Chania is beautiful, compelling, and boasts plenty of interesting things to see and do.
Here you have the six not-to-be-missed!
1. The Old Town
The number one destination on your trip to Chania is the Old Town (Palia Poli) which carries a lot of history behind its beautiful stores and buildings. It used to be the main harbor of Crete which the Venetians built in 1320 until 1356. Today is a tourist destination and a parking spot for small boats. The port is also known for the lighthouse, which is lighted at night, providing an atmospheric view of the city. Old Town also has many other buildings and museums worth visiting, like the Kyuchyuk Hassan Mosque, the Grand Arsenal, the Byzantine Walls, the Etz Hayyim Synagogue, etc. You can learn more about their history in our Chania city tour: a journey through time.
2. The Old Chania Market
The Old Chania Market is one of the most important historical monuments. Its construction began in Venetian times but took most of its form in 1913. In the 19th century, it was the city’s central trading place and hosted butcher shops, fishmongers, and greengrocers. During the Nazi occupation, German soldiers used it for the army’s needs. Today it is still a marketplace with various shops that sell local products and souvenirs.
3. The Municipal Garden
Another place to visit if you want to have a relaxing walk is the Municipal Garden. It has a small zoo with swans, ducks, and goats, a playground, a summer cinema, and the historic café “O Kipos,” where many important Greek figures have passed. It also hosts various cultural events every year.
4. Kato Stalos beach
An unpopular but beautiful beach in the north of Chania is Kato Stalos. With its beautiful clear waters and coarse sand, Kato Stalos is an ideal destination to swim during a hot summer day. A few meters away is the Agii Theodori island, one of the few islands in Crete where the kri-kri goats live. The beach is also a birthplace for turtles who visit it annually in August (volunteers and locals make a significant effort to keep the turtles and their eggs safe). It is indeed a unique scene!
5. The House of Eleftherios Venizelos and Venizelos graves
Eleftherios Venizelos was one of the most important Greek political figures of the 20th century. He was a skillful, diplomatic, and shrewd politician and former Prime Minister of Greece. His house in Chania has become a museum where you can learn about his early years and look at his office and library. Another sight in his memory is his and his brothers’ graves at the Akrotiri of Chania. There is also a tiny orthodox church of prophet Elija (Profitis Helias). Lastly, right next to the graves, you can sit and enjoy the spectacular view (which is worth seeing, especially in the afternoon).
6. Samaria’s Gorge
You must walk through Samaria’s Gorge if you love sports and nature. It’s an imposing canyon in Sfakia full of trees, bumpy roads, streams, mountains, and goats, friendly to visitors. It takes approximately six hours to cross it, but we guarantee you it’s worth it! Do not ignore to wear your trainers and sunscreen and bring a bottle of water and food with you!
Explore more of Chania with our self-guided audio tours!