ChaniaGreek Χανιά, also transliterated Hania or even Khania) is a beautiful port town on the northwest coast of Crete, with an atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past. Highly livable spot.
The old town is centred around the harbour, a maze of alleys and houses that stood for hundreds of years, were rebuilt, ruined and rebuilt again with details from different epochs. Old Town is full of souvenir, art and crafts shops. The new quarters house the regular span of shops, where you can find most of your needs for hiking and other adventures. The beaches begin not far from Old Town, the nearest one being Nea Hora, a 1 km walk from the west end of Old Town.
ClimateSummer season (April to October) is hot and dry with clear skies. Dry, hot days are often relieved by a seasonal breeze from the north, Meltemi. There are occasional heat waves. Winters are mild with relatively little rain and rare frosts but with a high level of humidity that drops the relative temperature.
phone: +30 28210 83800The airport is named after Daskalogiannis, a Sfakiot hero who was skinned by the Turks in the 18th century. It is rather small with 6 gates.
There are several daily flights from Athens, via Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines. From April to early November, there are many direct charter flights to Chania from the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and other European countries. You can get to the city by taxi (€25, about a 20 minutes drive) or city bus (€2.50, service every 30-60 minutes).
Ferry services from Athens (Piraeus port) to Chania (Hania) anchor at the nearby port of Souda. Daily ferries, one ordinary with ANEK and one fast catamaran with Hellenic Seaways.
By busChania is connected to the rest of Crete by regular bus lines operated by the KTEL company. The coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned. Fare is reasonable. Public transportation is fairly frequent and timetables trustworthy. Bus services along the north coast and towards the south coast are excellent, reliable, frequent and cheap.
By carHighway E75 (A90) goes along the north coast of Crete from Heraklion to Kissamos. It goes by the southern outskirts of the town. The old road, that still has the name 90, is parallel to the new highway and is the main road through all the small resorts west of Chania.
Hiring a car is easy with the usual documentation (a standard EU driving licence is fine.) Get prior permission in writing from the rental company if you plan to take the car away on a ferry.
If you are on Crete to see the 'real Crete', as opposed to the night clubs, then visiting the villages of the island is a must. All Cretan culture can be seen, heard and tasted in the villages. The Cretans at work or at leisure will always welcome visitors and show you how to do things the correct way. All villages have a central kafenion (coffee shop) which is where all people eventually end up. The kafenion, apart from being a place to meet friends for a coffee, raki or a game of tavli (backgammon), is used as the main information centre of the village. Be aware, however, that the kafenion is still very much a male dominion and women are generally not welcome inside (as opposed to a kafeteria or regular cafe). Most villages have war memorials and the locals will willingly fill in any missing information. Gavalohori has a wonderful folklore museum where much about village life can be learned.
phone: +30 28210 862 86address: Parados Kondylaki, 730 11, Hania, Crete, Hellas (GR)Until 1999 Etz Hayyim was a house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on Crete after the destruction of Crete's Jewish community in 1944. Essentially it stood as a monument to the success of the Nazis in obliterating 2,300 years of Jewish life on Crete. Between 1996 and the year of its rededication in 1999, the structure was painstakingly restored. The philosophy that directed this work is summed up in the Hebrew Am Israel Hayy: 'The people of Israel live'. Until recently it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund's list of most endangered sites.
- Stroll around old town and old Venetian harbour.
- The Archaeological Museum of Hania is well worth a visit.
- Samaria Gorge is an easy and popular day trip from here.
address: Old national road Chania KissamosSee the German cemetery on Kaukales hill at Maleme, the historical airport battlefield, the beach of Gerani where the sea turtle Caretta caretta is preserved.
- The beautiful Elafonissi beach is reachable by bus (one per day, 9am, 11€ each way). KTEL company.
- Visit the beautiful Balos beach from the nearby town of Kissamos, which can be reached by bus.
- Mpourakis in Kounoupidiana presents delicious traditional cuisine. From Kounoupidiana centre take the road on the right go towards Stavros, 100 m on the right side.
The Roadhouse Bar & Grillphone: +30 28210 64072address: Kounoupidiana, AkrotiriIs a bar & grill serving cheeseburgers and chili. The owners speak fluent English, Bulgarian and German. Has Karaoke.
- Mike's in Maleme, 17 km west from Chania. Home-style cooking .
- Pinaleon in El.Venizelou. Good tavern which serves tasty Cretan cuisine.
phone: +30 2821093733, +30 6979151577address: Paparigopoulou & Nikolaou Xilouri, 99A new restaurant serving traditional Greek and Cretan dishes. The food is very fresh with very large portions. Their patio seating has fantastic views of the sea and city.
phone: +30 2821054547address: Kallinikou Street 1-3The cooking is excellent, and the atmosphere is casual and welcoming, The inside rooms are perfect for cooler evenings. Previous winner of Gourmet's award for the best ethnic food in Crete for the last two years. Open daily for dinner except Tuesdays.
address: Gramboussa KissamouTraditional Cretan cuisine in quiet surroundings.
phone: +30 28210 55600address: Katechaki Square, ChaniaSituated among the beautiful Venetian ruins of Chania old harbour. Open for dinner all year round.
phone: +30 28210 38180-1address: Platanias - opposite the Minoa Palace HotelStylish Italian restaurant set on a beautifully decorated, spacious roof piazza overlooking the coastline of Platanias. Fresh seafood, pasta, risotto, succulent fillet steaks and wood-fired oven pizza. Open every evening in summer for dinner and take-away.
Iro Apartments36 K. Paleologu Street, Tel./. Small hotel combining vicinity to the centre of Chania and the old town (within 900 m) as well as the sandy beach of Nea Hora (30 m away). Great atmosphere.
- Hotel Helena - Lovely hotel, €35/n for a single and €55/n for a double. A very friendly and chatty proprietor who was always available to provide advice or assistance. Just two streets down from the seafront..
phone: +30 28210-27691Epimenidou and Ikarou, - in the old town.
phone: +30 2821 0 46048address: 32 Betolo St&. Quaint, clean, centrally located in the Old Town.
phone: +30 694 8581232Fully equipped suites and maisonettes of one, two and three bedrooms equipped with modern comforts.
phone: +30 28210 39404In Stavros - Akrotiri - Chania. The spotless, well appointed, villas and apartments which can accommodate 2 to 6 people, come complete with private bathrooms, kitchenettes and balconies with wonderful view. The villas and apartments vary in style and location. All are within two minutes from the beach and provide clean attractive accommodation.
phone: +30 28210-93733address: ParigoriaA family run hotel, with friendly and helpful staff who really want their guests to be happy. It's near the national road which is important if you want to easily go on an excursions and explore the island. It is close to the beach and the rooms have fantastic sea views. Booking a room with breakfast and dinner is a good thing to do. The hotel restaurant is called Theo.
Villa Anna Mariaa holiday villa in Gerani that accommodates up to 8 persons
phone: +30 28210334563-star beach hotel in Chania prefecture, right near the beaches of Agii Apostoli and Glaros.
phone: +30 28210 60690address: Kato StalosFamily beach hotel with swimming pool, on the beach, awarded the “Blue Flag” of the European Union and supervised by lifeguards. It consists of 22 apartments and studios with private balcony or patio with sea view. A bus-stop is close to the hotel.