It also has remains of Venetian buildings and the Byzantine Church of Panagia.
5 km from Meronas is the village of Gerakari, which is famous for its cherry groves. The village actually nestles among cherry trees and during the blossom time the sight is truly delightful. Following the road towards Spili you will find the central provincial road, which connects the north and south area of the prefecture. You can visit the village of Spili and take a refreshing break at its flowing springs. The distance from Spili back to Rethymnon is 30 km.
Rethymnon - Armeni - Fotinou - Mixorrouma - Lampini - Spili - Kissou Kampos - Akoumia - Melampes - Agia Galini
Heading south on the central provincial road, and 1 km before the village of Armeni, turn right to visit the Late Minoan Cemetery of Armeni.
After passing the village of Armeni, turn right towards Fotinou. This small village has a famous Venetian fountain dating back to the 17th century.
Return to the main road and continue south. After some 20 km, turn right towards the village of Agios Vassilios. This road crosses the gorge of Kotsifou and leads to the south coast of the prefecture.
Disregarding both intersections, continue towards Spili. 26 km from Rethymnon you will arrive in the village of Mixorrouma, where the traditional art of basket weaving is still alive. If you turn to the left in Mixorrouma, the road will lead you to the village of Lampini, where you can visit the Byzantine Church of Panagia.
Having returned to the main road after 4 km you will arrive at Spili, the capital of the Municipality of Lampis. Crystal clear water pours from the fountains at its central square. Leaving Spili behind, continue on the main road. After a total distance of 35 km from Rethymnon you will arrive at the intersection of Kissou Kampos. The road to the right leads to a number of villages such as Ardaktos, Drimiskos, Kerame and - most important - to Sotiras Christos, the village of Akoumia and the beautiful beach of Ligres. The Church of Sotiras in the village of Akoumia is ornamented with frescoes. The road turning to the right inside the village will take you to the famous beach of Akoumia and to the beach of Triopetra.
The village of Kria Vrissi is located some 54 km from Rethymnon and a little further on you will arrive at the intersection to Agios Pavlos and Melampes. You can either follow this road or the central provincial road in order to get to the coastal resort of Agia Galini, which is 58 km from Rethymnon.
Rethymnon - Armeni - Koxare - Asomatos - Monastery of Preveli - Lefkoghia - Damnoni - Plakias - Myrthios - Sellia - Rodakino
Heading south on the central provincial road towards Armeni, follow the main road up as far as the crossroad to Koxare (22 km from Rethymnon). This road will lead you to the village of Asomatos via the gorge of Kourtaliotis.
From Asomatos proceed south and turn left towards the Monastery of Preveli and the village of Lefkogia. After 2 km you can either take a left turn in order to visit the monastery, or turn right towards Lefkogia.
After passing Lefkogia you can visit the magnificent beaches of Skinaria, Damnoni, Ammoudi and Plakias. From Plakias the road leads up-hill to the village of Myrthios, which is located 4 km north of Plakias and offers a superb view over the bay of Plakias and the Libyan Sea.
Continue towards the gorge of Kotsifou and shortly before reaching the narrow part of the gorge, turn right towards the village of Sellia, which is located at a height of 280 m and also offers an excellent view over the Libyan Sea. Approximately 12 km west of Sellia is the village of Rodakino and the marvellous beach of Korakas. The road to Rodakino is very curvy but you will enjoy the magnificent landscape.
Rethymnon - Atsipopoulo - Agios Andreas - Ano Valsamonero - Monopari - Roustika - Agios Konstantinos - Argiroupoli - Episkopi
Heading west on the old national road towards Chania after 6 km you will arrive at the picturesque village of Atsipopoulo with its beautiful Venetian buildings. Passing through the villages of Prines and Gonia you will come across the village of Agios Andreas. Turning left and after 3 km the village of Ano Valsamonero lies ahead of you. Outside the village you can visit the fortress of Monopari, which was built by Pescatore on the precipitous hill of Kastellos. Return to Agios Andreas and continue south.
After 2 km follow the road to the village of Roustika, which is located 21 km from Rethymnon. You can visit the Monastery of Profitis Elias as well as the beautiful two-aisled church, which is ornamented with frescoes and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin and the Metamorphosis of Christ.
Leaving Roustika and continuing the road you will arrive in Agios Konstantinos; a village with magnificent Venetian buildings which used to be the resort of the Venetian nobility.
Passing through a number of smaller villages you will arrive in Argyroupoli with its many springs of crystal clear waters and the remains of the ancient city of Lappa. The village of Myriokefala is located 7 km south of Argiroupoli, where you can visit the Monastery of the Virgin, which dates back to the 10th century.
Returning to Argiroupoli and continuing north until you will arrive in the village of Episkopi, the capital of the newly established Municipality of Lappa. Continue north until you arrive at the new National Road Rethymnon - Chania, where you may turn in either direction.