Do you believe in love with the first sight? If yes, then Chania is the place to be! Venetian houses, the Old City, the amazing port and many more things will give you the chance to feel how is to be in love with a city.
Chania is on the northwest coast of Crete and it’s the island’s second biggest city. There’s a modern part to it, but the Venetian old town really shows off its history – especially around the harbour with its old lighthouse and fort, not to mention an ancient mosque. And the waterfront and the streets leading off it come alive at night with bars, clubs and restaurants. Oh, and there’s a nice stretch of beach here, too.
The atmosphere has a touch of Florence and Venice (a few years ago when those cities still had some room to walk), combined with the culture and character of Cretan people and traditions.
The Chania harbour is wonderful and at any particular time of day the light produces a different result, creating a “different place”.
This is the best chance to see some of the old buildings – of Venetian and Turkish design, that Crete once had across the island – many have since been destroyed by the ravages of war and plunder.
Chania is surrounded by numerous rich options for sightseeing, exploration and discovery. Mountain villages provide a view into the “inner Crete”. The Samaria and many other gorges can be hiked, archaeological sites abound.
What to see
Explore the waterfront and streets just behind. Walk along the harbour wall to the Venetian Lighthouse.
Visit the wonderful Naval Museum (Maritime Museum) – it delivers a superb introduction to the History of Crete and is by no means only for maritime mavens, you will learn more here in half an hour than most could teach you, about the events that filled Crete’s moving past.
The Archaeological Museum on Halidon Street is smaller than its grand Heraklion cousin, though well worth visiting and appealing even to non archaeologists. Visit Venizelos Graves, which has magnificent views from amongst the trees, on a hill above Chania, across the the town, Venetian harbour and sweeping over the sea & beyond. Best place to pause & enjoy the view, Ostria cafe.
Visit Tabakaria a district with old leather processing houses found on the rocky eastern side of the city of Chania. The area was chosen for the following reasons: the abundant brackish subterranean waters used to soften leather, and its relative closeness to the city. Today some of the leather processing houses are still in operation. Adjusted to the natural properties of the land, the buildings have only one floor on the side of the street and two or three floors on the side of the sea. They are made of stone with tile roofs. They are built close to each other with very narrow, steep passages and steps going down to the sea. Tabakaria constitute a unique architectural complex.
There are many near Chania, where the old men talk, argue, discuss, play cards at their local kafeneio or simply find a stretch of beach and immerse the cares of yesterday in the waters of today. With children you might treat them to a visit to the water park at Limnoupolis.
The Therissos Gorge, Kolymbari and its monastery, the wide sweep of Falassarna beach, boat trips to Gramvousa & Balos, a longer and most scenic trip to Elafonissi and villages en route – the list is long enough to fill many days.
Chania is famous for its wonderful beaches with golden sand and crystal-clear blue water. It is a fact that some of the most wonderful and famous beaches of Greece are located in Chania. The visitor can find in Chania well organized beaches with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sports, restaurants, taverns and coffee-bars, which provide high quality services or can discover the pure, unexplored beaches.
Within the geographical borders of the Municipality of Chania there are 11 beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag (Stalos, Agii Apostoli 1, Agii Apostoli 2, Chrissi Akti, Agia Marina, Kalamaki, Nea Chora, Marathi, Stavros, Agios Onoufrios, Kalathas) and many other – organized or not – that are worth enjoying them. The total length of organized beaches in Municipality of Chania is about 10 km. Some of the most famous beaches are Agia Marina, Kalamaki, Nea Chora, Stavros and Chrissi Akti which definitely worth visit.
Although purely a summer destination with the well-known windsurf, kitesurf and other water sports (such as SUP, banana, jet ski), Chania is famous because of Samaria !! The gorge of the area gains the impression as well as the visitors, who with awe cross each visit! You will cross it by entering Omalos, about 40km from Chania, following the wonderful 16km route to Agia Roumeli. Its narrowest point is at the Iron Doors and is 3 meters wide, while the wall reaches 700 meters.
In Chania there are and operate all year round Horse Riding Centers that give every visitor the opportunity to admire the horses big and small, as well as to ride. With the help of qualified staff you can start your first Horse Riding lessons in a controlled area or enjoy a stroll on selected routes enjoying the nature and beauty of Chania.
Also, the visitor can enjoy unique moments of liberation and the magic of flying into the sky observing the earth from above with a Parapente side-view pleasure flight. Chania is an ideal area for this sport, as the climatic and soil conditions favor it and for this reason, sports enthusiasts are constantly increasing in recent years.
With plenty of beaches and landscapes, Chania could consider the best place for outdoor activities. It is not only the facilities for sailing, gastronomy and hike experience, scuba diving, cycling and many more, it is also the amazing viewings all over the place that make your experience unforgettable! Take the boat and visit secret beaches, swim in blue crystal waters, dive in the most amazing places and hike in places with amazing view! And of course don’t forget the 4×4 adventure that will take you completely out of the radar.