Chania (Crete)


Although the second largest in Crete, Chania is a quaint town ideally suited for those looking for a relaxing vacation and an escape from the urban lifestyle. The town's history is rich, starting with the Minoan settlements, remnants of which are still excavated to this day. Cultural influences come from both the Byzantine and the Ottoman eras, but without a doubt, it was the Hellenistic period alond with the Venetian rule that shaped Chania to its current form.

The old Venetian harbor bears a commanding presence and a visit to the lighthouse on its south end is unavoidable. The beaches of Nea Chora and Agii Apostoli can be found along the coastline within the town's limits and are surrounded by  traditional taverns, lounge cafés, cozy bars and brunch places. The blue lagoon of Balos is not far away and it is a spectacular sight to witness. A walk through the narrow streets of Chania will get you to gift shops, boutiques and of course the town's prominent central market, where you can acquire an assortment of locally grown products like olives, soap and loofahs. Irregardless of its size, Chania is proud to host three different museums;  archaeological, maritime and more uniquely the Greek National Football Museum. 

Perhaps the best reason to visit Chania is authentic Cretan cuisine. Mediterranean ingredients locally grown in a unique way combine to create a majestic culinary experience. Soft Cretan cheeses, honey, green vegetables and a pallet of spices underused everywhere else, become a bridge that connects Greek food with Anatolia.

The best time to visit Chania is during the summer, when the town is lively with locals and tourists alike and the sea is at its warmest. For those who would like to focus on the cultural and local life of the island but are prepared to risk some rainy, windy days and an colder weather with fewer tourists, November to April is a great period, with December to February being the coldest months. It should be noted that during the winter a lot of the shops and restaurants are closed.

Visitors can reach the Chania via its international airport or by ferry (6-8 hours from Athens). Scheduling should not cause any concerns as there are very frequent routes towards the city. Crete can be combined with an island hopping itinerary, including Santorini and Rhodes and of course Athens.

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crete aegean Islands