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Hot Tips

The best beach is…

… the one of Psilos Volakas, just 5 minutes from the village.

If you do not feel like staying in…

… Gramvousa for 2,5 hours you can charter one of the inflatable boats at the port to take you straight to Balos, so you can stay there for more hours.

Ask for the Raki to be…

… ice-cold (if it is possible from the freezer and not the fridge).

Do not ever get comfortable when driving…

… because the narrow roads, crazy Cretans with pickup trucks, as well as the crazy kri-kris that jump in the middle of the road, may cause an accident.

Park in controlled parking zones, after…

… 23:00 until 08:30 at no cost (the traffic police come out after 09:00).

More Tips about Chania

General 🗣️

  • The city is quite safe with intense police presence – especially during the tourist season-.
  • High heels in the old town are out of the question! The cobbled streets are suitable only for flat shoes.
  • Do a market research, if you find something that you like in the old town. You will probably find it in another store 10-30% cheaper.
  • You will find cheap souvenirs also at Lake Kournas.
  • Staying in the old town comes with the cost of noise through day and night.

 
 
Weather 🌥️

  • Sunshine in the southern regions may prevail for up to 320 days a year!!
  • Average temperature is 18-20°C, while in the summer it reaches up to 32-35°C.
  • During the summer months, in the mountain villages, you will need a jacket.

 
 
Transport 🛵
 
Airport-Chania 
 
By bus:

  • Every 30 minutes / Time: 25-30 minutes / Cost: 2,5€. (Information)

 
By taxi:

  • There is a taxi stand at the airport’s exit / Time: 15-20 minutes / Cost: 25-30€

 
Car:

  • In the streets a bit outside of the old town you will find free parking spaces (5-8 minutes on foot to the harbor).
  • Do not park in central streets, the traffic police write tickets without mercy even if you get there before they start writing it!
  • Park in controlled parking zones, after 23:00 until 08:30 at no cost (the traffic police come out after 09:00).
  • Make sure that you fill up your tank in Chania, as gas stations in southern Crete are scarce.
  • You should be extra careful in the roads outside of Chania, as they are not wide and locals have the habit of getting in the opposite traffic lane and overtaking on turns and double lines.
  • During the summer months, the ring road is (unofficially) turned into a two-lane road. If you do not want to speed, move to the right of the road.
  • SOS: Across the ring road, there are operating cameras everywhere. Usually, 1km before each one there is a warning sign. (Say cheese!)
  • Do not ever get comfortable when driving, because the narrow roads, crazy Cretans with pickup trucks, as well as the crazy kri-kris that jump in the middle of the road, may cause an accident.

 
 
Sites-Activities 👀

General

  • In the municipal market during rush hours, you should be careful of your personal belongings.
  • On no.46 of Halidon street (opposite of the Mitropoleos Square) there is an alley that leads to the city’s catholic church. Even though it is located in the heart of the city, it goes unnoticed by everyone! It is worth paying a quick visit to this very beautiful religious space. (Only in Travelen!
  • Notice: The Firka fortress closes with the War Museum (17:00).

 
Elafonisi:

  • On the route to Elafonisi, go straight ahead to the Elos village and do not follow the sign that writes “Elafonisi”. The latter gets you inside the village, while if you go straight ahead you save a lot of time.

 
Beach

  • Always move around so you can swim, as well as enjoy its every corner.
  • Sand gathering is prohibited.
  • The umbrellas and loungers are for free.
  • In the area at the back you will find toilets and showers.

 

Topolia Gorge:

  • If it is autumn or spring, follow the entire route among the trees and waters.
  • In the summer, prefer to get to the gorge through Topolia, which is the end of the route. That spot hides the most beautiful places (during the dry months)!

 
Balos:

  • Fill up on bottles of water – umbrellas – snacks because there is nothing around the beach.
  • Sand gathering is prohibited.
  • Access is achieved through two ways:

1. Via the cruise you will reach the beach without breaking a sweat, but you will only have three hours to enjoy its emerald waters.
2. If you go by car, you will be able to stay for as many hours as you want, but to get there you will go through a small odyssey through rough roads and 30-minute walks!

