Another option for a port of arrival is the city of Rethymno that is a mix of high end resorts and a traditional interior of the harbor of old buildings. Most of the tourist activity and nightlife is on the road behind the town's beach but some of the best beaches of the island are a short distance to the west where growth is not as advanced as it is to Heraklion. There are big sandy beaches and you can find yourself alone, but be aware that there can be no strong currents and there are no lifeguards.
Rethymno is considered by many to be the most cultural city in Crete and is similar in style to Chania with charming Venetian on its labyrinthine streets and beautiful balconies.
the ancient acropolis of the city is Palekastro Hill. A 16th-century fortress is located on the hill and massive walls offer beautiful views over the city and harbor. It is a great area to explore.
Arkadi Monastery between Rethymnon and Heraklion is a sacred area of the 5th century that became a symbol of Cretan resistance on November 9, 1866, when hundreds of refugees and rebels chose death over tradition in the Turks and blew themselves into pieces with the powder that was stored there by the Cretan revolutionaries. The monastery was rebuilt and worth visiting.