THE TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO CHANIA
Everything you need to know about Chania, Crete, a magnificent destination that is equally amazing in both summer and winter.
Douliana has less than 200 permanent residents, and its feeling of an authentic traditional village of rural Crete is a real magnet to visitors, many of whom come repeatedly time after time.
Kalives, Crete, is a lovely coastal village, located about 20 kilometres southeast of Chania city, with about 1.300 permanent residents. You can get there from Chania city by car or bus.
Almyrida, Crete, is a picturesque coastal village in the north of the Apokoronas Peninsula. The village is located 22 kilometres southeast of Chania city, with an efficient bus service connecting them.
Plaka, Crete, is a scenic village in the north of the Apokoronas Peninsula, very close to the coast. It has attracted many holiday home buyers from all over Europe, especially from Great Britain.
Vrisses, Crete, is a traditional rural village in the south of the Apokoronas Peninsula, situated on the foot of the White Mountains of Crete, in a distance of about 30 kilometres from Chania city,
Gavalohori, Crete, is a picturesque village in the centre of Apokoronas Peninsula, close to the villages of Vamos and Douliana. It is located about 25 kilometres southeast of Chania city.
Vamos is a beautiful village, where traditional Crete is still alive. It is located about 25 kilometres southeast of Chania city. It is an inland village which has retained its traditional style.
Georgioupoli, Crete, is a village and a popular tourist resort. It is located about 35 kilometres east of Chania city, very close to the wide main road that connects the cities of Chania and Rethymno.
Gavdos Island, Crete, is the southernmost part of Greece. Gavdos is located about 50 kilometres south of Hora Sfakion. The only way you can get to this small island is by ferry.
Hora Sfakion, Crete, is a beautiful coastal village and capital of the scenic Sfakia region in Chania. It is about 70 kilometres southeast from Chania city, and is easily accessible.
Loutro, Crete, is a small coastal village of unique beauty and charm. Loutro is considered, by many visitors to Chania, one of the most picturesque coastal villages in the Mediterranean.
Agia Roumeli, Crete, is a small village in a really remarkable location: right at the southern exit of Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, located in south Chania region.
Askyfou, Crete, is not a village by itself, but a community of four small villages: Ammoudari, Kares, Goni and Petres. It is located about 50 km southeast of Chania city and is part of the Sfakia region.
Omalos, Crete, is a tiny village in the middle of the homonymous Omalos plateau, located about 40 kilometers south of Chania city. Omalos is one of the most especial places in the island of Crete.
Sougia, Crete, is an ideal place to unwind. The village is located about 70 kilometers south of Chania city, and, due to its relative remoteness, it has retained its authentic village feeling.
Paleochora, Crete, is the biggest village in south Chania. It is a well known destination all over Europe. It lies about 75 kilometers southwest of Chania city, the road being in excellent condition.
Kissamos is the larger village in the northwest part of Crete Island. It is known all over Greece for its fine agricultural products. When there, taste the famous local olive oil and wine.
Kolymbari is a picturesque coastal village at the root of the Rodopou peninsula in West Crete. Kolymbari is not as developed, regarding tourism, and is ideal for visitors who want real relaxation.
Maleme, Crete, is a small coastal village located about 15 kilometers west of Chania city. The surrounding area of Maleme is impressive, combining a fine sandy beach with green hills.
Gerani is located in West Crete, about 15 kilometers west from Chania city, on the road to Kissamos. It is considered a rich village, known for its agricultural products like oranges and olive oil.
Platanias, Greece, is a large village in Crete located 10 kilometers west of Chania city. Today it consists of two distinct settlements: Ano (Upper) Platanias and Kato (Lower) Platanias.
Agia Marina, Crete, is a big village located 8 kilometers west of Chania city and 2 kilometers east of Platanias resort. The name Agia Marina comes from the homonymus church in the village.
Agioi Apostoloi is strategically located right in the middle of the distance between Chania city to the east, and the bustling summer resorts of Agia Marina and Platanias to the west.
Stalos, Crete, is a small village located 7 kilometers west of Chania city. The village actually consists of two distinct villages: Ano Stalos, or Upper Stalos, and Kato Stalos, or Lower Stalos.
Therisso, Crete, is a small village south of Chania city, located on the roots of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) of Crete. Its population is small, but it has many things to offer its visitors.
Chania city is the most beautiful city in Crete and Greece. It is an eclectic destination combines tradition and comfort, tourism and culture, which can suit different kinds of people.
Ilingas is a beautiful secluded beach, although less known, in South Chania. It is located in the region of Chania in Sfakia province. Its distance from Chania city is about 75 kilometres.
Elafonisi, Crete, is a rare place, which seems to be in a tropical island, and not in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies at the southwest tip of Crete island, about 75 kilometres from Chania city.
Falasarna, Chania, is a place with one of the best beaches in Greece. It is not just known for its beach, but also for its archaeological site, as ancient Falasarna was a powerful city-state in its time.
Balos is in Northwest Crete, on the north part of Gramvousa Peninsula in Chania, It is one of the most especial beaches of Greece and the Mediterranean. In reality, it is a tropical lagoon in Chania!
Aptera, Chania, was one of the most important cities in ancient Crete. The remnants of this glorious city of the past are located just outside the homonymous Aptera village close to the national road.
Kourna Lake is the only freshwater lake in Crete. It is located 50 kilometres east of Chania city, and 4 kilometres from Georgioupolis. It took its present name after the Arabic word for lake.
Apokoronas, Chania, is one of the provinces of Crete. Its capital, the village of Vamos, is a traditional mountainous Cretan village with interesting architecture and magnificent natural environment.
