CHANIA

Possibly the most photogenic part of Crete. A charming karma of everlasting aesthetics, aristocratic nobleness and calm revolutionism. A noble city that travels through the centuries proud of its multicultural past and its unique political history, respectful of its exquisite architecture, in love with the arts and civilization, passionate about “philoxenia”, the ultimate hospitality, and true human contact. The city of Chania has an artistic temperament that cannot be hidden away.

A multicultural, romantic and refined city, Chania shall enchant the visitor with its evocative beauty. The capital of Chania Prefecture, the «Venice of the East” holds a prominent position in the northern coast of Western Crete. Overlooking the great blue of the Cretan Sea in the shadow of the majestic Lefka Ori, Chania is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Greece.

Chania stands on the ruins of Minoan Kydonia. In its long history, it has always been a significant trading and cultural centre of the Mediterranean. Every inch of this city tells the story of this unique land of which the history is made of a colourful mix of great and diverse civilizations: Minoans, Cretans, Arabs, Venetians, Ottomans and Egyptians.

Built around the picturesque Venetian harbour with the symbol of the Egyptian Lighthouse, the Old Town with its characteristic Venetian aura, still maintains the glory of the past. In the historic quarters with the rambling paved allays, the Venetian palazzi and the mosques stand in harmony along with Turkish mansions, the hammams and the synagogues. Among them, exquisite churches, atmospheric guest houses, the craftsmen’s street markets, museums, traditional cafes, restaurants and all sorts of small shops make up a magical scenery.

On the famous peer of Chania, the intense social life meets with some of the most beautiful sights of the city: the Venetian fortress of Firka, the mosque of Kioutsouk Hassan or Giali Tzamisi, the shipyards and the Great Arsenali.

Spreading out of the Venetian fortifications, the New Town is as interesting as the Old Town and offers some magnificent routes. The aristocratic quarter of Chalepa with the neoclassic mansions of the 19th – 20th century and the residences of some of the most prominent personalities of modern Greece. The Tabakaria (old tanneries). The Municipal Garden. The New Archaeological Museum of Chania, a masterpiece of modernism. To the west, the road to Kissamos takes you through the seaside suburbs of the city of Chania with the cosmopolitan beaches and the intense nightlife: Stalos, Agia Marina, Platanias, Gerani, Maleme.

  • view_headlineRoutes and sights close to Chania

    From the hustle of the North to the quietness of the South, and from the exotic coastline to the untouched mainland with the authentic Cretan traditions, the prefecture of Chania offers a never-ending mosaic of sceneries and experiences where every route leads to an unpredictable surprise.

    Setting off from Chania you may organize excursions and discover the treasures of the Cretan land, enjoying the authentic Cretan philoxenia that the proud locals offer unconditionally throughout the island.

    • To the east of the city of Chania, the Akrotiri peninsula stands out for its impressive Venetian monasteries of the 16th – 17th century (Agia Triada of Jagarolon, Gouverneto Monastery, Katholiko Monastery) and some of the most beautiful beaches (Kalathas, Marathi and Stavros, where the beach scenes for “Alexis Zorbas” were shot).
    • Ancient Aptera, one of the most important cities-states of Minoan Crete is still awing the visitor.
    • The evergreen district of Apokoronas offers a unique variety of sceneries: dispersed olive groves and vineyards, picturesque plateaus, magical traditional villages (Vamos, Machairi, Gavalochori) and some of the most beautiful beaches on the island (Almyrida, Plaka, Kalives). Last stop on this amazing route is the famous seaside resort of Georgioupoli and the gorgeous lake Kourna, the only natural lake in Crete.
    • Sfakia, standing strong and proud inside the mighty Lefka Ori and the coasts of the Libyan Sea, a place unique to the entire Mediterranean.
    • The National Park of Samaria, is a unique biosphere reserve according to UNESCO. The gorge of Samaria is the largest gorge in Europe.
    • The seaside Chora of Sfakia, the boarding site for beach hopping around the untouched coastline of the Libyan Sea (Loutro, Agia Roubeli, Sougia).
    • Fragkokastello with its enchanting beach in the shadow of the legendary Venetian castle.
    • In the district of Selino, hundreds of remote byzantine churches (13th -16th century) embellish the landscape and invite the visitor to some unforgettable routes through vast olive groves, rich valleys and picturesque traditional villages.
    • In the remains of ancient Lissos visitors are amazed by the mosaic flooring of the famous Asklepion.
    • In the South, the famous Paleochora, also known as the “Nymph of the Libyan Sea” with the historic castle of Selino and it amazing beaches.
    • On the western coastline of Chania, the scenery changes dramatically and resembles to the … Caribbean! The view of Balos lagoon is ecstatic; the Peninsula of Granvousa is a waking dream of cyan waters and fine white sand.
    • Falasarna is considered among the most beautiful beaches in the entire world
    • The magical Elafonisi, an unbelievable tropical symphony of light pink sand from crushed sea shells and transparent turquoise waters, brings to mind the coral atolls of the Pacific Ocean.
    • The sublime Kedrodasos (the “cedar forest”) gives the visitor one more strong dose of exotic experiences with its clear blue waters, white sand dunes and beautiful cedars.
  • view_headlineWhat’s not to miss…
    • Enjoy the panoramic view of the city of Chania and all north-western Crete from the evergreen hill of Profitis Ilias in Akrotiri, where you should also visit the Graves of the Venizelos family.
    • Visit the indoor Market of Chania, also known as the Covered Market. This temple of Cretan gastronomy is housed under an architectural masterpiece built in 1913; a cross-shaped edifice with four gates, one on each of the cardinal points: north, south, east, and west.
    • Plan a mini-cruise to the islands of Thodorou and Lazaretta, with glass-bottom boats sailing off from the harbour of Chania
    • Visit Gavdos, the southmost part of the European continent and enjoy a magical sunset (by boat from Paleochora or Chora Sfakia).
    • Walk around the village of “Verekinthos”, the mythical mountain believed to be the home of the Idaean Dactyls (Zeus’ sons), the keepers of traditional “crafts.
    • Buy an original Cretan knife engraved with a traditional Cretan poem (mantinada).
    • Taste the treasures of the famous Cretan cuisine. Aromatic herbs, rare greens, cheese and honey pies (the “sfakiani pita”), the traditional courgette and potato pie called “bureki”, the local meat pie called “tourta”, the little cheese pastries (kalitsounia), cooked snails and of course… cold raki.
    • Visit the unique Monasteri of Chrysoskalitisa and enjoy a magical sunset from the hill of the monastery overlooking the Libyan Sea.
    • Visit the historical village of Therisso, a symbol of the Cretan revolution of 1905, and cross the evergreen gorge that goes by the same name.
    • Visit the lunar scenery of the Mountain Desert in the heart of Lefka Ori, the “Cretan Antarctica” as the scientists call it. Never without an experienced guide.
    • Cross the breath-taking Gorge of Samaria. From Xylokastro to Agia Roumeli, 16 kilometres of hiking through a nature’s wonder. (Open May to end-of-October).
  • view_headlineTraveling to Chania

