Any time of year you choose to visit Chania in Crete, the options are endless. The rich natural landscape is insurmountable, the monuments of civilization countless and especially in summer, the beaches of Chania will make you one of the most fanatical fans of the area! For your amazing holiday week in Chania, we suggest you indicative options to meet as best as possible the beauties of the place and enjoy relaxation, combined with new experiences.
Day 1 – Explore the Old Town of Chania
Explore the alleys of the Old Town
The Venetian Lighthouse in the Old Town
A visit to the Old Town is the best way to start your week in Chania! In order to see all monuments and attractions, you need to organize your time quite well. Make sure that you have enough time to stroll the narrow alleys of the Old Town, so you feel as much as possible the atmosphere of the place. Shops, taverns and restaurants, as well as important monuments are located in the alleys, next to one another in such a way that present is blended with the past.
The Municipal Market, where you will find all the goods of Cretan land.
The Public Garden, a green oasis with the large and impressive clock – trademark of Chania.
The Venetian Harbour, with its beauties, Firkas fortress with the Maritime Museum, Yali Mosque the Venetian shipyards and the Great Arsenal and of course the Lighthouse, the most characteristic spot of the city!
The Splantzia, the old Turkish quarter, is now called ‘Square 1821’. There, you’ll see the imposing St. Nicholas Church, the only church in Greece today that holds both, a belfry and minaret. The huge plane tree in the center of Splantzia will offer you its shade to enjoy a refreshing coffee.
The Cathedral of Chania
Day 2 – Admire the sunset of Falassarna beach
Your week in Chania may be continued with seven alternative routes and directions to meet the sites of the prefecture.
Your first destination will be of course, the beach of Falassarna, one of the longest in Chania area. It is about 59 km west of Chania. You cross the northern coastline of Chania, pass through nature and small villages, and shortly before Kasteli, you turn left. Guiding signs are everywhere, so it is quite difficult to lose your way. As soon as you reach Falassarna, you face a wooded landscape, thick, golden sand and blue sea as far as the eye reaches. Much of the coast is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds, but there is free space, even for those who want to be isolated in one of the most popular beaches in Crete.
When you reach Falassarna, you will face a wooded landscape, thick, golden sand and blue sea as far as the eye reaches. Much of the coast is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds, but there is free space, even for those who want to be isolated in one of the most popular beaches in Crete.
It is worth staying on the beach until late, to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece, where the sun ‘dives’ into the water just ahead on the horizon.
On the way back, passing through the traditional villages of Chania, there are dozens of options for traditional Cretan meal. Choose the tavern that will attract you most. We are more than sure, that it will not disappoint you!
Day 3 – Visit the Lake of Kournas and the nearby villages
On the third day, you may head eastwards to see one of the most unique natural beauties of Chania. The Lake of Kournas in Apokoronas is the most … “alternative” beach you can choose on your holiday in Chania. It is about 45 km from the city, next to the village of Kournas, and is the only natural freshwater lake in Crete. As the summer waters recede slightly, several small beaches are formed on the shore! There are umbrellas and sun beds available, small cafes to provide you with the necessary, but also the possibility to rent marine bicycle and admire the unique landscape in the green lake.
As the summer waters recede slightly, several small beaches are formed on the shore! There are umbrellas and sun beds available, small cafes to provide you with the necessary, but also the possibility to rent marine bicycle and admire the unique landscape in the green lake.
Between the village and the Lake of Kournas there is a very beautiful cave, where you will admire wonderful views. On your return, visit Georgioupolis, a very popular tourist resort, for a walk by the seaside, in an exceptionally beautiful landscape. Other options in the area are the villages Vrisses, Vamos, but also the tourist village Almyrida, with numerous options.
Day 4 – Lie on the pink sand of Elafonisi beach
The tour continues with one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, Elafonisi. The exotic beauty of the area with sand dunes, cedars, white lilies, the black rocks, the rare species of animals and birds that live there, the emerald waters and pink-white sand, create a real work of art! The beach is about 75 km from Chania and, in order to reach it, you will cross the hinterland of Chania, a wooded area with beautiful villages and monuments of nature.
