The harbour is hard to miss, being one of the attractions essential to Chania vacationers. Here, historic buildings are occupied by buzzing seafood restaurants and cafes, and a waterside promenade takes you on a journey through time - some parts of the fortifications date back to the 16th century.
The calm ruins of Venetian defence structures remain standing all around the Chania harbour, with the best-conserved bit being the Western part of the wall. Its fascinating Naval Museum (next door) recalls Chania’s maritime tradition. The fortress is also where the Greek flag first was raised.
Limnoupolis Water Park is a great choice for families with children - the park offers water slides of varying steepness, as well as a number of pools and a lazy river. For grown-ups there is a Jacuzzi and a pool bar. Shops and eateries add to the water park's attraction.
This famous 16 kilometre hiking trail down a spectacular mountain gorge runs all the way to the island's southern coast. You will need sturdy shoes, water and a hat to shield you from the blazing sun. Spending the night at the trail's end and catching a bus back to Chania the following day may be a good idea.
There are at least two scuba diving centers in Chania - Blue Adventures Diving and Omega Divers. They are both certified and have good reputation in the scuba business. Diving sessions are conducted under professional supervision, and enthusiasts of any proficiency level are welcome to join. Omega Divers +30 2 825 031 412 www.omegadivers.com [email protected] Blue Adventures Diving: Dive office: +30 2 821 040 608 Dive center: +30 2 821 087 047 www.blueadventures.gr
A green area that spans nearly 20 hectares, the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete provide a pleasant retreat from the summer heat. The territory is overgrown by multiple species of herbs, flowers, medicinal plants and fruit trees. The parks are also home to colorful peacocks and other animals.
Maritime Museum of Crete is a great place to spend a couple of hours and get to know more about the island's nautical history. On the first floor, an educational film about Crete's past is shown. Sweeping views over the harbour and the lighthouse unfold from the museum.
The permanent exhibition at Chania Archaeological Museum tells the story of Crete's history via multiple well-preserved exhibits, which include mosaics, jewellery, coins, sculptures, and other artifacts. The building itself served as prison, cinema, and ammunition warehouse at different times.
Folklore Museum of Chania is a small but very interesting museum, which will most probably not take you more than an hour to visit. The museum showcases Cretan artwork and embroidery, paintings, handicrafts, and various traditional pieces found in many island homes.
The Chania Museum of Typography traces the development of typography from the Gutenberg era until today. You will see different tools, objects, machines and prints which have been used throughout the making of contemporary print. Lectures and readings are held on occasion.
Discover Chania as a part of a fun, enjoyable activity - aboard a segway! Going on a Segway tour is a fun and easy way to discover the city. Both group and private, individually-tailored tours are available - around the Old Town, harbour area, the Halpea district, along beaches, and more.
Doctor Fish is a lovely fish spa located in the centre of Chania. This is the perfect treat for your feet after a couple of days of walking and discovering the island. Experience the unusual sensation of fish gently peeling the old skin off your feet - all in a pleasant environment.
The Municipal Art Gallery of Chania contains extensive collections of art by mainland Greek and local artists, donated to the museum by several private collectors and individual artists over the course of the past decades. A plethora of modern art is showcased here, and events are hosted frequently.
An oasis of tranquility can be found at the historic Chrisoskalitissa Monastery. Going here takes quite a while, but if you are on a road trip this place is well worth a visit. You can find the monastery on the western side of Crete. From here, amazing views of the Cretan coastline unfold.
Platanias and Aghia Marina are two laid-back little resorts merged on a 10 kilometre strip of beach backed by bars, tavernas and shops. The resorts do vary, with activity and sports around lively Platanias, and a quieter feel at Aghia Marina and Stalos, the eastern end of the strip. You can get there by local bus.
Experience unrivaled hospitality and immerse yourself in the Greek dining philosophy in the heart of Chania's Venetian harbour. Day or night, enjoy a tantalising selection of food and drink, as the magnificent sea views, friendly staff and delicate flavors create memories that will last a lifetime.
