Chania is a beautiful port city on the north-western coast of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands – this bustling place has a charming atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past, and is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. Chania offers everything from beach-life, shopping, walking, scenery, nature and great cuisine. Here are some great tips to get the most out of Chania and what the area has to offer…
Visit The Old Town
Take a romantic stroll along the 14th century Venetian harbor, visit the famous historical light house and St Nicholas Bastion, and let yourself be brought back a couple of centuries as you explore the maze of narrow streets and alleyways, old houses and local taverns.
Visit the Maritime museum by the Firka Fortress to learn more about the islands history, sit down and enjoy a refreshing Frappe, or shop for local handicrafts in the boutiques.
Day Trips To Beaches, Gorges & Lagoons
You can’t visit Greece without spending at least a couple of days at the beach. The beach in Chania city, Nea Chora is ok for a short swim, but nothing to write home about. Instead, go a little bit further and visit Agi apostoli and Kato Stalos, which are easily reached from the city.
Two other great day trips would be to Elafonissi Lagoon, with its pretty pink sands and beautiful sunsets, and Samaria Gorge.
Samaria Gorge is a national park, and many people choose to take the 16 kilometer long hike through the gorge, which has plenty of scenic spots along the way.
If you decide to spend the night before an early flight to Crete at the Gatwick Hilton by the airport, don’t get tempted to shop and fill your bags before you’ve even arrived, because Chania is the perfect place in Crete for shopping. The streets of the Old Town are full of boutiques selling traditional handicraft, with charming handmade souvenirs to take home.
The traditional products that are typical for Chania are leatherboots, silverware, knives and woven rugs.
There are also a lot of artists in Chania with their own galleries and shops, selling glass, ceramic, and jewelry. For the more modern, head to the new town and shop til you drop at the many boutiques. Tip! Remember that shops are open from 9am – 2pm, and on tuesdays, thursdays and fridays they are also open from 6pm – 9pm. On Sundays everything is closed.
Indulge In Seafood
Greece is famous world wide for its delicious cuisine, and in Chania, the sea food is especially good. Calamari is very popular, but if that’s not for you, give the traditional Greek dish of Moussaka a go – delicious and authentic.
Another dish typical for Chania is Boureki, a pie consisting of layers of potatoes, zucchini, myzithra and mint.
Crete is easily reached during summer, with flights from many UK airports. You can lower the costs by taking advantage of great value airport extras, such as airport hotels, offering convenience and great rates – check out the Courtyard by Marriot at Gatwick Airport if flying from Gatwick, or alternatively, the Sofitel at Gatwick. These are merely just a few things to do when visiting Chania in Crete, what are your favorites?