The Regional Unity of Rethymno is in the heart of Crete in one of the most beautiful places in Greece. You are always welcome in Rethymno to explore the mount Psiloritis and the blue sea, to visit a place with 4,500 year-old civilisation, with lots of byzantine churches, monasteries and magical Venetian monuments, the most well-preserved Renaissance town in Greece, with sandy beaches, caves, gorges, amazing fauna and flora.
Rethymno and its villages are a living cart-postal, where Cretan cuisine is enjoyed and Cretan lyra is played everywhere.
People live here in harmony with nature and feelings, without following the big city rules. Wherever you go, even in the most remote village, local people will open their door, offer you a glass of tsikoudia, become your friends.
Rethymno is the birthplace of Zeus, god of hospitality. The great number of repeat visitors verifies the words of the poet: "Rethymno is not a place you go but a place you return to”.
Rethymno is an alternative holiday destination that we invite you to discover.
Greeting from the Regional Vice Governor of Rethymno Mrs Maria Lioni
Arkadi Races are iconic races not only for Rethymno, but also for Crete and Greece, because they are organised to commemorate a very important historical event, the explosion in the Monastery of Arkadi, in 1866, for the independence and freedom in Crete.
This is the 79th organisation of the Arkadi Races, which is being constantly improved and has numerous participants not only from Crete, but from across the country and abroad.
We invite you to participate in the most historical Race in Crete and to share with us a unique sport and cultural experience, commemorating an eternal symbol of resistance and freedom, the Holy Monastery of Arkadi and the Holocaust, which has a special place among the most heroic moments in the history of Crete and Greece.
Welcome and Enjoy the race
Greeting from the Mayor of Rethymno, Giorgis H. Marinakis
Through the years Arkadi Races have been more than a sport event, a symbol inseparably associated with the Holocaust in the Holy Monastery of Arkadi.
The historical and emotional memory they preserve, as a sacred heritage of a past that honours our human and spiritual existence, justify their warm welcome from a great number of athletes from all around Crete and at the same time guarantee a successful future.
Either as awakening of historical memory or as initiation to the ideals of Sport or even as a tribute to the undoubtedly important historical event, the tradition and the culture of Crete, Arkadi Races constitute a landmark for people's willingness to become better.
We welcome you to this site where you can find information about the history of the Arkadi Races, you will be inspired and make your registration with faith in your yourselves and your abilities.
Giorgis H. Marinakis
Mayor of Rethymno
Greeting of Archbishop Evgenios of Rethymno and Avlopotamos
I am very glad to see that through this site created by the Regional Unit of Rethymno for the Arkadi Races, I am given the chance to thank and congratulate the organisers of these races who pay homage to the heroes who sacrificed themselves for spiritual freedom.
I am also given the chance to mention those who were inspired by the Arkadi Holocaust, created and for many decades organised these races leaving a valuable legacy to the younger generations.
Arkadi Races are mostly appreciated by the local people but they also make athletes feel proud to participate in the memory of our ancestors who blew up Arkadi and themselves and spread the light of Freedom to the world.
Do athletes, people who fight for their life every day and the fighters of the Arkadi Holocaust have something in common? The answer is yes, and this is what we are asked to discover every day inside us.
Welcome to the website and good luck to everyone of us with the fights we give.
† The Archbishop Evgenios of Rethymno and Avlopotamos