Very popular restaurant, cosy atmosphere and inspired dishes. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Venetian Old Harbour, the homemade-with-a-twist cooking and do some people-watching while you're at it. Ask the waiters for the local delicacies and let yourself indulge in a feast of Mediterranean flavors.
Boasting elegance and style, housed inside an old building high in upper Platanias, the Cosmos restaurant enjoys a fabulous setting and offers incredible views to diners. An astonishing choice of exotic meats includes crocodile, bison and kangaroo, as well as the usual suspects - lamb and beef.
Thalassino Ageri is a hidden gem outside the main tourist routes, and is a secret well-kept by the island locals. The restaurant offers seating by the sea, on a uniquely scenic natural platform steps away from the water. It is, perhaps, amongst the top waterside vantage points for sunset-watching.
Rudi's Bierhaus is a bit different from the other restaurants in town, its main distinguishing feature being the wide selection of beers (international and local brews). Rudi himself often welcomes guests in person, and is always willing to give a recommendation, in case one is needed.
Almiras serves excellent Cretan cuisine, all in a magnificent setting with sweeping views over the island sunset and the village below. Here, visitors may expect a welcome drink on the house, followed by a feast on authentic local fare. The restaurant is equipped with a children's play area.
Here you can enjoy a light menu based on Mediterranean flavors and a selection of innovative cocktails and distinctive wines from Greek and Cretan vineyards. Come for a coffee break, an informal lunch, a sunset cocktail or a glass of wine, while watching the comings and goings of the Old Port.
Located amidst the greenery of Chania's public garden, Kipos is a pleasant cafe lost in time - some of its curious exhibits include old record players and vintage posters. Located out of the way of main tourist streams, the cafe still serves excellent snacks and - best of all - decadent waffles.
The lively bar and nightclub is located in Platanias (west of Chania), and invites holidaymakers to a fun night of drinks and dancing all throughout the summer season (April-October). The atmosphere is rather casual, the vibes gradually shifting from bar to club as the evening progresses.
Enjoy a vast selection of coffees, drinks and exotic cocktails as you sway to the music or have a dig into the long list of beers while shooting some pool or watching games on the projector screens. If you feel peckish there are numerous cold dishes and home-made sweets to try out.
One of the liveliest nightlife venues in Platanias, Splendid is a bar, club and lounge for the younger public and those looking to party, with pole dancing and drinks till dawn - both done by the guests. It certainly is one of the places to be for those seeking nightlife entertainment.
Party vibes are felt day and night at Ammos & Ilios, with DJs spinning groovy tunes and sun-kissed vacationers living it up by the beach, cocktails in hand - naturally. At night, the venue transforms into a full-blown dance club, parties hosted all through the summer.
Another attractive beach bar is the Costa Costa in Agia Marina. This place is among the most popular with tourists, and tends to get quite packed during the summer months - music is played, food served and sunbeds available. After the sun sets you can head over to the adjoining Villa Mercedes Club.
Cozmo is a great location for those looking to spend a few hours in the sun or grab a bite steps away from the water. The dining area is set on a green lawn, which transforms into a fine sandy beach closer to the water's edge. For guests who dine at Cozmo, the use of sunbeds is complimentary.
Where Old Town and modern city meet, the fine Covered Market, or Agora (Mousouron Street) is the focal point. This is more a shopping mall than a marketplace, it provides a cool haven where locals throng among shops and stalls offering every kind of local produce, alluring pastries, piles of olives, fragrant herbs and spices, and appetising cheeses like delicious Cretan graviera and mizithra.
Ekaterini Handmade Jewelry is a beautiful artisan boutique in the heart of Chania. The jewellery collection is large and there are many different necklace, bracelet, and ring designs on display. Shop assistants are helpful yet unobtrusive, and prices reasonable for he quality.
Karistianis is for those who want to get serious about hiking - all necessary clothing and gear can be either found here, or at the sister shop across the road (whose assortment is heavier camping-focused). Brands represented include (but aren't limited to) Helly Hansen, Odlo and Reef.
The talented Tsiftsoglou brothers have been creating beautiful leather works ever since 1988, when the store was first established. Solid craftsmanship, combined with great practical designs, all results in a an extensive selection of leather creations - sandals, shoes, bags, and more.