Whatever season of the year you choose to visit Chania, the place will enchant you. The options are endless, the rich natural landscape is magical, the monuments of culture countless, while especially in the summer, the beaches of Chania will make you join the huge group of fanatical admirers of the region.
No matter how many days you spend in Chania they surely are not enough in order to get to know this blessed by nature land, and trust us every corner of Chania deserves your attention!
If you decide to spend seven days of your vacation in Chania, we suggest you some choices so that you can get to know the beauties of the place as much as possible and relax while you have new experiences.
An experience of its own is of course the city of Chania, with its many monuments, museums and sights. All you need to do is to have time and good organization, but you should not miss strolling in the narrow streets of the Old Town so that you can feel the atmosphere of the place as much as possible. Shops, restaurants and tavernas as well as important monuments are next to each other in such a way that the past and the present exist together and create the unique atmosphere of Chania. There are so many choices that you will surely find what fits you best; everyone leaves Chania satisfied.
During your stay do not miss:
- The Munucupal Market, where you will find local products of the Cretan land.
- The Municipal Gardens, an oasis of green with the impressive, large clock – landmark of Chania.
- The Venetian Port, the Firka fort with the Naval Museum, Santrivani, Gyali Tzami, Megalo Arsenali and of course Faros (the lighthouse), characteristic monument of Chania.
- Splantzia, the old Turkish settlement which is now the ‘square 1821’ with the imposing church of St. Nicholas, the only church in Greece that maintains a bell tower and a minaret, the Venetian church of St. Rocco, St. Catherine, the huge plane tree in the center of Splantzia and the Turkish underground fountain.
- The Chania Metropolis and the monastery of St. Francis of Franciscans where the Chania Archaeological Museum is housed.
Based on the city of Chania, we start with seven routes and directions so that we get to know one of the most rich in sights areas of Greece as well as possible.
The first destination is the beach in Falassarna, one of the largest in the province. It is 59 kilometers west of Chania, and you need a vehicle to get there. We cross the northern coastline of Chania, pass through nature and the small hamlets, while just before Kissamos, we turn to the left. There are guiding signs everywhere and you are not in danger of getting lost. A lush, green landscape, a thick, blond sandy beach and a deep blue sea as long as the eye reaches. A large part of the coast is organized, with umbrellas and sun loungers, but there is also plenty of free space, even for those who want to be isolated on one of the most crowded beaches of Crete.
It is worth staying on the beach till sundown, to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece, where the sun “dives” in the water right in front of the horizon …
On return, passing through the traditional villages of Chania, you have dozens of food choices. Especially if you want to get to know the Cretan cuisine, you have to choose a tavern of any village – it is more than certain that it will not disappoint you!
Then you can head east, towards one special landscape of the nature of Chania. The lake Kourna in Apokorona is the most alternative beach you can choose during your stay in Chania. It is located 45 kilometers away from the city, next to the homonymous village, and it is the only natural lake with unsalted water in Crete. As its waters recede slightly in the summer, small beaches are formed on the banks, which … make dives easier! There are umbrellas and sun loungers, cafes for whatever you might need, and you can also rent a bicycle for a pleasurable ride in the green lake and the unique scenery.
Between the village and Lake Kournas there is a very beautiful cave, the Kourna Cave, from where, among other things, you will admire the wonderful view. Upon return, go through the tourist resort of Georgioupolis for a walk by the sea, in an exceptional landscape, but also for great food.
Other options in the area are the villages of Vrysses, Vamos, as well as the touristic Almyrida, with many choices.
The tour of Chania continues with one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, Elafonissi. The exotic beauty of the area, with sand dunes, cedar trees, white lilies, black rocks, the rare species of animals and birds that live there, the crystal blue waters and the all-white sand create a natural work of art worth seeing .
The beach is about 75 kilometers away from Chania and to access it you will cross the mainland of Chania, a green area with beautiful traditional villages and natural monuments.
Go to Topolia, immediately after the tunnel, and admire the homonymous gorge while you listen to sound of gurgling water from the Tyflos river. At the beginning of the narrow section of the gorge and near Topolia is the cave of Agia Sophia with stalactites and stalagmites and a chapel built at the entrance. You will access it by climbing the carved on the rock stairs. Its central room has a height of 20 meters and a diameter of 70, and if you observe carefully, you will even see a mythical Unicorn being formed by a rock and a stalagmite! The legend says that St.George passed from the cave of Agia Sophia and that a mark on the rock is from the horseshoe of his horse.
Just before Elafonissi, there is the monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitissa, a whitewashed monastery, built high up on a 35 meters tall rock with a spectacular view of the Libyan Sea. According to the religious tradition, one of the 90 steps that are dug into the rock and lead to the top is made of gold, but this golden step can be seen only by the pure and sinless!
In the same direction, but in the northwestern part of the province, there is one more of the exotic beaches of Chania, Mpalos. It is one of those landscapes that one sees once in his lifetime and where the greatness of nature is fully depicted. A large rock in the sea defines a sandy lagoon with turquoise waters that will leave you speechless! If you choose to visit Mpalos by land, prepare for about one and half hour of driving in – mostly- dirt road and then take the path for about 15 minutes. When you leave the beach ascending the path is not easy at all, especially after a day on the amazing beach, but the beautiful view from the top deserves it. Otherwise, to visit Mpalo you can board on one of the cruise boats that depart from Kissamos and sail to Mpalos and the islet of Gramvousa with its own lovely beach.
During your return to Chania you will pass from many villages with tavernas so do not hesitate to stop and eat tasty, local food. Then you can walk around the village and return to Chania.
Every visitor of Chania must visit the gorge of Samaria! Hikers and nature lovers arrive to Chania in order to visit it so you should not miss it! It starts at the Omalos Plateau in the White Mountains, in the Xyloskalo area (1,200 meters above sea level) and ends at the seaside village of Agia Roumeli in the southern part of Chania province. The Samaria Gorge is the largest in Greece, with a length of 18 kilometers and to hike it all it takes from 4 to 7 hours depending on the experience and strength of the hikers. It is a place with rich flora and fauna. It is the habitat of the feral goats Kri-Kri , the Cretan badger, the Cretan hedgehog, the Cretan ferret as well as hawks, golden eagles and much more.
There are more than 45o species of plants, many of which grow exclusively in this gorge, and this is why it is forbidden to cut plants. In the middle of the way, you will find a small Byzantine chapel, built in 1379 and called Osia Maria – the gorge was named after it, and the village of Samaria, which was nearby but was abandoned by its permanent residents in 1962, when the gorge of Samaria was declared a National Park. The widest width of the Samaria Gorge reaches 150 meters, while its narrowest point is “Portes” – shortly before the end- with a width of 3 meters and a height of 600 meters, where the landscape takes your breath away!
Exiting the gorge, the unique beach of Agia Roumeli awaits you for a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea. The village is not connected by road with other areas so when you leave, you will take the ferry boat and head to either Chora Sfakion or Sougia and Paleochora to return to the “base” of your holidays.
A week is not enough time for such a rich place like Chania. Choose what suits your needs and desires and you will have a perfect time! And don’t worry if you didn’t see all that you wanted, you will surely come back for more!