Well, it’s not a secret that Chania Crete is one of the most picturesque towns of the island! Strongly influenced by many cultures, this magical town has a captivating atmosphere.
Amazing beaches, breathtaking gorges, lush green natural landscapes, traditional architecture… The overall atmosphere of Chania is deeply charming!
Things get even better if you are a nature lover! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the natural beauty and diversity of its landscapes, as Chania is the greenest region in Crete. From huge mountains to exotic beaches, Chania has it all! Whatever time of the year you choose to visit Chania Crete, there’s no way you won’t fall for it.
Now that you have tasted the benefits, you may start realizing that you’re missing out not having Chania in your bucket list.
But with so many places to choose from, where do you even start?
Keep reading to find out 10 magical places that will make you book your tickets to Chania right now!
1. Chania Venetian port
Chania Venetian old port is one of the trademarks of Chania town. And it’s not hard to see why!
Walking along the dock of this picturesque port, you’ll feel like time traveling… The elegant Venetian architecture, the majestic Turkish lighthouse and the enthralling sunset view will captivate you.
The Venetian port of Chania Crete was constructed during the Venetian occupation of the island and used to be one of Crete’s most important commercial ports. Now though, Chania Venetian port is a popular meeting point, as both locals and tourists love to stroll around it.
Have a drink with a sea view, marvel at the magical sunset, taste the local delicacies at the port’s traditional taverns… Pretend for a moment that you have traveled to another era!
2. Chania Old Town
The nostalgic charm of Chania Old Town is a very good reason on its own to visit Chania Crete.
The captivating atmosphere of Chania Old Town is the result of the cultural influences by its conquerors, over the years. Traditional buildings, modern accommodation options, museums, picturesque squares… Old blends smoothly with new, creating a town, unlike anything you’ve seen before!
Don't miss to visit the high-class Halepa neighborhood, the Russian Saint Magdalene church, and Küçük Hasan mosque. It’s amazing how many civilizations have put their own tile to this unique cultural mosaic!
3. Municipal Market of Chania Crete
If you’re searching for the perfect place to purchase the best traditional Cretan products, you’re seeking the Municipal Market of Chania Crete!
The Municipal market is located in the center of Chania town and is housed in a cross-shaped, 4,000 square meters building. In the 19th century, the municipal market used to operate as a wet market, where the villagers were selling their products.
Today, it houses 76 shops, such as butcher shops, pharmacies, shops selling traditional Cretan products etc.
An absolute must for some local products shopping!
4. Samaria Gorge
It’s not hard to guess why Samaria gorge is one of the most popular gorges in Crete.
Just imagine a mountainous landscape full of cypresses and pine trees, where many rare animals live and 450 plant species thrive... If you are a nature lover, you’ll find your paradise in this gorgeous gorge!
A trip to Samaria gorge is one of the must excursions to do from Chania!
Being 18 km long, Samaria gorge is the biggest gorge not only in Greece but also in Europe. It starts from the mountainous Ksiloskalo area, in Omalos and ends to the seaside Agia Roumeli village, following a route boasting a great variety of landscapes.
Hiking in Samaria Gorge, you’ll have the chance to meet many animals, including the local wild goats, widely known as “kri-kri”.
But, there’s something you should keep in mind. The ecosystem of Samaria gorge is protected by strict laws, thus you’re not allowed even to pick up a flower! This is the only way for this natural miracle to be protected from the thousands of tourists that visit it every year.
5. Balos beach
Balos beach, located 56 km from Chania Crete, is one of the most photographed beaches of the island.
The wild natural beauty and exotic landscape of Balos beach will blow you away! Just imagine white and pink sand blending into bright turquoise waters, surrounded by a breathtaking natural landscape… If this scenery isn’t enough for you to start daydreaming, we don’t know what it is!
Reality is that Balos beach gets very crowded in July and August. So, if you’re someone who prefers quiet beaches, the best months to visit Balos beach are May and September.
The most common way to reach Balos beach is by a small boat, as there’s only a bad dirt road leading to the beach. If you are a hiking lover, you can follow the hiking path to the beach, starting from Kaliviani village.
6. The Egyptian lighthouse
The Egyptian lighthouse is the trademark of Chania town!
Located at the Venetian port of Chania, this lighthouse is one of the most photographed monuments in Crete! Despite being named “Egyptian”, it was actually constructed by the Venetians in the 16th century. It was then reconstructed by the Egyptians in the 19th century when it took its current name.
The Egyptian lighthouse is 21 meters tall and it is built 26 meters above the sea surface, while its light can reach a 7 miles distance. It basically consists of three parts: the base, which is octagonal, the middle part, which has sixteen angles and the third part, which is round.
No guide to Chania could be complete without Stivanadika!
Stivanadika is basically a traditional market, located at Skridlof street, in the heart of Chania. It has traditional charm, as it is a place where you can find a great variety of traditional Cretan products.
What to opt for?
Definitely invest on an authentic pair of traditional leather boots, also known as “stivania” and an authentic Cretan knife.
8. Falasarna beach
This is not an ordinary beach!
Falasarna beach has been voted as the most beautiful beach in Crete and is always among the top 10 best beaches in Europe. Nestled directly into a sandy piece of heaven, Falasarna has crystal clear warm turquoise waters, ideal for swimming!
The best part?
Even though Falasarna beach gets crowded in the summer, you’ll have plenty of space to enjoy your beach day, thanks to its huge size!
Sfakia is one of the most well known traditional villages in Crete and the perfect place for those who want to skip the crowds and opt for relaxing holidays in nature.
Surrounded by the “White mountains” mountain range, Sfakia village boasts a wild natural landscape. Huge mountains, pristine beaches, and lush greenery create a scenic setting for your holidays.
Are you a hiking enthusiast?
Good news for you! There’s a beautiful 20 km hiking trail connecting Sfakia with Agia Roumeli village!
And if you love extreme sports, head to Aradena bridge. Having a height of 138 meters, it is the highest bridge in Greece and the second highest bridge in Europe. That’s why it’s the perfect bungee jumping spot!
Frangokastelo is a little traditional seaside settlement 13 km from Sfakia. It is particularly famous for its stone made Venetian castle, which was constructed by the Venetians in 1371-1374.
The best part?
There’s a mysterious story behind this castle... Legend has it that the spirits of the warriors that had once defended the castle return as shadows, known as “Drosoulites”, every May! Seriously, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to picture the heroic warriors coming back to the location of their battle against the Ottomans.
Apart from the imposing castle, another reason to visit Frangokastelo is its amazing beach. The main beach of Frangokastelo is dreamy… It has white fine sand and emerald shallow waters, while it is organized with umbrellas and seabeds!
All in all, Chania is a gem! From majestic beaches to stunning natural beauty and from quality Chania accommodation to sightseeing, Chania ticks all the boxes! If all these places haven't made you want to book your ferry tickets to Chania, we don't know what will!
So, what are you waiting for? An adventure of a lifetime is waiting for you in Chania Crete.
The question is: Are you ready?
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