Rethymno is one of the four prefectures of Crete. It is situated between
the prefectures of Chania and Heraklion, abutting the Cretan Sea in the north
and the Libyan Sea in the south.
Its capital, which has the same name as the prefecture, is situated 58 km from the town of Chania and 78 km from the town of Heraklion. The central part of the town of Rethymno is built on the cape of the northern shore of the prefecture. The developing town stretches along the northern sandy beach, which has a total length of 13 km, whilst a range of low mountains of which the highest peak is Mount Vrysina (858 m), rises up south of the town centre. The prefecture terrain is mainly mountainous with small but interesting morphological changes such as imposing gorges, a large number of caves, lush valleys and small rivers. Areas of flat land can be found primarily in the northern coastal region as well as between massifs. Equally restricted is the number of rivers. The Geropotamos, or Avlopotamos from the mountainous area of Mylopotamos flows into the sea west of Panormo, and the Megalo Potamos flows into the lagoon at Preveli. All the other rivers in the northern part of the prefecture are of minor importance and usually carry water during the winter period only.
Thus mountains and mountain ranges dominate the terrestrial morphology of the prefecture. In the east Mount Ida, or Psiloritis, rises up. With a height of 2456 m it is the highest peak of the island of Crete, its massif covering approximately 1/5 of the total territory of the prefecture. The mountain range of Kedros (1777 m) rises southwest of Psiloritis. Together the two massifs border the beautiful valley of Amari. On the northeasterly border of the prefecture is Mount Kouloukounas, also called Talaia Mountain (1083 m), and south of the town of Rethymno is Mount Vrysinas (858 m). Mount Kryoneritis (1312 m) lies south west of the town and is the most easterly peak in Crete's second large massif, the White Mountains.
Due to the hot summers and the long periods of rainfall, which lasts from autumn almost to April, the climate can be characterised as "temperate Mediterranean". Temperatures range around 14C in winter and 29C in summer. Furthermore, strong northerly and southerly winds play a significant role in this area with respect to meteorological phenomena.
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