Roumeli retains an unhurried, authentic village feel and makes for a quieter alternative to the overcrowded scene immediately east of Rethymno and at nearby Bali. In summer, concerts and other events are held in a carob mill turned cultural centre.
Winery in Panormo
While Iraklio gets all the plaudits as Crete's main wine producer, Rethymno has the honour of being the first place in Greece to be named a 'European City of Wine', in 2018. It's fitting recognition for this hard-working family, who've run their winery since 1997 and are known primarily for Vidiano, a dry white produced from a grape grown only in the immediate area.
You'll get a 30-minute tour of the small production site before tasting the range of organic reds, whites and rosés. With notice they can arrange mezedhes (€8) to enjoy overlooking the vines and olive groves. Bottles to take away are well priced (from €6). The winery is 2km east of Panormo, a 30-minute walk or short drive away.
Viewpoint in Panormo
For wonderful views overlooking Panormo's port, head up the hill to a tiny segment of stone wall that remains from a 13th-century fortress. It's believed to have been built by the Genoese during their fleeting rule in 1206 before the Venetians took over.
Ecclesiastic-art fans should stop in town at Panormo’s parish church, which has some stunning modern frescoes.
In the oral Cretan dialect, athos means blossom. For us, the blossom symbolizes the beginning of creation. Thus, we have created a workshop of handmade natural personal care products in Angeliana. Based on organic Cretan extra virgin olive oil, in combination with pure raw materials of Cretan land, we create soaps, cremes, herbal extracts, soy candles and bath accessories. Our desire is to care for people in absolute harmony with nature!