Paleochora:

  • The best beach is the one of Psilos Volakas, just 5 minutes from the village.
  • At the Grammeno beach, prefer the small bay (2nd sign to Grammeno).
  • At the Krios beach, swim in the small bay behind the rock, through the E4 trail.
  • At night the village is transformed, as people swarm every bar and restaurant.
  • Get up to the fortress to admire the village, the mountains and the Libyan sea from above.

 
Obrosgialos:

  • The beautiful beach with the crystal-clear water turns into a dangerous spot, if wind force is higher than level 4 on the Beaufort scale!❗Caution: The unpredictable currents combined with the sea rocks are responsible for dozens of drownings each year.

 
Lake Kournas:

  • Travel around the lake, as there you can swim and see the lake floor.
  • If you go around 19:00-19:30 you will be able to ride for up to 2 hours (while paying for 1) as the store closes at 20:00. The only thing you have to do is tie up the water-bike well upon your return.

 
Gramvousa-Balos Cruise:

  • Get your tickets straight from the port, so you get the discount, if you are Greeks (online you will pay the full price).
  • Be close to the exit when reaching Gramvousa so you are among the first ones to get to the castle.
  • Prefer the cruise starting at 10:20, as the “Gramvousa” boat is the best of the line.
  • Do not travel if wind speed is higher than level 4 on the Beaufort scale. The trip will turn into torture.
  • Be there at least one hour before departure, so you ensure a good seat (later it fills up so you might travel on your feet)!
  • Both during departure as well as return opt for the seats on the rocks’ side, so you can observe the famous phenomenon.

 
Gramvousa:

  • You will need sports shoes for the Venetian Fortress. The ground is slippery and it is very steep. Do not make the mistake of climbing up there in flip-flops, there is serious risk of harm.
  • 🙌 If you do not feel like staying in Gramvousa for 2,5 hours you can charter one of the inflatable boats at the port to take you straight to Balos, so you can stay there for more hours. (The boat will take you back from there.)

 
Aspri Limni:

  • You will have to reach the tiny, hand-written sign on the country road, about 500m from the monastery’s crossroad. From there, you will follow the small signs to get to the lagoon.❗ Notice: Past the exit of the country road, you will drive a few meters on asphalt that turns to gravel-dirt road, which will lead you to the destination.

 

Falassarna:

 
Agia Sofia (Cave):

  • Visit the Cave of Agia Sofia right before closing (before 20:00) so you find less people and more coolness.
  • If the parking lot is full, you will find a second one a few meters down the road. (From there, you will reach the cave through a beautiful trail.)

 
Venizelos Family Home & Graves:

  • The home is open for limited hours per day.
  • Visit the graves during the afternoon hours, when there are no tourist buses arrivals.

 
Chrisoskalitissa Monastery:

  • If you are not in appropriate attire, borrow a scarf at the entrance of the monastery to cover up.
  • Take a dive in the small bay located next to the monastery. It is a place that nobody knows and yet its waters are magical! You can see the bay from the monastery’s side.

 
Koum Kapi:

  • It is the youth’s hangout and it is outside of the tourist bustle.
  • Buy an ice-cream and enjoy it at the Sand Gate with a wonderful view and plenty of quiet.
  • If you would only like to see locals, go out at night in the area for drinks.

 
Seitan Limania:

  • The best time is 7:30-8:00 in the morning. The beach is small and after 8:00 it is packed full.
  • If the pathway that everyone follows is hard for you, prefer to go through the smoother trail at the left. It takes more time but it is not that steep.

 
Splantzia Square:

  • Between the temple and the plane tree you will find an underground fountain, which was used for the services taking place at the mosque, while it could supply water to the city for up to six months.

 

 
Food-Entertainment 🍔

  • The best choice for food inside Chania is “Ta Meraklikia tou Boureksi”.
  • Do not prefer to dine at the tourist restaurants at the harbor (lousy quality and high prices). If you like the location, just have a beer.
  • The taverns in the old town (90%+ of them) serve medium-quality food in high prices.
  • Food in the villages of Chania (not the tourist ones) is of higher quality and lower prices than that inside the city. (Topolia, Therissos, Armenoi and many more.)
  • Ask for the Raki to be ice-cold (if it is possible from the freezer and not the fridge).
  • At the end of every meal, 95% of the restaurants offer free raki or dessert.
  • From spring to autumn there are feasts, festivals and fairs taking place.