The 3rd largest city on the island, Rethymnon is a picturesque city with a scenic Venetian Harbour and a dominating Venetian fortress, certainly the largest on Crete and some say the largest built by Venetians anywhere. A wonderful view of the whole town is to be had from the fortress. The east side of Rethymnon has a long promenade and a vast stretch of sandy beach. (This is where the Thursday market is held). Rethymnon has a lovely Venetian area (the west side of the town) full of quaint back alleyways, lined with lovely shops and romantic restaurants. Many of the Old Venetian and Turkish houses are listed properties and have been restored. Old Rethymnon has a colourful mix of architecture and it still maintains its old aristocratic appearance dating from the 16th century. Today Rethymnon is once again a thriving town. The old Venetian harbour (lined with tavernas) lies adjacent to a much larger modern day port, which services ferries (including ones for a day trip to Santorini). The Archaeological museum is housed in an out building of the fort and has a lovely coin collection as well as collection of local finds from the Minoan, Greco-Roman, and Venetian periods. The carnival in February and the wine festival in July are just 2 of the wonderful events held in the town every year.