A typical city of Crete and often considered more charming than the island’s capital, Heraklion, Chania is a delight for the eyes and the tourists. Its Venetian heritage still very present, its colors, its many activities in and outside the city, it is also possible to arrive by plane via its airport!

Discover below our travel guide to Chania (Greek name for the city)!

How to get to Chania?

To get to the second largest city in Crete, you can choose between the main modes of transportation. This quality sideboard makes your travel arrangements much easier. Here are the main options available to you…

1. Flights and planes

What is the best month to go to Crete?

Chania is fortunate to have one of the 3 airports on the island of Crete (the others being Sitia and the capital Heraklion). The Chaniá region has an international airport that offers direct flights from some French cities. However, it is also possible to stop over in Athens before taking a domestic flight.

2. By ferry

There is a ferry connection between Athens and Chania. The night crossing takes 9 hours.

3. How to reach your hotel from Chania airport

If you want to arrive directly at the airport of Chania, you can of course take a cab or rent a car. If you want to book a shuttle to drop you off at the hotel, here is :

Where is Chania in Crete?

It is the second largest city in Crete, with more than 55,000 inhabitants and many tourists every year. Located in the west of the island, not far from Rethymnon or the capital Heraklion, it is especially close to many beautiful places of Crete, such as the beaches of Balos or Elafonisi!

  • Chania – Heraklion : 142 km and 2h04
  • Chania – Rethymnon : 61 km and 1h
  • Chania – Balos Beach : 52 km and 1h20
  • Chania – Elafonisi : 73 km and 1h35

Where to sleep in Chania?

1. Book your hotel

Chania being a particularly touristic city and Crete being an island with many high quality hotels, discover your hotel in Chania on this map :

Booking.com

2. Villa rental

For an even more incredible stay, you also have the possibility to rent a villa in Crete, in Chania and its surroundings. Villa with swimming pool, sea view or garden, treat yourself to your future vacations in Crete!

3. Favorite ♥: Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa

Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa is a rather incredible establishment built in an ancient Venetian mansion. With a definite luxury and an advanced design. A comfort of all the moments and especially: magnificent views, incomparable, on the city and its port. Without forgetting its high standing Spa.

Book now your stay at Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa, definitely one of the most beautiful hotels in Crete!

A 5 star hotel offering nights from 200€, including breakfast for a couple.

The 13 best things to do in Chania!

1. Discover Chania with fun activities

Book yours below!

2. Hiking around Chania

If you want to go hiking around Chania, because yes you will have to leave the city to do so, here are some excursions to do in Crete, accompanied by a local guide!

For beautiful hikes through breathtaking landscapes, also head to the Akrotiri peninsula. Located about ten kilometers from the city center of Chania, this peninsula is bordered on the north by high hills and offers the ideal setting for walks of a few hours or more sportive hikes.

Its coastline, cut into the rock, is home to magnificent coves and some beautiful beaches. Very busy on weekends by the locals, they are quiet the rest of the time. Stroll along the coast for a pleasant walk in the fresh air.

Looking for a more exotic getaway? Take a walk in the hills of the Akrotiri peninsula and discover the monasteries through a unique panorama. Meet at the monastery of Agia Triada where you will leave your vehicle. Visit this beautiful place before walking north to Moni Gouverneto and then to the Bear Cave and finally to the remains of the Katholiko Monastery. Take advantage of this quiet spot to take a swim before heading back along the same route.

3. Visit the Venetian port of Chania

What to see in Chania?
A historic port full of heritage, emblem of the city of Chania!

The port is a must-see place to visit. THE symbol of the city throughout Greece, Europe and the world.

Charming and picturesque, it is surrounded by colorful Venetian style houses. You can also discover some of the most emblematic monuments of the port city, such as :

  • the mosque of the Janissaries,
  • Fort Firkas,
  • the Venetian lighthouse
  • and the incredible warehouses of the great arsenal.

4. Discover the Greek and Cretan culture on site

If the Cretan city is so loved by tourists and vacationers (as well as by the Cretans themselves) it is also because the city is one of the most charming on the island. True symbol of the island for its alleys, its port, its restaurants and the warmth of its inhabitants, Chania also makes a point of honor to present all the heritage of Greece and Crete to visitors.

