Travelling to Chania
Chania is the second largest city in Crete, with a population of 80.000 inhabitants. It lies along the North coast of the island, about 55 km west of the city of Rethymnon and 135 km from the city of Heraklion. It has amazing places to visit, from secluded villages and fabulous beaches to interesting sightseeing.
The most famous town is Chania Town, with the characteristic Venetian, Turkish and traditional architecture are blended together in a perfect harmony, creating a unique and attractive picture.
The beautiful city of Chania managed to preserve its original colors and historical character, despite the fast-growing tourist industry. It is considered as one of the most beautiful cities of Greece and the most charming city of Crete.
How to get there
The international airport of Chania is located at Sternes, in Akrotiri, 14 km east of the town.
What to see
Chania is one of the nicest towns in Crete, with wonderful houses, parks and squares and a well designed town-plan.
The old city has preserved, to a great extent, the distinctive atmosphere and charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets.
One of the most significant buildings is the large Venetian church of Aghios Frankiskos which today houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
At the entrance of the harbor, is the renovated fort "Firkas", built on 1629, that today houses the Maritime Museum of Chania as well as a summer theatre, where drama performances are presented. Opposite the Firkas fort, is the magnificent lighthouse "Pháros", built on the 16th century and restored by the Egyptians. The harbor is protected by a Venetian breakwater, built of huge stones.
West of Chania, at a distance of 4.5 km, is the hill of “Profitis Ilias”, where the memorial and tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophokles are located.
Also, visitors can visit the most famous gorge, the “Samaria Gorge”. This is a National Park of Greece that starts at the village of Omalos, at an altitude of 1227 meters and ends after a walk of approximately 18 Km to the beach of Agia Roumeli. The Gorge is open from May to October 15th and is definitely a must for everyone.
What to eat and drink
The old city is full of modern restaurants and taverns, with exquisite food and service, where many of them are housed in historical buildings that are being renovated to todays standards but preserve the classic character of Chania's Old city center. There are also plenty of bars and night spots.
Night life in Chania is very intense with most places staying open throughout the night. Usually a night out for most locals starts with dinner, continues with a visit to bars and sometimes can even end with coffee and sweets in the early morning!!.
Where to swim
The most impressive beaches are Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna, while there are innumerable other amazing beaches around the coastline, from organized resorts to totally secluded coves.