The attractions and activities that Chania offers satisfy every traveler, while you will ideally need 5 days to discover it. Attend a Cretan cuisine lesson, explore the seabed of the Cretan Sea, meet the villages of Apokoronas and cross the Topolia gorge. Either you decide to wander around the city of Chania or the surrounding areas, Chania will always offer more than one reasons to visit it and acquire unique images that will remain unforgettable.
The region of Apokoronas offers itself for a special daily trip that you simply must not miss. It is located next to the city of Chania and it is consisted of 75 picturesque villages, lost in the mountains, perched on slopes and spread in front of the Sea of Crete. It is hard to see them all, but start with a walk around the tourist-attracting village of Kalyves, meet the picturesque Armenoi, the tradiotional Gavalohori, the historic Vamos, Kaina with a view to the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) and end up at Obrosgialos for a swim! Finally, eat some traditional yoghurt with honey in Vrisses, next to the water, meet the “newly-biult” Douliana and wrap it up at the beautiful Lake Kournas for a swim, as well as water-bike riding. Apokoronas combines the mountains and the sea through a wonderful, yet difficult route that needs caution…Vamos!
Suggested visit time: 1 day
The know it all says: It got its name by the Venetian castle of Apicorno, which was destroyed in 1538 by the notorious pirate Barbarossa (Kalyves region)!
The world famous Cretan cuisine could not be missing from our program. It is accessible by almost everyone, as it contains dozens of vegetarian dishes, traditional foods with meat and countless options for fish. Our contact with the Cretan cuisine could not only stay at a visual and taste level, as in Chania there is an excellent course of Cretan cuisine, by the well-known chef Joseph Apostolakis (in collaboration with Lucerna). With him, apart from the secrets and the contact with the ingredients, you have the chance to prepare some dishes of the menu by yourself. Through a very interesting lesson, you will get closer to Crete and its flavors, with the help and love of the sweet chef Apostolakis and the soul of the lesson, mr. Manolis.
Suggested visit time: 4-5 hours
Open: every Tuesday 10:30
Cost: 45€ / person
The know it all says: In 2012 the Cretan cuisine was recognized by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity!
The Oceanis Dive Center provides the option of easy and safe diving in the wonderful seabed of Chania, offering a unique life experience. It is just 20 minutes away from Chania, in Kolymbari and provides lots of options (snorkeling, scuba diving for beginners and certified divers), as well as the chance to meet the ancient city of Menies (Diktynna), diving and dining in Balos, exploring in the Elephant Cave etc. Through an easy and fast training, by George and Alexandros, you will be able to wander around the amazing seabed of Chania and see ancient findings, remnants of the Second World War, fish, turtles, and images that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Escape the accustomed activities and follow this wonderful underwater path..
Suggested visit time: 3-6 hours
Open: Every day 09:00-20:00
Cost: Depends on the choice
The know it all says: 60% of the oxygen production comes from seaweed!
If you are looking for a quiet, seafront location in the city, visit Koum Kapi. It is located outside of the eastern walls of the old town, while it owes its name to the Sand Gate (Kum Kapisi), located at its entrance. Koum Kapi is mainly a hangout for the youth of Chania, while, during the summer, many tourists visit it as well to get away from the ordinary. You can reach the lovely location in two ways. Either by climbing down the narrow alleys of the old town, or by continuing your walk from the old harbor. No matter which route you choose, do not skip getting on the Sand Gate, which may be neglected, but it offers a “quiet” view. Finally, in the summer you can swim in the, now, clean waters of the beach.
Suggested visit time: 30 minutes-1 hour
The know it all says: The Sand Gate is the only one of the three gates of the Venetian walls that is still preserved today!
In one of the most historic neighborhoods in Chania, the Chalepa area, you will find the home of the charismatic politician Eleftherios Venizelos. The house today hosts the National Institute for Research and Studies “Eleftherios K. Venizelos” and it is accessible to the public. It is worth mentioning that it has been preserved in its original state, giving the visitor the chance to enter the daily life of the Greek prime minister. Three kilometers away, in a lush green park with gardens, pine trees and cobblestone trails, there are the graves of the Venizelos family (father and son). The location will impress you with the serenity and the combined view of Chania and the deep blue Cretan Sea. Aside from the graves, you will see the small Venetian chapel of Prophet Elias, while in the surrounding area there are cafés and taverns with an one-of-a-kind view of Chania.
