Rethymno has many reminders of its Ventian and Turkish rulers. The enormous castle walls, the old harbour and many of the larger buildings in the Old Town are Ventian, while the minarets and Arabic inscriptions from the Koran to be seen at various points in the town, remind us of the hundreds of years of Turkish rule.
Apart from tourism, the island produces excellent olive oil, wine, of which the best examples are the red Mandiko and Archanes, and much of the mountainous area is used for keeping flocks of sheep and goats.
The island of Crete is rather barren but beautiful for all that. The best time to see the island is on sunny Winter days and in the Spring. With the sun low in the sky the colours on a sunny day have an intensity that it is difficult to match anywhere else. The blue sky, dark blue sea, the yellowy green of the fields, carpeted in Oxalys, which grows throughout the Mediterranean, the reds of the earth and the white snow on the mountains make for an unbeatable combination. Tourists who come in the summer miss Crete at its best.
There's always a welcome for the tourist in Rethymno. A glass of raki -- the local spirit -- and a mezes, a few tidbits to eat with your drink, are frequently offered. So why not pay us a visit and find out for yourself why so many tourists come back time and time again.
For more photos of Crete visit my Crete in Pictures site with many large photos of Crete as the tourists never see it.
Minoan Crete is a site (begun in November 1998) which at present contains photos of around 60 Minoan archaeological sites in Crete and video clips of some of them.
The best Web site for information about Crete is Interkriti. Visit for an aerial tour of the island and information on the history, myths, economy and more.
Karpathos in Pictures contains 34 of my photos taken in 1988 on the neighbouring island of Karpathos, mainly in the mountain village of Olympos where women still wear traditional costume in their everyday work, and life is lived in a way that no longer exists in other parts of Greece and is probably destined to die out soon on Karpathos itself.