The picturesque route through Topolia Gorge
The view from the cave of St. Sophia is really breathtaking!
On your way to Elafonisi, pass through Topolia, immediately after the tunnel and admire from above the steep gorge of Topolia and the sounds of the river. At the beginning of the narrow part of the gorge, near Topolia, is the cave of St. Sophia with its stalactites and stalagmites and a chapel built at the entrance. The central hall has a height of 20 meters and a diameter of 70, and if you observe it carefully, you will see a mythical Unicorn to form a rock and a stalagmite! The legend says that the Cave of St. Sophia was crossed by St. George on his horse!
The central hall has a height of 20 meters and a diameter of 70, and if you observe it carefully, you will see a mythical Unicorn to form a rock and a stalagmite! The legend says that the Cave of St. Sophia was crossed by St. George on his horse!
Shortly before Elafonisi, lies the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa, a whitewashed monastery, built high on a large rock of 35 meters with breathtaking views of the Libyan Sea. According to religious tradition, the one of the 90 steps, which is dug in the rock, leading to the top, is made of gold, but this gold step can be seen only by the sinless!
Day 5 – Experience the majesty of nature in Balos
Balos is really a miracle of nature!
In the same direction, but in the northwest of the prefecture this time, is the most exotic beach of Chania, Balos. From the large rock in the sea, starts a sandy lagoon with turquoise waters that will leave you speechless! If you choose to visit Balos by land, prepare to drive about one and a half hour on a passable dirt road and then descend a path on foot, for about 15 minutes. The ascend may be quite difficult, especially after a day of playing on the amazing beach, but it is worth not sacrificing the beautiful view from the top for the sake of your comfort. Otherwise, to visit Balos, you can catch one of the boats that make daily cruises to Balos beach and Gramvousa island, and depart from Kissamos.
Day 6 – Explore the wild beauty of Samaria Gorge
The impressive “Doors” in Samaria Gorge
Lovely Kri-kri in Samaria!
Whoever spends one week in Chania, should spend one day to cross Gorge of Samaria! Hikers from all over the world arrive in Crete especially to live this experience, which usually starts from the plateau of Omalos in the White Mountains, in Xyloskalo (1,200 m.) and ends in the coastal village of Agia Roumeli in the south of the prefecture of Chania. Samaria Gorge is the longest in Greece, with a length of 18 km and it takes between 4-7 hours to be crossed, depending on the experience and strength of hikers. In Samaria Gorge live Kri-Kri, the wild goats of Crete, and many other endemic animal species and plants, that’s why it is forbidden to gather them. The biggest width of the gorge reaches 150 meters and the narrowest point is the “Doors” – just before the exit – with a width of 3 meters and a height of 600 meters, where the landscape is breathtaking!
In Samaria Gorge live Kri-Kri, the wild goats of Crete, and many other endemic animal species and plants, that’s why it is forbidden to gather them. The biggest width of the gorge reaches 150 meters and the narrowest point is the “Doors” – just before the exit – with a width of 3 meters and a height of 600 meters, where the landscape is breathtaking!
Day 7 – Meet the history and culture of Chania in its Museums
Your week in Chania came to its end! As probably you have to travel the same or the next day, it would be useful to spend your day in an entertaining way, without being exhausted.
Lovely Kri-kri in Samaria!
“Cretan House”, The Folklore Museum of Chania
The museums of Chania feature excellent archaeological findings and hundreds of exhibits which outline the timeless influence of the island’s cultural history. The most important museum of Chania that provides much insight into the Cretan history is the Archaeological Museum of Chania located in the Catholic church of Saint Francis. Very interesting is also the Maritime Museum of Crete located at the entrance of the historic Fortress of Firkas in the Old Town presenting over 2500 exhibits, as well as the Folklore Museum in Chania housed in the Municipal Library.
Very interesting is also the Maritime Museum of Crete located at the entrance of the historic Fortress of Firkas in the Old Town presenting over 2500 exhibits, as well as the Folklore Museum in Chania housed in the Municipal Library.
If you have visited Crete I’m sure you have tried at least one shot …
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