Chania is the epitome of a traditional Greek city, a place where visitors can lose themselves within narrow winding streets and discover ancient remnants of lost civilisations. Once the capital of the Cretan State, Chania is a popular tourist destination for those looking for a beautiful waterfront setting surrounded by crumbling buildings and waterside cafes. The city is located on the northern coast of Crete and is the site of an ancient Minoan settlement. This is a city where ancient and modern architecture meet in two distinct areas. The old town draws in many tourists who come to explore the picturesque historic squares and narrow alleyways that were built in the Venetian and Turkish periods, such as the main Eleftherios Venizelos Square. The old harbour and seafront provides a wonderful atmospheric backdrop during daytime or evening, when the local nightlife comes alive. After exploring the historic streets of the old town, a stroll along the harbour wall leads to the Venetian Lighthouse, one of the oldest of its kind in the Mediterranean. Although no longer operational, it is a popular visitor attraction that is best seen when lit up at night. If you want to see displays of ancient artefacts from local excavations, a visit to the Archaeological Museum is an excellent way to learn about the history of the local area and its early civilisations. Although there is plenty to do in Chania, many visitors choose to venture beyond the city to see some of the surrounding areas of natural beauty. One of the most famous of these is Samaria Gorge, a magnificent landscape, which can be traversed on foot. The 8-mile (13km) walk down the gorge descends to the shores of the Libyan Sea, where you can choose to sail to the village of Sougia before returning to Chania city.
When to fly to Chania
The Mediterranean climate of Crete delivers hot summers and mild winters, allowing visitors to enjoy the island's attractions all through the year. Temperatures rise between June and August and so do the throngs of tourists. If you prefer a cooler alternative, the months of April to October offer clear sunny days that are considerably more comfortable.
Tourism slows in the winter period when temperatures are lower so, to get the best travel deals, a holiday between December and February is a cheaper option.
Getting around Chania
Local taxis can be hired within the city. If you want to travel further afield, a regular bus services travel to other major towns and tourist spots.