Chania is one of Crete's most attractive and appealing cities, set between breathtaking mountains and the deep turquoise of the Cretan Sea. The city is located on the north coast and is an ideal base for exploring western Crete. Minoan ruins, Venetian fortifications, a charming old town and a quartet of fascinating museums testify to Chania's turbulent past. A shimmering waterfront and excellent beaches along the coast make Chania a delightful spot for your Crete holidays!
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Things to do
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Chania, like the rest of Crete, enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, with long, hot summers. This is the best time to enjoy a holiday here, you can work on your tan right into October, and the sea is warm enough for swimming from April to November. Spring is beautiful with bursts of wild flowers and more peaceful atmosphere, and the autumn is nice when it starts to cool down.
Only in the winter does the weather turn grey and sometimes wet, but with so much to do in the city Chania is great all year round.
A series of great sandy beaches stretches to the west of Chania. The closest is the city beach at Nea Hora, which is a short walk from the harbour. The water here is excellent for a dip, and further west at Kalamaki is even better, probably the best beach in the area for swimming. Kalamaki is well equipped with cafes and tavernas and as such is very popular during the summer.
If you prefer a quieter, less developed beach try Agia Apostoloi, which is also walking distance from the city. The area offers endless opportunities for excursions along the coastline and hilly peninsulas, and inland to the breathtaking landscapes around the foothills of the White Mountains.
Things To Do on Chania Holidays
Chania is an extraordinarily attractive city with a rich and diverse history. Most of the city's sights are to be found around the harbour in the old Venetian Quarter and the surrounding maze of alleyways. There are four museums covering Chania's archaeological, naval, folklore, and Byzantine past, and many Minoan ruins are scattered around the city. At the harbour are the stunning Venetian fortifications, the Mosque of the Janissaries and a bustling covered market. North of the market is the Splantzia Quarter, a picturesque area with carved wooden balconies above narrow, cobbled streets.
Chania has a rich, turbulent and often tragic history. Once the site of Kydonia, an ancient Minoan settlement, the city has since been fought over and ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Genoese, Turks and Egyptians. Unified with Greece in 1913, the city was occupied by German forces during World War Two, and was the scene of the bloody Battle of Crete.
Thankfully, the city is today experiencing a period of unrivalled peace, and has become one of the best city holiday destinations in Europe.
Throughout the year Chania plays host to a wealth of cultural events and festivals. Religious celebrations centre on Holy Week and the many saints' days, and there are commemorations of national anniversaries on the 25th of March and 28th of October. Around the 20th of May the anniversary of The Battle of Crete is marked with veteran soldiers from Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand taking part. The commemorations also involve folklore events in the city's Public Gardens.
Chania has an exuberant nightlife throughout the summer, with a wealth of cafes, bars, tavernas, restaurants and clubs to choose from. The bars in the eastern part of the old town are good for an early evening cocktail before heading west to the discos and clubs along the beaches, many of which stay open until dawn. For a more sedate evening you could enjoy a romantic meal in one of quayside restaurants, such as Dinos, which has an excellent seafood menu.
Book a Chania Holiday now!
Chania is without doubt one of Crete's, and Greece's, most appealing cities, with stunning architecture, fascinating past and beautiful surroundings. On the Beach has the best deals on Crete holidays, so book now for and idyllic holiday in heavenly Chania.