Chania is undoubtedly a beautiful and nostalgic town, which retained more than any other city its old physiognomy. Full of synagogues, mosques and churches, as well as splendid architectural Turkish and Venetian buildings, gathered around the coastal front of the city. On the waterfront, next to the vault of the Hassan Pasha Mosque and the Venetian Megalo Arsenali, you will find trendy boutiques for shopping as well as bars and traditional taverns to taste its famous traditional dishes The White Mountains rising behind them and sinking in the Libyan Sea in Sfakia, especially for the nature lovers, since they have many gorges and ravines. Their coasts, of unparalleled natural beauty, invite the visitor to swim in their blue waters.
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Come and visit us in the beautiful and romantic city of Chania, where the aroma of multiculturalism emerges. Walk to its busy streets, where well-preserved Venetian buildings point to other glamorous seasons and visit Topanas - a noble aristocratic society - where you will see the Venetian Command (15th century building), wander around the Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods. The morning coffee walks start from here and again here end the nights in taverns enjoying Cretan music. Visit the Folklore House of Chania by strolling around the local customs of that time and continue the journey in time, meeting the covered Municipal Market. A cross-building in Marseilles style and buy the extraordinary local Cretan products. If you get tired, stop for a breath in the cool Garden of Chania, a work by Reuff Pasha, built according to European standards. If you are still cinema fan, the Municipal Summer Cinema, next to the monumental old clock of 1924, will pleasantly surprise you. At the end of the old town, the nostalgic and cosmopolitan Venetian harbor is waiting to welcome you. Walk on the seaside promenade by passing the beautiful Arsenalia, the Yal Mosque and Koum Kapi to its eastern bow to photograph the Venetian Lighthouse and admire the Firka Fortress. After all this, if you still insist on strong emotions, give yourself a quarter of your time and walk up to the noble Halepa with the 19th and 20th century mansions. There you will see the Palace of Prince George and the house of Eleftherios Venizelos, where the National Research Foundation "Eleftherios K. Venizelos" is hosted, with his statue standing in the homonymous square.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL - RELIGIOUS MONUMENTS AND AREAS
In today's old town, Minoan Kydonia was built, a great shopping center of the time. Most traces were found on the hill Kastelli, above the old Venetian harbor, where plaques of Linear A 'and B' were found. The rest, as well as the palace of Kydonia, are buried under the modern city.
Tombs of Venizelos
A visit here to the historic site of Chania, next to the Venetian Temple of Prophet Elias, is necessary to honor El. Venizelos and his son Sophocles, for the services they offered at homeland, but also to his statue "Kayalle", a little surprise, raised in honor of the rebel Spyros Kargialedakis, who, through gunshots, raised the Greek flag using his own body.
In Souda, in a beautifully landscaped area, this cemetery was built in honor of the fallen soldiers who took part in the Second World War. Architect was Louis De Soissons, and includes 1527 people from different countries. Every year, events take place in memoriam with many visitors, mainly Australians and New Zealanders.
Lighthouse of Chania
The most recognizable spot in the city, 21 meters high, visible from a distance of 7 miles. It is a Venetian creature but has received many interventions to take its final form from the Egyptians in the 19th century.
The famous Venetian castle of Sfakia, haunted by the legend of the Drosulites, whose shadows still appear in the Walls some nights.
The only natural lake of Crete with fresh water, just 4 km from Georgioupolis.
Monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon or Mourtaron
It is only 15 km away from Chania, near the airport and at the foot of the mountain range of the Cross. It was built by the Venetian brothers Tzagarolos. Today, it still plays an important role in the religious and economic life of the place and in its museum space, it hosts remarkable icons and vessels, such as the 12th century handwritten script, icons of St. Nicholas, the Church of Christ etc. It is worth a visit that will familiarize you with methods of producing pure traditional products such as organic olive oil, honey wine, soap.
Monastery of the Lady of Angels Gouvernetos
It is located 19 km northeast of Chania, near the Monastery of Agia Triada, at an altitude of 260 meters, at the entrance of Avlaki Gorge, built with a fortress plan. Architecturally, it is cruciform with a dome, with many reliefs at the entrance, being dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence its name. Around the katholikon there are 50 cells, the trapeza, a small museum, etc. Next to it, there are two chapels of Saints Ten and Ioannis of hermit, who lived in a cave in the Avlaki Gorge. Take the paved path and go down to the sea, where you will find Arkoudospilios, the cave church of Agios Ioannis for 20 minutes and in 10 minutes you will see the view of the green waters enclosed in a narrow picturesque fjord.
