Map of Chania (Hania) region
Virtual tour of Crete
Chania (or Hania) is situated at the western end of Crete, the main town in the northern part. It is renowned for its idyllic scenery, enchanting beaches, picturesque old town, villages, natural beauty and gastronomy. (see map of Chania)
It is one of the places that attracts the most tourists, especially during the summer season, which, thanks to the good weather conditions, is very long - generally from April to October.
To get the most out of your holiday, you need to stay in Chania for at least 5 days. The list below will give you an idea of why this destination is so popular. Here are the main reasons why you should visit Chania and why it is becoming so attractive.
The old town
The old town of Chania (or Hania), is considered one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. It stretches through the old fortifications and down to the sea in the Venetian port. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the old town. Fort Firkas, the Janissary Mosque, the Venetian arsenals, the Topanas and Evraïki quarters, the Maritime Museum, etc. (see map of Chania)
Narrow, cobbled streets criss-cross each other, creating a small labyrinth. Inside the old town, you'll find shops of all kinds, local and tourist, cafés, bars, tavernas, restaurants and fast-food outlets.
The old town is relatively large and will take you several walks to get round. However, it is so beautiful that it will attract you day and night.
The Venetian port, located in the old town of Chania (or Hania)is one of the most romantic places on Crete.
It's a magnificent port dating back to the 14th century, with a host of bars, restaurants, tavernas and tourist shops. It is magical both during the day, when the sun is shining, and at night, when it fills with crowds, music and lights.
The lighthouse, which dominates the entrance to the port and is one of the most photographed places in Chania (or Hania), is one of the most impressive. Built by the Venetians, it was restored to its current form by the Egyptians (Egyptian occupation 1830-1840).
One of the reasons Chania attracts visitors is undoubtedly its beaches. The coastline stretches long in the north, but most of the gems are to be found to the west and south (see map of Chania).
The lagoon of Balos is ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located in the western part of the island, it is characterised by shallow waters and white sand that, in some places, turns pink from crushed shells and coral. It is extremely famous and attracts a lot of people, so it is best to visit early in the morning.
Falassarna is also a beach at the western end, with a sandy beach and clear blue waters. The best time is at sunset, when the sun literally dips into the water.
And finally, Elafonisi is a very popular beach with tourists. It is a lagoon with shallow waters and white or pink sand, in an exotic setting (see our page).
(see our page Samaria gorge)