the first thing you hear about Chania - the Venetian Harbour,
the old port, the narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants. Chania is
also one of the two places you are most likely to see on arriving in Crete.
It is beautiful - that is to say much of the Chania you will want to see is
clustered close to the harbour - old buildings, museums, churches and crafts
Chania is the second largest city of Crete
and the capital of the Chania regional unit. It
lies along the north coast of the island, about 70 km (43 minutes)
west of Rethymno and 145 km (90 minutes) west of Heraklion.
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.
What to see & do
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. Excellent, well done.
Open: 10.00 to 14.00 daily, except Monday. Tel: 28210-91875. Admission: 2.50
The Archaeological Museum on Halidon Street is smaller
than its grand Heraklion cousin, though well worth visiting and appealing even
to non archaeologists. Open: 8.00 to 17.00 (to 19.30 April-October) daily,
except Monday. Tel: 28210-90334. Admission: 1.5 euros Historical Archives
(museum): Open 9.00 to 13.00, Monday to Friday. Tel: 28210-52606. Admission:
Free. Byzantine Museum. Open: 8.30 to 14.00 daily, except Monday. Tel:
28210-96046. Near the waterfront (at the back of the Naval museum).
trips to the many surrounding monasteries, the Samaria Gorge (take a bus to
Omalos or a tour as you will walk the Gorge, take a ferry from the end at Agia
Roumeli to Sfakia and then a bus back to Chania).
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
Visit villages 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.
Crete's other Venetian town is an hour away by car or bus.
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.