This daytrip will take you to Chania, my personal favourite city in on the north coast, via the only natural lake on Crete, Lake of Kournas.
You can also do a daytrip to Chania by tour operator (usually combined with another destination) and of course by bus, with a bus change in Rethymno.
Click the KTEL-Logo for the latest up to date schedules, choose "with departure from Rethymno" and look for Plakias-Rethymno and Rethymno-Chania.
By car I suggest the following route (this includes the Lake of Kournas):
Part 1: Plakias - Lake of Kournas
You drive from Plakias to Rethymno and when you hit the national road turn left onto the highway. After 21km turn left at Paralia Kourna. Take the first right turn, followed by the first left to Lake of Kournas via Mouri.
Lake of Kournas
Kournas Lake is the only natural lake on Crete. The mountains right behind it almost give it sort of a mystical feel, especially when it's clouded. You can walk around it and if you're lucky spot some fresh water turtles. There are pedal boats, lakeside tavernas and some handicraft shops. There is plenty of place to park.
Part 2: Lake of Kournas - Chania
Turn left after the parking at the lake and drive back to the national road and continue to Chania. The best place to park is Platia Talo just east of the Venetian Harbour (see map)
Chania has just like Rethymno, a lot of history because of the various occupations. The Old Town around the beautiful and buzzing Venetian Harbour with its mosque and famous lighthouse is filled with restaurants and souvenir shops in the characteristic small alleys. The walk east from the Venetian Harbour along the Tabakaria (former leather tanneries) towards the lighthouse is a must do, with great views over the harbour. It is also interesting to have a walk through the agora, a large indoor market built as a cross. For a nice view over the city walk up the Lando (Schiavo) semi-bastion. The city houses also a lot of museums like the Maritime Museum, in the beautiful Firka Fortress at the old Venetian Harbour, and the Archaeological Museum.
Part 3: Chania - Plakias
Just drive back to Rethymno and get off the national road there at the exit to Agia Galini, Spili and Plakias.
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