    Travel to and from Chania with ANEK LINES. Enjoy a comfortable journey with one of the leading passenger ferry operators in the Mediterranean.

    ANEK LINES sails from Piraeus to Chania on daily basis with night itineraries through the year and extra daytime crossings during the summer. The company offers top quality services and authentic Cretan “philoxenia” on board.

    The routes PIRAEUS – CRETE are jointly operated with Blue Star Ferries.

    The modern fleet and highly trained crew of ANEK, promise a pleasant on board stay, meeting the needs and demands of the modern traveller. ANEK ferries have spacious cabins of all categories, comfortable and air-conditioned all-user areas with many entertainment options, modern stores, gourmet restaurants and café -bars.

    ANEK highly values gastronomy and offers exquisite menus based on authentic Cretan products and tastes of the Cretan cuisine. All ΑΝΕΚ ferries offer 24hour internet service (wi-fi and Internet Corners) at designated areas.

    Discover our best prices for ferry tickets and unique offers for passenger tickets and cabin accommodation throughout the year.

  • view_headlineArriving at Chania

    ANEK LINES ferries arrive at the port of Souda, one of the largest natural harbours of the Mediterranean, only 6 kilometres east of the town of Chania. From there, you can easily move to Chania by taxi or bus (service every 20 minutes).

    Chania is the ideal point of departure for on-road trips to the western part of Crete as well as the entire island. ANEK LINES offers reliable and value for money transportation services so you can take along your own car, motorcycle, trailer or caravan and enjoy unique trips around the island.

  • view_headlineNext stop: Rethymno

    At approximately 60 kilometres east of Chania, Rethymno hides a history of many centuries: an addictive mixture of Cretan tradition and culture with influences from the Venetian and Ottoman rule. The Old Town, one of the best preserved Venetian cities in Greece will take you back to the times of Renaissance. Here you may admire some of the most significant sights of Rethymno. The famous Rimonti fountain, the Nerantze Mosque, the aristocratic Loggia. The small Venetian harbour with the beautiful Lighthouse of the 16th century, is the theme of many snapshots but also the nightlife hot spot for locals and visitors. Close to this magical scenery is the city’s vast beach with sky-high palm trees, the place to be if you are visiting Rethymno in the summer.

    In the shadow of mythical Psiloritis, the mainland of the district of Rethymno is captivating the visitor with its intense traditional character and its unique sights. The famous Anogia of the great Cretan music tradition and the woven art. The picturesque settlement of Argyroupoli, a jewel of Venetian and Cretan architecture surrounded by abundant natural beauty, with idyllic natural springs and Byzantine churches. The historic Arkadi Monastery, a symbol of Cretan heroism, designated by UNESCO as a European Freedom Monument. To the South, the famous seaside resorts of Plakia and Agia Galini offer unique opportunities for trips to magical beaches. The famous Preveli is a “not-to-miss” destination: an exotic lagoon with natural basins, palm trees, waterfalls and white sand at the estuary of river Kourtaliotis.

  • view_headlineUseful telephone numbers

    ΑΝΕΚ LINES – Central Reservation Dept: 0030 210 4197400, 0030 210 4197420
    ANEK LINES – Chania & Souda Ticket offices: 0030 28210 27500-4
    Chania Police Station: 0030 28210 28744
    Chania Tourist Police: 0030 28210 25931
    Chania Traffic Police: 0030 28210 28758
    Chania Port Authority: 0030 28210 98888
    Souda Port Authority: 0030 28210 89240
    Castelli Port Authority: 0030 28210 22024
    Paleochora Port Authority: 0030 28230 41214
    Chania Post Office: 0030 28210 28444-28445
    Chania Town Hall: 0030 28213 41600
    “Agios Georgios” General Hospital of Chania: 0030 28210 22000, 0030 28213 42000
    ”I. Daskalogiannis” Airport of Chania: 0030 28210 83800, 0030 28210 80331
    Taxi service: 0030 28210 98700 – 0030 28210 94300
    Bus service: 0030 28210 93024
    Intercity bus service: 0030 28210 93306

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