The starting point of this route is the old city of Réthymno; after you exit the city, head south and take the road towards Tría Monastíria (the Three Monasteries) to lead you to the mainland.
Continuing on the same road and at a distance of approximately 8 km, you will see on your right a small sign pointing to a very important archaeological site: the late Minoan cemetery of Arméni. Carrying on for another few minutes, you will reach Arméni, a picturesque village where you may make a stop for coffee and rest.
From Arméni you may head south and after 5 km you can’t miss the Rethymnian Brewery, sporting the first fresh organic beer in Greece. Continue your route on the Mélampes - Agía Galíni provincial road and in approximately 11 km you will come across the historical village of Koxaré right in the middle of a verdant sea of olive groves. It is worth your while to visit a local organic charcuterie shop and buy their high-quality products.
From Koxaré starts the Kourtaliótiko ravine that follows the course of the Kourtaliótis river and ends up in Préveli lake. Continue your route through the small settlements of Asómata, Lefkóyia and Kámpos before heading downhill to reach the seaside settlement of Plakiá. Take a rest and enjoy a relaxing swim in the crystal-clear water beaches of the area. Taste some really good local traditional food and accompany it with fine old wine.
If you wish to escape crowded places and enjoy nature, you may opt for a horseback ride at the Free Riding Centre and take a short tour of the surrounding area.
Continue your route heading north and in almost 5 km you will come to Selliá, where you should really make time to take a stroll around the settlement.
Admire the old fountain under the old platanus tree and visit the folklore museum.
You mustn’t forget to make a stop at the model cooperative oil press and the state-of-the-art cheese factory to experience and taste local products and the famous, locally produced feta cheese.
Leaving Selliá, you carry on to the north and cross the villages of Kánevos and Kalí Sykiá, where we propose a stop at the local winery to get to know a different aspect of Cretan wine. After approximately 13 km, you will come to Moúndros with its numerous beautiful alleyways.
The village sports the Venetian mansion and the impressive temples of Ágios Nikólaos and Ágii Anárgyri.
If you are true nature lovers, you will definitely have seek out near the western part of the village, the 1,500 metre-long Moúndros ravine, while further to the west you may visit the abandoned traditional settlement of Nissí and wander around the ruined buildings.
After Moúndros, continue on a northbound course and within no more than 5 minutes you will reach the next village, Roústika, that existed even before Crete was occupied by the Venetians and still maintain their traditional character.
After Roústika, you will come across Ágios Konstantínos, where you will also find tavernas serving excellent food as well as a women’s cooperative.
Carry on northbound and you will get to the village of Káto Valsamónero that tradition has it to be the most ancient in the whole of Crete. From here you head east until you reach Frantzeskianá Metóchia and Goniá and afterwards continue due north along the old Réthymno - Chaniá national road until you come across Prinés.
Make a stop there and walk its beautiful alleyways, ask people to point you in the direction of the Beboyiánnis Mill and the traditional oil press.
Exit Prinés and head for Réthymno (8.2 km) where the pleasant trip around the inland of Réthymno will come to a most satisfying end.