Things to do in Chania. Chania is one of the most stunning cities in Crete located on the northwest coast of the island. It is particularly famous for its 14th-century Venetian harbor, gorgeous cobblestone streets, and historic atmosphere.
There are many chic boutique stores, cafes, and restaurants all around that you can be sure to have a great time here. These are crowded during the summer months, especially in August.
Apart from fascinating historical sites and museums in this gorgeous city, you can also check out the incredible beaches in Chania that are excellent for families, honeymooners, and groups of friends.
Explore the Old Venetian Harbor
One of the highlights of Chania is indeed the Venetian harbor built in the 14th century, which served as an important port during these times. The area is filled with wooden fishing boats, and you can capture the old lighthouse towards the east side of the harbor.
The promenade lined with seafood restaurants and cafes is one of the liveliest places in Chania and a central touristic spot. Not far from the pier, you can as well see the mosque, which was created by the Ottomans in 1645. Another site worth visiting in Chania is the arsenal, where the Venetians repaired their galleys.
Stroll around the Diverse Districts in Old Town
Chania’s Old Town is truly one of the most impressive ones in Greece. It has various diverse districts special in their unique way. The narrow cobblestoned lanes along with Venetian mansions and buildings make you feel the medieval vibes.
The main square in the old town is called 1821, which was the year the locals revolted against the Turks. One of the gorgeous sites to visit in Old Town is Agios Nikolaos Church with a bell tower as well as a minaret built in Ottoman occupation.
The diversity of the city is simply splendid. It makes you want to dive into the historical past of the island and reveal all the details Crete experienced throughout the centuries. Another unique district worth exploring is Splatzia, which is the old Turkish quarter. Zeducca was the Old Jewish Quarter for centuries, where the donkey carts were transporting goods from the harbor.
Shopping lovers can rush to Skrydlof Street, which is known as Chania’s leather lane. It is also the location where we can find traditional long black Cretan boots for men. You can shop for various leather products such as shoes, bags, belts, etc.
Don’t miss visiting Mitropoleos Square in the Old Town. Located in front of the Church of the Trimartyri. This square is another lively location in Chania full of cafes, restaurants, and local taverns where you can enjoy some local Cretan delights. One of the top things to do in Chania is stopping by the Municipal Market, where you can find over 75 shops selling goods, food, and meat.
Enjoy a Beach day at Elafonissi.
Around two hours away from Chania is one of the most splendid beaches in Crete. At the southwest coast, this shore is with pink sand and crystal clear sea. It is one of the perfect locations for family vacations in Crete, since the waters are quite shallow here, reaching to knees for a few meters walking inside the sea.
It is especially busy till 4 pm noon. After you can enjoy some quiet time with your beloved ones and admire the exquisite sunset and the soft breeze coming from the sea. Expect to find sunbeds and umbrellas here, which will make your lazy day even more enjoyable and fun.
Visit the Monasteries of Akrotiri Peninsula
Only 10 km east of Chania’s rocky peninsula of Akrotiri, a splendid location you will admire. It is especially prominent with the three monasteries comfortably nestled in the area. One of those is Agia Triada, located in the middle of olive groves and orange orchards. Get some olive oil made by the local monks.
You can buy those in the courtyard of the monastery. Not far from Agia Triada is located Gouverneto fortress preserved from the 16th century. You will enjoy the breathtaking view from here and capture the third beauty of the area, Katholiko. The 6th-century monastery built right into a cliff face.
You can combine visiting Stavros Bay, which is one of the best sandy beaches in Chania after exploring this unique area on Crete. It is especially prominent since Anthony Quinn danced here for the “Zorba the Greek” movie shootings.
Visit the Maritime Museum of Crete
Crete has been an essential and strategic island in Greece and has played a crucial role in the development of the old civilizations. Visit the Maritime Museum in Crete, which presents all the historic ships from the ancient Minoan Bronze Age times to Venetians, Ottomans, and even Germans from World War II.
Inside the Museum, you can explore all the history behind the ships, paintings, and marine equipment distributed. The most valuable treasure in the Maritime Museum is the old Minoan ship preserved from 15th century BC. You can be sure to leave this building in awe and astonishment.
Crete is indeed one of the most spectacular islands not only in Greece but in the world. All the towns and beaches on this island are beautiful in their way. Chania is undoubtedly one of the gorgeous ones with so much to do and see.
There is a lot of history hidden behind the old buildings and sites in this city. It would be hard to explore all the neighborhoods and districts in one day. There’s something for everyone here; whether you wish to go shopping, sightseeing or relaxing by the incredible shores.
There are plenty of accommodation options in Chania, so it wouldn’t be difficult to book one matching your needs and preferences. If you wish to create an itinerary for Chania, feel free to use some tips of the places to visit listed above and enjoy your holidays on this splendid piece of land.
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