Every visitor falls in love with Chania and its unique charm and wishes to discover it over and over again, as the White Mountains that split the prefecture create two enchanting landscapes that are different but equally beautiful. Chania lies at the western edge of the gorgeous island of Crete and boasts natural beauty with many gorges and blue beaches, high gastronomy, and great historical significance.
Chania stands on the site of ancient Kydonia, a historic city of Crete that the poet Homer praised for its significance. The city has endured fire and iron, suffering disasters that have reduced it to ashes, but always rising again from its ruins.
The city has faced many invaders, Arabs, Venetians, and Ottomans, always resisting them bravely for its freedom, with the periods of foreign rule leaving behind unique landmarks that you should not miss.
How to make the most of your trip to Chania
Chania Region has a history that spans thousands of years and involves various influences and events. You can visit its attractions that reveal its fascinating past, from the Minoan treasures to the Venetian and Ottoman buildings. Here are some of them:
A symbol of Chania town, it was once, in the 1300s, a hub for traders from all over the world and now many visitors come to enjoy a stroll filled with romance and glimpses of the distant past. Besides the lovely walk along it, you will savor your coffee and breakfast during the day or your evening meal. Even at night, the Venetian harbor is crowded with visitors who admire, among other things, the light of the lighthouse.
The Mosque Of Kuchuk Hasan (Mosque Of The Janissaries)
Step into the past and admire the Mosque Of Kuchuk Hasan, a stunning masterpiece of Ottoman design that stands proudly on the edge of the Venetian Harbor. This ancient building was once a tribute to the first governor of Chania, who ruled over the city in the 17th century. As you gaze at its magnificent dome and its four sturdy arches, you will feel a sense of awe and wonder. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore its beautiful interior, where you can find various art exhibitions that showcase the rich culture and history of this captivating island.
It has been standing in the old port for over five hundred years. The lighthouse of the old harbor in Chania town definitely beautifies all seven miles shining its light. Built by the Venetians and restored by the Egyptians with elements that give an eastern touch, resembling a Minaret. It is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the Mediterranean that will captivate you from the first moment you see it lit up.
Archaeological Museum of Chania
If you are interested in the history and culture of Chania, you should not miss the opportunity to visit the new archaeological museum. It is a beautiful building that showcases the rich heritage of the city and its surroundings. You can explore three rooms that display thousands of ancient objects and artworks, from pottery and coins to statues and mosaics. These exhibits will not only teach you about the past, but also inspire you to think about the present and the future. The museum is a modern and interactive space, where you can enjoy a rewarding and engaging cultural experience.
The Maritime Museum of Crete: A Journey Through History and Sea
If you visit the city of Chania, you will find a remarkable museum at the entrance of the Firkas Venetian Fortress, on the Kountourioti coast. It is the Maritime Museum of Crete, one of the most important and beautiful museums in the country. You will be amazed by the more than two thousand exhibits that showcase the rich maritime history of Crete, from ancient times to the present day. You will learn about the great Battle of Crete and see various nautical instruments and ship models. Also, you will have the chance to climb the ship’s bridge and admire the view of the port with binoculars. The Maritime Museum of Crete is a must-see attraction for anyone who loves the sea and its stories.
Holy Temple of the Entrance of the Virgin Mary
Experience the spiritual beauty of the Holy Temple of the Entrance of the Virgin Mary, a magnificent church that dominates the city of Chania. This sacred place is not only a historical landmark but also a symbol of faith and devotion. As you enter its doors, you will feel a sense of peace and reverence. You can light a candle and pray to one of the three different shrines that are venerated in this splendid building, which has survived centuries of destruction and reconstruction.
Holy Temple of Saint Nicholas
Discover the majestic beauty of the Holy Temple of Saint Nicholas, a historical gem that lies in the heart of Splantzia Square in Chania’s charming old town. This old church has seen centuries of transformation and conflict, as it was converted from a Catholic temple to a Muslim mosque and eventually to a homage to Saint Nicholas, the cherished guardian of children and sailors. As you admire its remarkable architecture and size, you will also spot the striking difference of the Minaret that rises above it, a sign of the Ottoman influence on this captivating island.
One of the oldest monasteries in Crete, just 19 kilometers from Chania, a visit to the “Lady of the Angels” will make you travel through time. Built at the entrance of a gorge, its appearance resembles a Venetian fortress. Follow its downhill path to reach the sea and there the view of the infinite blue that marries with the rock will reward you with its beauty. Before your visit, make sure you are sure about the opening hours and the dress code.
