The Greek port city of Chania is located in the western part of Crete. It is a lively place where there are not as many Russians as in the area around Heraklion or Rethymnon. The fact is that, firstly, it is a little more expensive in Chania, secondly, it takes the longest to get here from the airport, and thirdly, the most famous sights of Crete are far from it. But this does not mean that in Chania you can only lie on the beach and spend your nights in bars!
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Even if you are staying on a completely different side of the island, it is worth a trip to Chania for at least a day. Its Old Town is considered the most beautiful on the island, and the Venetian harbor is the most picturesque in all of Greece. There are many colorful taverns and shops here, the Turkish heritage is fancifully mixed with the Venetian, Greek and Byzantine. The beaches in the Gulf of Chania are in no way inferior to the more popular Central Cretan ones. And, finally, the beautiful Balos lagoon – and it alone is already worth it to fly to Crete – is located precisely in the region of Chania.
Until now, the city has preserved Venetian houses converted into hotels. Many of them are cheap and very comfortable.
How to get there
There is an international airport 14 km from Chania, but, unfortunately, there are no regular flights from Russia here. Due to the growing popularity of local resorts, air carriers organize charter flights. Their schedule should be known before each tourist season. Important: with low occupancy, flights may be canceled, even if they are part of a sold tour. In this case, you will have to fly to Heraklion and endure a long and tiring transfer.
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Bus service is well developed in the region. The KTEL company is engaged in transportation, the schedule is kept quite strictly, so you need to come to the bus stop with a small margin of time (you can see the route map and bus schedule on the website). You can buy a ticket either from the conductor on the bus, or in a store near the bus stop.
Weather in Chania
It has a temperate Mediterranean climate, perhaps the mildest and most favorable for recreation. In summer, the average air temperature ranges from +25 to +30 °C, and in winter it stays around +13… +18 °C. Rain is rare during the season. The water in the sea warms up in July-August, at the peak of the season, up to +25 °C. It turns out that you can come here for vacation all year round.
Main resorts and beaches
The most popular resorts in this area are the villages of Platanias, Georgioupolis and Kavros. Please note: there are villages with the name Platanias near Rethymnon and in the Chania region. These are two different towns!
Chania is famous for its many kilometers of magnificent beaches, the most famous of which is located near the town of Elafonissi, in the westernmost part of the island. The amazing pink sand of this beach is found nowhere else in Crete. In Falassarna, the beach is very good: sandy, clean, not crowded. In general, sandy beaches are typical for the north of the region, in the villages of Stavros, Kalives, Agia Marina and Georgioupolis. But in the south, on the shores of the Libyan Sea, pebble beaches prevail (Paleochora, Suia, Hora-Sfakion).
On any of the beaches, tourists are offered many options for active leisure: catamarans, water skiing, paragliding, scuba diving. Chania is good for families with children – there are gentle entry into the sea and many bays where there are no waves, so many beaches have playgrounds with simple but funny rides. In almost every tavern, adults can attend evening programs with live music – national, jazz, popular. In many villages there are places of entertainment with night shows.
Hotels and restaurants
There are many villages in the region where you can find a haven for a vacation: a hotel – both fashionable and rather modest, apartments or a place for camping. Hotels with animation and the all-inclusive system are rare in Chania.
In each of the villages there are many restaurants with local cuisine. Memories of Greek taverns will remain in your memory for a long time, especially if they are backed up by tasting local wines.
Entertainment and attractions of Chania
Over its long history (several thousand years!) Chania has become a real melting pot of different cultures: in antiquity it was the territory of the Greek policy of Kydonia, during the Crusades, Chania went to the Venetians, and then the Genoese; after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 13th century. its citizens began to move here. All three cultures were equally mixed in Chania, and in the 17th century. the largest city of Crete was conquered by the Turks and brought their own characteristics. In addition to Venetian harbors and buildings, Byzantine influence on music and writing, Greek artifacts and religion, Muslim mosques, Turkish baths and fountains appeared (mainly in the western part of the city). If you look around carefully while walking around Chania, you can see the components of different cultures.
The main city of the region, Chania, is picturesque. The remains of the city fortifications, the ancient port, the lighthouse, the cathedral, the well-preserved Old Town, numerous museums with interesting collections (archaeological, maritime museum of Crete, printing museum, ethnographic) – all this makes Chania a universal resort in which there is a place for a relaxed holiday, and educational excursions. In local museums, you can see many archaeological finds from the era of Greek rule. To feel the individuality of each of the villages of Chania, you should rent a car and go on a leisurely journey not only along the coast, but also inland.
In the town of Varipetro south of the city of Chania, in Varipetro, there is a water park “Limnopolis”, where there are conditions for comfortable rest and entertainment for both children and adults. As for the attractions of the region, in the White Mountains (peaks reach 2400 m) there is the largest Samaria gorge in Europe, the islet of Gramvousa with the ruins of a medieval fortress, the Venetian fortress of Frangokastello, an ancient convent, the ancient city of Aptera, where fragments of buildings of the 7th century have been preserved, as well as Turkish fortress.