A small island with a watchful guard at the entrance of Souda bay. Since the 14th century its defensive fortification has begun, which was not improved due to cost. Fortezza, the fortress of Souda, which surrounded the entire area of the island, from a technical point of view, responded to the purpose for which it was created. Even today it serves as a naval base, so visits and photos are not allowed.
Archaeological Museum of Chania
It is housed in the katholikon of the old Venetian Franciscan Monastery of St. Francis, next to the port of the old town. Minoan finds of the city and the prefecture, prehistoric findings of the geometric period, mosaics, etc. are exhibited.
Dominique Theotokopoulos Museum
Housed in a stone-built renovated building with some replicas of the famous artist.
Naval Museum of Crete
At the entrance of the harbor, at the Firka fortress, the Naval Museum is housed, there the Greek flag was lifted on 1-12-13, sealing the union of the island with the rest of Greece. Significant exhibits are the chamber with shells, ship dots, such as the Athenian trireme and other interesting pieces.
At the foothills of the White Mountains, in the beautiful village of Karanos, we meet the Kydoni gorge. Perhaps the greenest canyon of Crete with incredible vegetation and trees whose height exceeds 20 meters. It starts from the village, at its old fountain, where it descends a distinct path and passing through an impressive olive grove and the chapel of Agios Dimitrios, enters the river bed. The fairly easy path that crosses the dense vegetation canyon, measures 2 km to reach the point where Mavropilioti, a branch of the Platanias River, meets. In its course, it creates 2-3 small waterfalls, where we encounter a beautiful wooden bridge, which leads us to rocks and small stalactites. Its approach requires an hour of walking. At its lowest point, we find two old paths leading to the nearby settlement of Skordalou.
Chania hosts the most famous gauntlet of Europe, which is visited by thousands of visitors in the summer and is part of the European path E4. Its length reaches 15 km and its duration lasts 5-7 hours. You start from an altitude of 1250 meters and cross the Samaria National Park from Xyloskalo. Its most famous point is Sideroportes where the steep cliffs are only 4 meters apart and rise to about 500 meters. There lives the Cretan goat, but also many species of fauna and flora. Walking through the gorge to end up in the Libyan Sea is for many an end in itself.
Canyon of Therisos or El. Venizelou
It is located near Chania and you can drive through it by car within 6 km. It's vertical peaks with lush vegetation are not inferior to the rest of the gorges on the island. At the entrance of the gorge you will meet the heroic village of Therisso, hidden at the foot of the White Mountains, at an altitude of 580 meters and 16 km south of Chania, will welcome you and travel you to its history.
Agia Irini Canyon
It is part of the E4 European pathway as well as a part of Natura 2000, and has a length of 7,5 km and has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary since it is part of the Cretan goat (kri-kri) habitat and the rich flora of the region. However, the Ayiriniotiko gorge, the second after Samaria, which it competes with, is not only important for its biodiversity, its aesthetic value but its historical and cultural identity. The path of "Fygou" was the way out of the militants of the Revolution, during the Ottoman domination, to Omalos. Nearby is the Byzantine church of Christ and the ruined church of St. George. A little further south are the ancient cities of Elyros, Hirtakina, Syia, Lissos and Poikylassos.
The deepest and one of the sharpest of the county, with a height of 138 meters, is ideal for bunjee-jumping and hiking. There we find the metal bridge of Aradena, the highest in Greece and second in Europe for bunjee-jumping. The enchanting trip to the Marmaras beach is a unique travel experience.
The warm lagoon of Balos on Gramvoussa peninsula is famous for its turquoise,shallow waters, its white-sandy beaches, which in some places turn pink from its millions of broken pillows. It is part of the Natura protection program with rare species of flora and fauna such as the famous caretta-caretta turtle. You can visit the picturesque chapel of Ai-Giannis in Tigani, as well as the cave where many women and children had been slaughtered by the Ottomans, in memory of which there is a memorial to Agioi Pantes and there is a commemorative plaque to remind of this atrocities. A little further north, on the cape of Korykou, we find the ruins of the Roman city of Agnios with a temple dedicated to Apollo, where today is the picturesque chapel of Agios Sostis.
