Chania (also spelled: Hania) is the capital city, a place where different civilizations have flourished throughout the centuries. Strolling around the Old Town’s maze-like alleys with the beautiful Venetian mansions, the fountains and the churches will guide you through well-preserved historical monuments. The city of Chania is built on the area of Minoan Kidonia, at the end of the homonym gulf between Akrotiri and Onicha peninsulas. It was the former capital city of Crete (from 1847 until 1972). Nowadays, it is the second largest city of Crete after Heraklion and capital of the homonym prefecture.
Welcome to Chania
What is Chania best known for
Pronounced Hania, Chania is the second largest city in Crete after Heraklion. Explore the city by wandering the streets of the old town, visiting museums, and admiring the various architectural styles that represent the city’s historical route. A stroll through the port will bring you to the Venetian lighthouse, the Grand Arsenal, Kum Kapi, and Halepa. Explore the aristocratic suburb of Halepa, with its neoclassical buildings that once housed the Great Powers’ consulates.
Balos Lagoon of Chania
Balos Lagoon is certainly one of Crete’s most photographed beaches, located only 52 kilometers from Chania. It has white sand and exotic blue waters. The sea is shallow and warm, and the sand is a lovely pinkish color from millions of shells crushed in it. Beyond the rocks that mark the lagoon’s boundaries, the water is deeper and colder, which makes it perfect for snorkeling.
Elafonisi of Chania
Seitan Limani, Chania
The beach is situated on the northeast side of Akrotiri, just a 20 kilometer drive from Chania. It is also known as “Paralia Stefanou” by the locals. The beach is formed by thin shingle and sand brought there by regional quarries via the “Diploharalo” gorge. On both sides, high marble rocks protect the bay from the harsh winds. Its turquoise crystal clear waters, combined with the beautiful landscape, create a magical scene. It is flanked by three parallel long and narrow coves that are well protected from the waves.
Samaria Gorge, Chania
The Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe, so it is well worth devoting a day to exploring its 16-kilometer length, particularly the narrow passage near the gorge’s end known as Portes (also known as the Iron Gates). Samaria Gorge, along with the surrounding slopes and a number of smaller gorges branching off from it, forms the entirety of the area designated as a national park, a status that protects over 450 plant and animal species, 70 of which are endemic to Crete.