Of all the places I have travelled in Greece, there are some that have given me memories for always engraved in my mind. One of them is Rethymnon.
On the approach with the ferry boat, the first thing you see is the picturesque Old Town of Rethymnon, sprawled along the coast speading inland toward the mountainrange behind it. The most vibrant part of the town is along the coast in the form of all manner of restaurants, bars, taverns and cafe, in a harmonious mix where people of all ages blend together enjoying the view and the wares on offer at these establishments.
Dotted along the narrow alleys of the old town, as you meander along, you will see shops of all kinds, both tourist and traditional, selling Cretan products and souvenirs. Among those you will also find the occasional tavern with a different kind of charm, usually run by local families, each with their own specialty, created from products that are picked from their own land.
A little out of town, some 5km away, at the village of Prines, tourists are in for two more surprises. The little village is, in fact, more of a settlement with no less than 3 family taverns each serving their own recipes. I only had time to visit 2 of these, Taverna Olive and Taverna Veranda. They both serve fantastic Cretan recipes and grilled meat. It was a gastronimic pleasure at a reasonable price.
However, the second surprise, only a hundred metres away, was a real gem. That was Villa Anastasia, a traditional stone hewn villa, with an amazing garden offering absolute privacy and a romantic environment that took me completely by surprise immediately after I opened the front gate. A hidden villa in a private paradise!