Glyka Nera Beach
Hidden between the Sfakian Mountains, this beach claims a place among the 20 most beautiful in Europe. We meet it 75 km south of Chania and 4 km west of the country of Sfakia. It was named after the freshwater springs that spill over and into the sea. In fact, we will see openings in the pebbles with fresh water. Covey beach, deep blue waters and mountain paths that invite you to follow, create a wonderful scenery. At the base of the cliff, you will meet the ruins of the temple of Agia Paraskevi. The only way to get here is by boat from Chora of Sfakia if you do not want to follow the tedious paths either from Sfakia (30 minutes) or Loutro (60 minutes).
One of the most famous beaches in Greece and awarded as one of the best in Crete and at the same time the top ten in Europe, is 59 km west of Chania and 17 km of Kissamos. The colors of the sea play their own play with the stone and the sun, traveling you to exotic paradises. The main beach of Falassarna is called Pachia Ammos, due to its length, one kilometer long, which receives most of the world and features a beach volley court as well as water sports infrastructure. Nearby is the chapel of Agia Paraskevi, where fresh water springs. The whole area is protected. Do not miss the sunset that is considered to be magical all over the island. Apart from the ruins of the ancient Roman city north of the beach, 6 km south of Kissamos, we find the ruins of Polyrenia, a very ancient city, which used Falassarna as its main port. You can see parts of the Acropolis, houses, tombs and a stone throne dedicated to Neptune.
Beaches of the Holy Apostles
Two picturesque bays next to each other (3 km west of Chania) and between them, on the dividing peninsula, a beautiful grove suitable for walking, to surround the chapel of the Holy Apostles. It has splendid turquoise waters and fine sandy shores. It has tourist facilities and is a favorite destination for cyclists in Chania, as it has a large sidewalk for this purpose.
In the southernmost point of Crete, 76 km from the city, we reach a dreamed peninsula that gives the impression of an island. The exotic backdrop, reminiscent of Caribbean, is made up of rich sand dunes, white sand with cedar trees and rare white lilies, rich biodiversity and, of course, blue-green waters. Lafonisi has a rich history in the depths of the centuries, from the ancient times when the Greeks built a temple at Apollo's Mousseget, and on the opposite bank, a sanctuary in honor of Ino, daughter of Cadmus. There was a base of pirates, to which it owns it's, Lafonisi, from the spoils hidden by the pirates.
An island, sight itself. A paradise situated on the southernmost tip of Europe, in the embrace of the Libyan Sea, 22 km from Hora Sfakion and 32 km from Paleochora. Incorporated in Natura 2000, it is a migratory bird station and shelter of endangered species, seal and turtle caretta. Nursery of pines, cedars, hooks and hedges that coexist harmoniously with thrombi, thorns and heathers to leave their intoxicating scents in the magic of the virgin nature. Equipped with water mainly, and appropriate dressing, follow its well-traveled paths to Tripiti, Kastri and Agios Panteleimonas. An island inhabited in all periods of history until today. It was the same piece of history when it was used as a place of exile for Communists. Seventeen beautiful churches embellish the corners of the island, from which the Apostle Paul passed. The Lighthouse of Gavdos in Aspas, built 368 meters above sea level, to the west of the island, is another attraction. It was built by a French company, it was rotating and operated with oil and wick, and was visible from up to 42 miles. Other sights include the Roman and early Christian ruins on the hill of Ai-Giannis, the carved tombs in Lavrakas, the excavations at Sarakiniko and the Folk Museum in Vatsiana, and of course the famous Carameles in Tripiti. At the very southern point of Gavdos and Europe at the same time, with sandy beaches to the east and pebbly rocky shores to the west, to the "tip", we meet the beach of Tripiti. Recognizable from the three large natural rocky arches, the Carameles that sink into the deep waters of the Libyan Sea. It is worth visiting, following the route from Korfos and walking 3.5 km through pine-covered paths and panoramic landscapes, to enjoy your bath in its usually calm waters. On the way back, take the second path and go through Vatsiana, taste the hospitality of the good-natured few inhabitants. A visit to the Folklore Museum of the neighboring settlement of Sgoudiana will introduce you to the locals' earlier life and will travel you to an early age, looking for fossil collections that abound on the island.
Horseback riding, diving, snow sports, parasailing, windsurfing, kite surfing and so many other activities, all combined with excellent infrastructure from small family hotels, agrotourism to luxury all-inclusive hotels. Along with the visitors' hiking quests, agrotourism units provide their know-how on local products such as honey, truffle, snails, etc.
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