Chania is synonymous with perfect Mediterranean climate, clear sky, and blue seawater. The city captivates with its calm and relaxed atmosphere, and is an ideal place for relaxation and escape from the hustle and bustle of a big metropolis. In addition, the varied landscape of the western part of the island encourages to go on excursions and explore the beaches, forests and the Lefka Ori Mountains that tower over the city.
Chania is the second largest city in Crete. The first references to settlement in this area date back to as early as 3400 BC. The local architecture speaks for the long and rich history of Chania, as it shows traces of various civilizations and rich traditions of the citizens – before the city was incorporated into Greece, it was ruled by the Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Turks. Its heart is the Venetian harbour and the historic old town with colourful cramped houses, a labyrinth of alleyways and narrow passages.
Most famous for: being considered by many as the most beautiful city in Crete.
A breakthrough moment in history: 1898 – liberation from of the Ottoman occupation and the foundation of the Cretan State with the capital in Chania.
Famous historical monuments: 14th Venetian harbour district, Giali Tzamisi Mosque, the Firkas Fortress with a lighthouse on the opposite shore.
Most interesting architecture styles: Renaissance (Venetian), Turkish architecture.
One definitely needs to: visit the old town, the Center of Mediterranean Architecture, the Archaeological Museum, Ruins of the ancient Kydonia.
Something for gourmets: the famous Greek cheese called feta, olives… and mountain snails.
A place for a walk: city park with mini-zoo and the kri-kri goats, that is, the Cretan goats.
Off the beaten track: one of the most beautiful monasteries in Crete called Moni Katholiko, the Bear Cave, or the quiet village of Stavros, located 15 km from Chania.
Famous citizens: Elefterios Wenizelos – eight-time Greek prime minister, leader of the uprising against the Turks, George Psychoundakis – the Second World War hero, Kostas Mountakis – a lyre virtuoso, who popularized the traditional Cretan music.
Chania – the Greek Venice
History and monuments
the Venetian harbour district
architecture that derives from different cultures Minoan, Byzantine, Venetian
the city market hall