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How can you miss 2770 hours of sunshine a year?

The city of Rethymno is an ideal destination for Erasmus participants who wish to explore the rich cultural heritage and the natural beauties of Crete. This well-organized city offers a variety of picturesque routes to follow and numerous historical monuments to visit. The old city of Rethymno still preserves its old urban structure to a great extend, formed during the Venetian period onwards.

It has been declared a protected historical monument and a traditional settlement. The Municipality actively contributes to the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the old city, and promotes a healthy tourist development and a high quality of life for its citizens through the proper management of socio-economic activities. A number of projects have been realized, or are under realization, covering all aspects of the city life linked to its history, culture and architecture. – COPYRIGHT AND INFO: Rethymno Guide

Rethymno: So much to see, so much to do

University of Crete

Established in 1973, the University accepted its first students in 1977-78. It now has 16 Departments in 5 Schools (Philosophy, Education, Social, Economic & Political Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, and Medicine) as well as a number of affiliated research-oriented institutions. Currently, over 16,000 undergraduates and 2500 postgraduate students are registered. Rethymno is home to the Humanities Departments and the seat of the University of Crete.

Social Life

Being the seat of the University of Crete and having more than 7000 students, Rethymno boasts a vibrant night and social life. Find yourself wandering the narrow streets of the Old Town of Rethymno with its numerous meeting places for students and locals such as cafés, kafeneia, clubs, bars, bistros, wine bars, beach bars, etc. Quoting an ECTE testimonial from a participant from Finland: “The student life in Rethymno is fantastic! It’s a city where students are more than the local people and that means that it’s full of life!‘


The southern coast of Rethymnon hosts some of the most beautiful, untouched exotic beaches of Crete. At Agios Pavlos, huge sand-hills descend steeply and vanish into the sea, forming a beach, where one may sense the most positive vibrations of the island. On the adjacent beaches of Ligres and Pahia Ammos by Kerames the scenery remains mysterious. However, the most brilliant turquoise waters in Rethymnon are found on the beaches of Skinaria, Ammoudi and Damnoni, all located near Plakias. –


Rethymno Carnival

Since 1914 beautiful Renaissance Rethymnon has been celebrating the carnival with its many humoristic events. A carnival of another era leaving behind its nostalgic aroma of romantic balls and the Rethymnians through laughter and their comical antics paying their tribute to “His Excellence, The King of the Carnival.”

In 1993, the Municipality of Rethymnon decided to help fund this popular event and requested the teams to take on the challenging task of creating and organising the Carnival of Rethymnon, which has become the most popular and famous Carnival of Crete!


Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival counts a long time of presence and continues to blend integrity and durability as well as the zeal of its founders and contributors. It celebrates the period of Cretan Renaissance and attempts to revive it by a series of cultural activities. The interdependence of many cultural fields proves that the Venetian period exerted great influence, providing the spiritual ingredients that brought art to their peak.

The Renaissance Festival considered to be one of a kind in the Mediterranean region. Its a meeting point of local and international artists.

COPYRIGHT AND INFO: Rethymno Guide /

Cretan Diet Festival

The Municipality of Rethymno revives one of its oldest cultural institutions, “The Cretan Diet Festival”.

The events are clearly oriented to the promotion of awarded Cretan products, especially the local wine. The Cretan Diet has long been hailed as healthy, based on the high-fibre fresh fruits, vegetables and pulses, as well as on fresh fish and diary products.

The Festival is organized every July. Its a week full of tastes, colours and music showcasing high-quality Cretan products.

Cretan Flora

Rethymno, like all Crete, has an amazing variety of flora, which is directly linked to the climate and geomorphology of the place. At low altitude, vineyards, olive groves and orange groves dominate. As the altitude rises, the low vegetation of aromatic and endemic plants and flowers prevails, some of which are under threat of extinction.

Forest systems, which are rare, grow mainly in the mountainous areas, particularly in the southern side of Dikte, Psiloritis, Asterousia and the White Mountains. There are forests of pine trees (Pinus brutia), forests of oaks (Cuercus Ilex), while in many cases we can encounter valonia oak (Cuercus makrolepis) forests as well as small ecosystems of the Cretan palm tree (Phoenix Teophrastis-in Lake Preveli)


Caretta-Caretta nesting area

Rethymno beach welcomes every year the egg-laying of the sea turtles Caretta-Caretta. Be the one who participates in the release of an injured sea turtle, or lives the hatching of an egg and escape of a baby on its first trip into the ocean.

Excavations are done during Fall each year for the inspection of the success of every nest and, if lucky, one may see a baby Carretta-Caretta escape and speed to the sea.


Cretan Fauna

In Crete, species from all groups (mammals, rodents, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and vertebrates) are found, while throughout Crete there are no wild mammals with the exception of the Wild cat (Felis Silvestris cretensis), who survives in Psiloritis. Caves are also extremely sensitive ecosystems that host, apart from invertebrates, and many vertebrate groups, with the most important the bats.

The mountainous areas of the island and its canyons are of considerable ornithological interest, due to the variety of birds, especially the predators, breeding at their borders. The bird fauna of Crete is considered one of the richest in Europe, as it hosts more than 350 species.


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