Discover more about the place (wine, oil, villages, gastronomy) thanks to these excursions:

 

5. Discover the Archaeological Museum

Less spectacular than its counterpart in Heraklion, the Archaeological Museum of Chania is also full of incredible treasures from the ancient city of Kydonia.

It presents a rich collection of archaeological objects, including sculptures, ceramics, jewelry and weapons. Most of the objects are from excavations in the area of Chania and date from the Minoan, Classical and Byzantine periods.

These precious Minoan remains are exposed in an atypical place: the Basilica of Saint Francis. One more reason not to miss this exceptional place.

6. Stroll through the old town’s neighborhoods

Chania is a city to live in. Stroll through the colorful streets of the city center and let yourself be overwhelmed by the old-fashioned charm of the Kasteli district, discover the remains of the ancient city of Kydonia, trace the evidence of its Hebrew heritage on the houses and in the alleys of the charming district of Evraiki, stroll through the typical alleys of the Topanas district.

7. Agii Apostoli Beach

Where to swim in Chania?
One of the most beautiful beaches of Chania!

Only fifteen minutes by bus from Chania is the beautiful and wild Agii Apostoli Beach. Located in a small cove and surrounded by small cliffs, you will be perfectly sheltered from the wind on site.

Agii Aposili Beach offers of course the possibility to tourists and bathers to rent sunbeds (as often in Crete) or umbrellas. You can even show up without a picnic and buy food on the spot, after a few swims in the clear waters and waves of Agii!

Go to Golden Beach or Notis Beach for all this and all those who are looking for a beautiful beach on the spot.

8. Iguana Beach

What to do in Chania ?
Diving and sunbathing at Iguana!

If Agii Apostili didn’t work for you, you’ll have no trouble finding a replacement. Cross the street and find another beach in Chania: Iguana Beach!

With its parking, deckchairs, umbrellas and snacks in seats or to take away, you also have everything on site.

Don’t forget your diving accessories (masks, snorkels, fins) to observe the Iguana Bach fish through the turquoise water of the beach.

9. Explore Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna: 3 Crete wonders

 

Chania and its region is also a famous destination for absolutely incredible beaches. Breathtaking places where tourists from all over the world come for some fine sand, sometimes even pink, but also blue and turquoise waters.

To find these stunningly beautiful beaches, you’ll have to leave the city and drive a few miles. You will then reach the incredible pink sandy beach of Elafonissi or the beach of Falassarna famous for its crystal clear waters.

You prefer wild atmospheres that give the impression of being at the end of the world! Take the direction of Balos Beach and its famous multicolored sands.

10. Where to eat? 3 restaurants to try!

How to make a souvlaki ?
Enjoy a Souvlaki in Chania!

Gastronomy is one of the main reasons why visitors choose Chania as a vacation destination. The city offers a refined cuisine, inspired by Greek, Turkish and Italian culinary traditions. The restaurants of Chania offer a wide range of delicious dishes, based on fresh local products. Meat and fish are particularly popular, as well as vegetables and seafood. The wines of Chania are also very popular, as well as the local spirits, such as raki. Chania is a cosmopolitan city, where you can enjoy quality cuisine in a pleasant setting. The restaurants of Chania are frequented by tourists and locals. Most establishments are open all year round and offer traditional Greek and international cuisine. In the restaurants of Chania, you can taste typical dishes of the Greek gastronomy, such as moussakas, souvlakis or gyros. The restaurants in Chania also offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes. For food lovers, Chania is an ideal city. The gastronomy is refined and varied, and the restaurants offer a pleasant setting for tasting delicious dishes.

Where to eat in Chania ? For holidaymakers curious to taste the local cuisine, go to :

  • To Antikristo (El.Venizelou Chania, Perivolia, Chania): rated 5 out of 769 reviews on Tripadvisor! Mediterranean cuisine, barbecue, grills, Greek and healthy food. Vegetarians, vegans and gluten free are welcome!
  • Ta Meraklikia tou Boureksi (Ipsilanton 13 Behind the Town Hall, Chania, Crete 731 35 Greece): score 4.5 out of 777 reviews on Tripadvisor. Steakhouse, Mediterranean, Greek and healthy cuisine
  • Salavantes – Garden Restaurant & bar (Chania-Kissamos old road, Kalamaki, Chania, Crete 73500 Greece): rated 5 out of 543 reviews on Tripavisor! Seafood, fish, Mediterranean, European, Greek and international cuisine.

