The Villa Anastasia is a solid modern method-of-construction structure with a distinctive old world charm look about it much like the appearance and charm of the old city of Rethymnon.
Rethymnon and specifically the old town section is one of the most beautiful towns of Crete. The old town is surrounded by the new town which is more like any town where one can find almost anything. Both the old and new towns extend down to the waterfront and since they both have an extensive history, there is much to see and do, especially since Rethymnon is so close to Prines and Villa Anastasia (only 6 km away) making a day trip both enjoyable and informative.
The prefecture of Rethymnon in which Prines is situated is lined with splendid beaches, some very interesting archaeological sites and several Byzantine churches, not to mention the host of lovely villages. Within the town of Rethymno you will find decidedly lively resorts and it is quite an attractive city as a whole which has managed to keep many prime examples of rather opulent Venetian architecture.
The town of Rethymnon and its rather traditional surrounding villages are a perfect base from which to explore both western Crete and eastern Crete because of its convenient almost central western position on the island.
At Rethymnon you must visit the castle of Fortezza where you can walk about the old town within the castle walls which has many traditional tavernas and shops, or live it up in the vibrant night life if you wish it. You can also enjoy a swim at the endless beaches or take a break at a café overlooking the old harbour.
For more intensive sightseeing, a visit to the richly decorated Rimondi fountain situated at Platanos square, which is in the centre of the old Venetian town built in 1626 in order to provide the citizens with drinkable water.
The Neratzes mosque which was formerly the church of the Holy Virgin, was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans and which today it is used as a music conservatory. Some of the outstanding elements of this building are the three domes and the doorframe and built in 1890, there is the impressive minaret next to the mosque.
A Venetian monastery that was also turned into mosque by the Turks goes by the name of Kara Mousa Pasa Mosque. Today it is the house of the Board of Restorations.
The only remnant of the defensive wall is the Porta Guora which is the entrance to the Venetian town.
Folklore & history museum is to be found on Vernardou str. 28-30 and it is open Monday to Friday from 09:30am to 14:30pm during the week and is unfortunately closed on Saturday and Sunday. The museum space is housed in a restored Venetian building surrounding an interior courtyard in which there are a total of eight halls with exhibitions that display collections that include basket weaving, ceramics, costumes, coins, embroidery & lace, textile historic photographs and maps, and a variety of weapons. You will see over 5.000 items exhibited dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries on display.
It is certainly worthwhile to visit the Rethymno Archaeological museum weekdays from 8am to 3pm, which is unfortunately closed on Mondays. The museum is to be found opposite the entrance of the fortress and exhibits objects and finds dating all the way back from the Neolithic to the post Hellenistic the Roman periods which were found scattered around the prefecture of Rethymno primarily from the areas of Armeni, Eleftherna and Monastiraki.
For the much needed break from waking around, the municipal gardens are a haven for shade and a little tranquillity from the bustling town.
If you are lucky enough you will stumble on one of the various activities which are organized throughout the year and which usually draw large crowds. One of these festivals is the Wine Festival which is held in Rethymnon annually in the first weeks of July. Another gathering is held from the 7th to the 8th of November, in memory of the destruction of the Monastery of Arkadi.
If it a beach close by you seek, you have a huge choice and all lie along the north coast, which to the east of Rethymnon has one of the largest sand beaches in Crete some 12 km long and to the west of Rethymnon lies a rocky coastline that ends up on yet another large sand beach after 10 km.