In Frangokastelo, Crete, the two known sights that make the place especial, are the big Venetian castle, which is preserved in good condition, and the beautiful Frangokastelo beach.
Imbros Gorge in Chania is the second most known gorge in Crete after Samaria Gorge. Its length is about 11 kilometres, from which 8,5 kilometres are ideal for hiking.
The most spectacular gorge in Chania, Samaria Gorge is also the longest gorge in Europe, with a total length of 16 kilometres. Its width varies greatly, from about 150 metres to only 3 metres.
In West Crete, Lefka Ori is the mountain range that dominates the skyline. Lefka Ori, or White Mountains, extend in a large area – they are 50 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide.
Sfakia, Crete, is a unique place all over Greece. It is a location that combines high mountains and great beaches, and until some decades ago, it has also been isolated.
Elyros is a big ancient city located in the South of Chania region, northwest of Sougia. It is considered by many historians the most important ancient city in Southwest Crete.
Lissos is an ancient coastal city located in South Crete in a short distance west of Sougia. It was one of the two harbours of the big ancient city of Elyros – the other harbour of Elyros was Syia.
Chryssoskalitissa monastery is one of the most known sights in Chania region. It is located in Southwest Crete, just a few kilometres north of the famous Elafonisi beach.
Polirinia was an ancient city-state, famous all over Crete in its time, which dominated in the region of the west coast of Crete. Today, Polirinia village is a reminder of the city’s great past.
Gramvousa is the name of the long peninsula on the northwest edge of Crete. It is also the name of the small island near the peninsula. Both the peninsula and the island are remote places.
Rodopou Peninsula is the peninsula that separates the bay of Chania and the bay of Kissamos. It is 18 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide. It is a remote peninsula, ideal for seclusion.
Halepa is a select quarter of Chania city. Featuring beautiful old mansions, many of them in the neoclassical architectural style, it is considered the most “aristocratic” quarter of Chania city.
Koum Kapi is one of the quarters of Chania city with the richest history. It is also one of the most picturesque parts of the city, as it lies between the Old City of Chania and the Halepa quarter.
The Venetian Harbour of Chania is the absolute landmark of Chania city and West Crete. Expertly built in the 14th century, it was constructed for commercial purposes, and for protection from pirate raids.
With its narrow, winding alleys, and its architectural styles of Venetian, Ottoman and Jewish origins, the Old City of Chania is a place with remarkable contrasts, yet extreme harmony.
Akrotiri, Crete, is a peninsula in the east of Chania city, just after the eastern suburbs of the city. Apart from its close vicinity to Chania city, in the peninsula of Akrotiri lays the international airport of Chania.
Souda Bay, Crete, is a long, narrow bay on the northwest coast of Chania Region. It is formed between the Akrotiri Peninsula and mainland North Crete, extending to the south to Cape Drapano.
The region of Chania consists of 5 provinces and 25 municipalities. These 5 provinces are Kydonia, Kissamos and Apokoronas in the North and Selino and Sfakia in the South.
The port of Souda lies into Souda Bay, which is formed between the Akrotiri Peninsula and mainland North Crete. Souda Bay is one of the most protected bays in the Mediterranean Sea.
There are many airlines running flights to Chania from all over Europe. In fact, Chania International Airport is one of the busiest in Greece, serving more than 2 million passengers every year.
Chania International Airport is the second biggest airport in Crete and the biggest in West Crete. It is called “Ioannis Daskalogiannis”, after the famous local rebel of the 18th century.
Crete airports are the entrance point to Crete for the grand majority of visitors. In general the airports in Crete are modern and well-equipped, in order to facilitate the large number of visitors.
When you are in West Crete, try to take a Chania tour – or two, or even more! The region of Chania, with its diversity, marvellous beaches, high mountains, and rich history, will pleasantly surprise you.
There is a large variety of specialist tours in Crete, as the island is a magnet for people in all walks of life, with different preferred hobbies and activities. Crete has something to offer to everyone.
Sailing in Crete used to be for the few. However, due to the tourist development of the island and the big number of the travel agencies that offer sailing excursions in Crete, sailing in Crete is nowadays a very affordable activity.
There are three big mountain ranges, ideal for trekking in Crete. In the west, there are the White Mountains, or Lefka Ori in Greek. In the centre of the island, there is Mount Idi or Psiloritis. And in the east there is Mount Dikti.
When climbing in Crete, you experience the constant change of the terrain: from the high mountains in the middle part of Crete, to the rocky cliffs and impressive gorges in the north and the south part of the island.
When scuba diving in Crete, you have the opportunity to admire the rich underwater flora and fauna of the island, which includes spectacular species like red and green octopuses, cuttlefishes, groupers, moray eels, stinger fishes, and congers.
Sweetwater beach, Crete (Glika Nera), is one of the most unique beaches in Greece, with an irresistible charm to the visitor. This especial beach in Sfakia region is one of the hidden gems of South Crete.
Sarakiniko beach is very popular with travellers to Crete, and many of its visitors are return visitors. Although Gavdos Island is not so easy to get to, Sarakiniko beach in this small island have a quality that fascinates the visitor.
It is very hard to choose the best beach in Crete, as the island is full of splendid beaches that suit different beach lovers. Indeed, the variety of beaches in Crete Island is fantastic, with hundreds of beaches to choose from!
Chania beaches are possibly the most varied collection of beaches in the Mediterranean Sea! In every corner of the region of Chania, on the north, on the south, and on the west, you can find dozens of exceptional beaches.
The beaches of Crete are amongst the best beaches in not only the Mediterranean Sea, but in the whole world as well. They range from small secluded beaches, to large beaches with several kilometres of coastline.