Visit two of the major monasteries of Crete and amongst its most sought and visited, Arkadi and Preveli monastery are medium distance outings.
Other visits: Armeni minoan site, Argyroupoli (ancient Lappa) where the sound of water from springs cascades through this refreshing, taverna-laden village. Eleftherna, Axos, Zominthos archaeological sites. Amongst the significantly enjoyable, old and historic villages: Episkopi, Spili, Amari (valley), Monastiraki, Anogia.
On the south coast visit: Plakias, Rodakino, Schinaria, Preveli beach, Agia Galini, Agios Pavlos. Where inland leads out, the gorge of Prassano (from Prasses village), and where land leads inwards, the Melidoni and Sfendoni caves. See the only sizable lake in Crete, Lake Kournas, with eating places along its edge, and cafes above from which to gaze at the view. Enjoy the lake itself in a paddle boat .
Extensive beaches stretch west of Rethymno itself – some with scattered large hotels alongside, or just beach.