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Home: Every day 11:30-13:30 & 18:00-20:00 (except weekends), Graves: Always
Cost: Home: General entrance 2€, Graves: Free
The know it all says: The eulogy that is engraved on the tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos was presented by himself in the Parliament, four years prior to his death!
In Skridlof street, behind the Municipal market you will find the famous Stivanadika. The location was named after the “stivania”, namely the tall boots of the male Cretan traditional costume. Nowadays, only a few stivania shops have remained in the street, as they have been replaced by shops with souvenirs, folk art products, jewelries and leather products. The footpath of stivanadika is crossed by one of the most commercial streets of the old town, Halidon street. Walking along it you will find important structures, such as churches, Turkish baths, the archaeological museum of Chania, as well as dozens of tourist shops selling clothes and souvenirs. The two streets –starting in the late afternoon- are flooded with locals and tourists.
Suggested visit time: 40 minutes-1 hour
Open: Every day 09:00-23:00
The know it all says: Even until today, there are Cretans who wear the traditional costume!
On the way to Elafonisi, do not miss out on visiting the Topolia Gorge, starting at the homonymous village and ending at the village Koutsomatados. Although it is just 1.5km long, you will need at least one hour to cross it. The route is easy and offers endless quiet and wonderful images of the mountainous Crete. But even more impressive are the vertical slopes, which go as high as 300m, and the mysterious caves that exist in its walls. According to the legend, fairies used to live in them, while Talos, the giant-guard of Crete used to rest in the gorge’s bed. Those of you that do not have the stamina or time to cross the gorge, visit the cave of Agia Sofia, located just above the road. After all this, the only thing you’re going to need is a shot of raki. We have the solution for this, too!
Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
The know it all says: In the Cave of Agia Sofia, a rare species of spider has been discovered that lives only there (Pholcus Creticus)!
Close to Koum Kapi, on the east side of the old town, there is the Splantzia Square. The square was once the center of the city and was known as the “Turkish neighborhood”. There you will also find the Venetian church of Agios Nikolaos, which operated as a central mosque until the end of the Turkish occupation. But the square’s must is none other than the historic plane tree that stands proud in its center. Under its shade, only beys and aghas had the right to rest, while later lots of Greek Christians were tortured and hanged from it. Nowadays, the square is crowded with locals, who enjoy their coffee and cool off under the thick, centuries-old plane tree.
Suggested visit time: 20-40 minutes
The know it all says: It is the only temple in Greece that maintains a bell-tower and a minaret!
The Municipal Garden and the Park of Peace and Friendship are the only green spaces inside the city. They are two beautiful and well-kept spaces that offer many breaths of fresh air and quiet. The Municipal Garden, with the old clock as its trademark, is very organized, since it has a cafeteria, a playground, swings, a mini zoo and lots of benches under shade. The Park of Peace and Friendship is on the top side of the Municipal Garden, it is smaller in size and not that clean and well used. Nonetheless, you can take a walk and drink a cup of coffee with a view of the lake and the old clock. Both parks are filled with people, especially in the afternoons.
Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
The know it all says: It is here that the first municipal cinema in Greece started movie projections, and it is in operation until today!
The Municipal market of Chania is more than a century old and it is housed probably in the most beautiful building in the city. It was formerly the largest source of shopping for the locals, as it hosted fish-shops, butcher shops, greengroceries, shops for daily necessities and many small taverns. Today, it has been transformed into a tourist market, as souvenir shops and shops with –tourist- Cretan products have taken their place. Nevertheless, the aura of the old market is everywhere. The building is cross-shaped and has an entrance on each side. You can only wander around it on foot and it is a nice option to spend some time. Finally, you will find historical facts and photographs at its center.
Suggested visit time: 20-40 minutes
Open: Monday-Saturday 08:00-20:00
The know it all says: It hosts 76 shops-taverns!
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