Having spent eleven consecutive days doing nothing more than lie on Rethymnon’s beach and swim, we decided it was time to see more of the Cretan town and surrounding area. Yes, it was time for the “Rethymnon City Tour”:http://www.rethymnocitytour.gr/ by open top bus.
The leaflet proclaimed ‘view all Rethymnon’s sites in 90 minutes’ but our all day ticket (€14 each) meant we could hop on and off at any of the 11 stops. We boarded at stop 6 near our hotel rather than walk twenty minutes into town to the start.
The first bus of the day (leaving town at 10am), had plenty of room up top and we quickly left the town, went under a motorway and headed into the olive tree covered hills. Houses in small villages clung precariously to the hillsides but had brilliant views over the sea. The first stop was Panagia Chalevi Monastery and here we realised that the trip wasn’t as flexible as advertised. Whilst we could have spent perhaps 15 minutes looking round the monastery in the middle of nowhere, if we’d got off, the buses only ran hourly. The second stop Myli Gorge was more popular and a number of people alighted for the gorge walk but we stayed on board. We detoured to, and back along the same road, to the Military Museum (again it would have been hard to spend an hour there) and soon we were heading through a small village (Roussospiti) where the bus just managed to get through the narrow streets. Whilst it was very picturesque, I’m sure having an open top bus trundling through right next to your house, on the hour, seven times a day, seven days a week may have ruined their peace and tranquility.
Back into town we reached the start after an hour of driving and had been told that we could simply remain on the bus and do the section we’d missed before we got on. In theory we could, but there was a gap of half an hour and so we decided to cut our losses and do the old town by foot.
There was a commentary, in 8 languages, through headphones you plugged in at the side of the seat but most of the time it played Greek music and when the speaking started, I found it too feint to hear properly and so quickly gave up and listened with my eyes instead.
Would I recommend it, probably if only to get out of the city to see the stunning scenery and feel cool at last.