11. Where to go out? 6 good addresses

Celebrate in Chania! Chania is known to be a very lively destination, especially in summer. The bars and clubs are open late at night and there is always something to do. If you like to party, Chania is the place for you.

To get some ideas of bars or nightclubs to go to:

  • Peacock Tail Bar: bar and nightclub
  • Sinagogi Bar: bar
  • Avalon Rock Pub: pub
  • Ababa Bar: bar and nightclub
  • Chania Irish Pub Conor Pass: bar and nightclub
  • Bazaki: bar and nightclub

12. Discover the mosques of the city

Take advantage of your stay in the city of Crete to go and admire the mosques of the city: the city has many mosques, built during its eventful history and so rich in history.

The most famous is the Hassan Pascha mosque, which stands proudly on the port, at the foot of the water. A mosque built in the 17th century that offers an exceptional panorama to visitors and inhabitants of the city.

13. Hiking in the mountains of Lefka Ori

The mountains of Lefka Ori are located northwest of Chania and are a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. There are many hiking trails in the mountains, including the Ridge Trail, which offers a breathtaking view of the Samaria Gorge. The other trails also allow you to discover the beauty of the mountains and the lush vegetation.

Weather Chania : what is the yearly climate ?

Minimum and maximum temperatures

9 à 15°
10 à 15°
11 à 17°
13 à 21°
17 à 24°
20 à 29°
23 à 31°
23 à 31°
21 à 29°
17 à 24°
14 à 19°
11 à 16°

The city of Chania has a warm temperate climate. Spring and summer are hot and dry while the wet season is from November to January.

Its average annual temperature is 19°C with a fluctuation of 9°C in January to 31°C in July.

Chania is a sunny city all year round, which makes it the ideal place for a sunny vacation. The city is located on the southern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. Chania is famous for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters and numerous water activities. Holidaymakers can enjoy :

  • scuba diving,
  • windsurfing,
  • kitesurfing,
  • snorkeling,
  • kayaking,
  • Stand Up Paddle,
  • surfing,
  • of the sail,
  • wakeboarding
  • and water skiing.

When to go to Chania?

These exceptional climatic conditions ensure that you will enjoy idyllic weather during a stay between April and October.

Covid : the situation in Chania and Greece in 2022

In Chania, as everywhere else with the arrival of vaccines and the decrease of contaminations, the sanitary conditions and access have changed. At the time of writing (June 2022), here is what the Embassy’s website states:

Entry to Greece is allowed to all travelers by air, from and to all its airports, as well as by sea, road and rail, regardless of the country of origin. As of May 1, 2022, it is no longer necessary to present the European Covid Certificate (ECDC) upon arrival at the Greek borders. No screening test is required for non-vaccinated travelers. The conditions of entry into Greece are the responsibility of the Greek authorities. The measures can be re-evaluated on the basis of the epidemiological situation of the country: The relief of sanitary measures is valid until September 15, 2022. After this date, the measures will be re-evaluated.

Chania, a city with a rich history

Chania is a coastal city on the western side of Crete and is a must-see tourist destination with a rich historical heritage. Called Chaniá in Greek (Χανιά), it was built on the remains of the Minoan city of Kydonia. Several times destroyed and rebuilt, it is now an airy and pleasant city that is considered one of the prettiest on the island.

Chania is the second largest city in Crete and is full of charm. Its old Venetian port, dominated by its 15th century lighthouse, will enthral you. You will be intrigued by the unusual architecture of the Janissary Mosque whose central dome is surrounded by 12 small domes.

Behind the port and its Venetian warehouses, the Splantzia district plunges you into a timeless atmosphere. You can admire the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox cathedrals that face each other in the main square of this historic district.

Chania : what are your opinions about the city ?

Beautiful harbor where you have a superb view of the old town of Chania. You can walk along the beach to the Venetian lighthouse to have a global view of the fortress

Tripadvisor, May 2021

With its small streets, its old houses, its old Venetian port, its old covered market, Chania has everything to become a charming city. Problem is, there are a lot of businesses, a lot of renovations (many houses have become hotels) that are there just to sell to tourists. It breaks the authenticity a bit. Fortunately, around the Venetian port, there are still small streets that have kept their character.

May 2019

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