Chania is the second largest city of Crete after the capital city Heraklion, occupying an area of 11 square kilometres and having a population of about 60,000. It lies on the eastern coast of Crete at 60 km from Rethymno and 145 km from Heraklion. Archaeological research has proved that the city of Chania was built in prehistoric times on the ruins of the ancient city of Kidonia named after Kidonas who was, according to the Cretans, Mercury's son.
Alexandroupolis and Chania are the most picturesque seaside cities I've visited in Greece. What I liked most in Chania is the lighthouse pre-dominating the old port. The Prefecture of Chania is a nature lover's paradise. Apart from its ravines, lakes, plateaus, rivers and pristine beaches Chania boasts the largest gorge in Europe - the Samarian Gorge which has been declared a National Park.
If you feel like tasting the authentic Greek and Cretan cuisine, I strongly recommend Semiramis Taverna at Skoufon Street, right off the old town. From June to September, you will enjoy live Greek music (no microphones) and excellent food. Don't forget to order their traditional kalitsounia - delicious cheese pastries. Here's the recipe.
In Chania, you will find some of Crete's greatest beaches. Here are only a few of the very best:
Where to Stay
Here's a wide range of hotels and appartments you can choose from.
How to get there
Chania has an international airport with scheduled flights year
round and abundant charter flights serving much of Europe during the
season - April to October. [see
Flights to/from Chania]
Buses from the airport are virtually non-existent [see bus timetable]. If you're not driving, you should take a taxi.
Ferries sail to and from Athens (Pireas) daily - the port for ferries for Chania is at Souda, a few kilometres away. [see Ferry schedules]
When the ferry arrives, if you manage to scamper onto the bus in time, this will take you to Chania. But it is best to plan to take a taxi. Of course if you are renting a car on arrival, you can drive to your chosen destination at will!
If a pause in Souda before your first sighting of Chania seems just right, try "Exandas" cafe which serves Illy coffee and the famed, welcoming treat of a "bougatsa" (pastry with cheese or cream filling).
Reaching Chania by bus from other places in Crete - bus schedules.