The National Football Team Museum: A Celebration of Passion and Glory
In the center of Chania, there is a museum that honors the national football team and its achievements. You will see a large collection of memorabilia inside, including scarves, jerseys, shoes, and books, that depict the team’s story. You will have fun remembering the glorious moments of the European Championship victory, and you can even snap a photo with a replica of the cup. This is a free admission experience that no sports fan should skip to show respect to the national football team
Chania Region: Where Beautiful Beaches and Swimming Enthusiasts Meet
If you are looking for a place to enjoy the sun and the sea, Chania Region is the perfect destination for you. Chania has some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, with crystal clear waters and golden sands. Whether you prefer organized beaches with facilities and services, or secluded coves with natural beauty, you will find your ideal spot in Chania. Some of the most popular beaches are Balos, Elafonisi, Falassarna, and Seitan Limania. But there are many more to discover and explore. Chania Region will make you fall in love with its beaches and its charm.
The beach of Elafonisi, 76 km from Chania, is undoubtedly a landscape that you have to face at least once in your life. Shallow turquoise waters blend with white and pink sand, making you believe you are dreaming. Along the dreamy lagoon, there are rented sunbeds and a variety of water sports to stay in until sunset.
The Beach of Falasarna is located 59 km west of Chania. Its crystal clear waters along with the perfect sandy beach that surrounds them invite you to make your dives carefree since it is fully organized.
At a distance of 56 km northwest of Chania city, you will see the famous beach of Balos. Its wild yet exotic appearance with its colorful waters will make you want to immortalize every moment of your stay. The sea is ideal for younger ages with shallow and warm waters, while in recent years umbrellas and a food, canteen have appeared for bathers.
Agioi Apostoli Beach
Just 4 km from Chania town with regular transportation, you are in Agioi Apostoloi with the homonymous chapel on two beaches of unparalleled beauty. They are surrounded by rocks and shallow waters. These organized beaches are the ideal place to dive with your whole family, while the paths and groves of the area invite you to take the role of explorer.
The beautiful Marathi is located 17 km from Chania town. Its sandy coast and shallow waters turn it into an idyllic place for young and old. For those of you who love swimming, a rocky islet a little more than five hundred meters from the shore awaits you to visit it.
Seitan Linamia Beach
In just 20 kilometers from Chania town and following a path that is barely inaccessible, you can be transported to a beach taken out of the pages of a fairy tale. Although you will need to bring your own water and food, its turquoise waters will reward you with more than that.
Orthi Ammos: A Beach of Peace and Beauty in Chania
If you want to escape from the crowds and enjoy a serene beach, you should visit Orthi Ammos, 80 km southeast of Chania town. The name means “upright sand” and refers to the high dunes that surround the coast. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You will see amazing underwater views. There is no infrastructure on the beach, so you need to bring your own supplies. The beach is also popular with nudists who appreciate its natural beauty. Orthi Ammos is a hidden gem in Chania Region that will enchant you.
Frangokastello: A Heavenly Beach in Sfakia
If you are looking for a dreamy beach, you should visit Frangokastello, a stunning beach in Sfakia. The sand is soft and gray, and the water is a surreal blue color. The beach is organized and has facilities and services for your comfort. You can also admire the medieval castle that stands on the shore. Frangokastello is a beach that will make you feel like you are in paradise.
If you enjoy hiking and exploring nature, you will love Sarakiniko Beach on Gavdos Island. You can skip the bus ride and walk to this stunning beach with golden sand and shallow water. It is a peaceful and serene place where you can relax and admire the scenery. There are also some taverns and rooms to rent nearby.
The Samaria Gorge is one of the most famous hiking spots in Europe. Its length reaches 15 kilometers and it takes about six to seven hours, at a normal pace, to cross it. It is a pole of attraction for many visitors from all over the world. If you decide to live this experience, make sure to start very early in the morning at dawn.
Spring is the ideal time to dare it since the vegetation is at its peak and the river is filled with water. Did she make sure to get dressed? With sports clothes and similar shoes, take with you water with snacks and of course charge your mobile. You will take dozens of photos!
Crete: Gastronomic paradise
Crete is a popular destination for travelers who love Mediterranean cuisine. You will appreciate the variety and taste of some of the typical dishes of Crete, such as dakos, pies from Sfakia, and snails, which match well with the local spirit raki. Crete has one of the best diets in the world, relying on its local ingredients that have been harvested on the island for nearly 3.000 years. Travelers who visit Crete are astonished by the freshness and scent of local products, such as olive oil, herbs, local cheese, and more.
Keep an eye out for our forthcoming article about the Cretan local products and cuisine. It will make your visit to this island unforgettable