simplychania.gr

ABOUT CHANIA

Crete, the largest and the most southern of the Greek islands, is characterized by a unique culture, nature and diversity. Behind their passage on the island, Romans, Saracen Arabs, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and Egyptians have left numerous cultural treasures.

 

Chania embraces Mediterranean’s past glory - on the north coast and most western part of Crete, the former capital city of Crete (from 1849 to 1971), pictures wonderfully this combination of Eastern and Western civilisations, where traditional and modern architecture coexist in harmony.

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Chania is definitely the most picturesque seaside town of the island with its well preserved historic features, making the city unique and attractive for all visitors, a "top-rated destination" city in the world.

 

The region of Chania is famous for its wonderful coves and lagoons with golden sand and crystalline waters, such as Balos on the peninsula of Gramvousa or Elafonisi (the treasure island). You can still discover in Crete pure and unexplored beaches...The island presents a great diversity of wild natural scenery and in order to preserve endemic plants and protect endangered species and their habitats, the prefecture of Chania is committed with the European ecological network Natura 2000.

 

Step into the "inner Crete" -  where its diversity of environments invites you to limitless hiking and walking opportunities. On the south coast, the E4 trail will take adventurers along the most beautiful coastal routes. At the back of Chania, the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) with its highest summit at 2453m, offer their majestic presence from almost any point in the landscape from the north and south side.

Exploring the “inner Crete” is also discovering Crete’s authenticity. Cretans are proud of their cultural traditions and are more than willing to introduce anyone to their music, dances, arts and crafts.  English is widely spoken on the island and communicating therefore is not a problem.

 

Chania is the perfect location for your holiday and makes the ideal base for exploring western Crete. While you combine your stay at Simply Chania in the Old Town, you can explore the natural beauty of Crete, discover the Cretan culture and learn the secrets of Mediterranean diet. Chania is simply the best choice to start you journey in Crete.

 

HISTORY OF CHANIA

The excavations carried out in the Old Town of Chania have revealed to be the site of ancient Kydonia, one of the cities of Minoan Crete. In 69 BC, the city succumbed to the Roman invasion, and flourished under their rule until 324 AD.

Chania became the seat of a bishop during the early Christian era from 395 until 824 AD. But the negligence had brought the island into the hands of Saracen Arabs pirates until 961 AD, who first gave the name “Al Hanim” to the city.

It was retaken by the Byzantine Empire and remained a significant settlement and military fort, under its protection until 1204. In this period the Arabic name of the city was changed into greek “Chania”.

In 1252, the city came under control of the Venetians and their occupation lasted nearly 400 years. First limited to the fortified hill of Kastelli, the Venetians started the construction of new fortifications that were completed in the second half of the century.The two sets of city walls are still intact today. The city of Chania during the period that followed was a blend of Byzantine, Venetian and Classical Greek cultural elements.

Despite its fortifications, the city was captured by the Ottomans in 1645 and remained under their rule until 1898.The Turks lived mainly in the eastern districts and the Christians more in the west of the city.Most of the churches were turned into mosques.

The Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire started in 1821. It caused strong conflicts between Greeks and Turks in Chania, and many casualties against Christians. In 1878 the Convention of Halepa was signed and gave to the Christians greater freedom. In 1898, Chania was made the capital of the semi-autonomous “Cretan state” by the intervention of the Great Powers (Italy, France, Austria, Germany, England and Russia), with prince George as the governor. Chania enjoyed the greatest prosperity in its history and turned into a multiethnic society with modern lifestyle and intense building activity leading to the spread of the city. Nevertheless, the Cretans never stopped fighting for their dream of standard union with Greece, and Eleftherios Venizelos first managed to established a revolutionary government in Chania. After he became prime minister of Greece in 1910, he brought the unification of Crete with Greece in 1913.

 

In May 1941, started the Battle of Crete while during ten days Nazi forces began an intense air bombardment on Chania, destroying some of the Old Town. Despite Hitler parachute forces were decimated, the Germans finally won the Battle and forced the Allies to evacuate their troops via Sfakia in the south, from where they embarked for Alexandria. The anniversary of the battle is commemorated each year with ceremonies in Chania as well as in the surrounding towns which also played a major role.

Architecture

You will see a wonderful mix of architecture in the towns of Crete. Much of it, is Venetian or ottoman in origin. These buildings are invariably listed.

 

Venetian Architecture

The Venetians built many fortifications during the long years of their occupation. The most well known defences are seen in the arsenals, walls and harbours of Chania and Heraklion and the fortresses of Rethymnon and Frangokastello. The civic architecture of the same period is also found in towns. There are some fine Venetian town houses and palaces too, Chania is full of them. The houses of the aristocracy were typically tall and narrow, of 3 floors, with decorative arches, windows and balconies.

 

Ottoman architecture

The mosques and minarets of Chania, Rethymnon and heraklion are evidence of two centuries of Turkish occupation. You will also see Turkish fountains and typical Ottoman houses. The old town of Rethymnon has a number of these distinctive buildings, in which the facade of the second floor is constructed of wood and juts out above the street. It is likely that this feature was incorporated to conceal Muslim women from the gaze of passersby below. Many buildings from this period were neglected or destroyed after the occupation, although those remaining today are in the process of restoration

 

Museum and Sites

Museums and Archaeological sites have opening hours which vary throughout the season. We have therefore included a list for you, below:

 

 

District of Chania

 

Chania Archaeological Museum, Halidon St.

The Museum is housed in a Venetian built, latterly converted by the Turks into a mosque. A T Turkish fountain can still be seen in the courtyard. Exhibits from the entire Chania region include Minoan pottery and pithoi and some inscribed tablets showing the famous Linear A and Linear B script.

Tel. Number : +2821090334  or contact us for any further information

 

Chania Naval Museum, Outer Harbour

The Naval Museum is located on the western side of the outer harbour, close to the site where the Greek flag was raised for the first time on Crete in 1913, hence a place of real significance for all Cretans. The exhibits are mostly concerned with naval tradition and warfare and there is an extremely interesting and informative display about The Battle of Crete.

Tel. Number : +2821091875  or contact us for any further information

 

Chania Folklore Museum, Halidon St.

The Folklore Museum of Chania houses The greater part of the collection consists of depictions of either agricultural tasks (ploughing, sowing, harvesting, threshing and treading grapes) or household occupations, such as preparations for the daily meal, weaving on the loom, or the processing of raw materials for embroidery and weaving. There are also models of the workplaces of traditional professions, such as a cobbler’s, tailor’s, and a rope- and basket-maker’s. In addition, there are exhibits of various ornaments, objects of daily use, musical instruments and furniture.Also of great interest is the collection of woven and embroidered cloth at the museum (of which a part is hung on the walls), human models wearing traditional dress, and furniture, such as the bridal bed and the sitting room settee.

Tel. Number : +2821090816  or contact us for any further information

 

Center Of Mediterranean Architecture

The center of Mediterranean Architecture is unmixed Municipal Enterprise based in Chania, member of the Network of the Architectural Culture of Ministry of Culture. Founded in 1997 after initiative of the Municipality of Chania and is subsidized 50% from the municipality of Chania and the Ministry of Culture.Objective of [CME] remains, from the first formulation of its program, the undertaking of various activities and events, that will focus their interest in the problems of management of space and Architecture, the art that is related with it.

Tel. Number : +2821040201  or contact us for any further information

 

Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, Halidon St.

The Municipal Art Gallery of Chania constitutes a unique place of culture that hosts works of painting, engraving and sculpture of Greek creators and local artists, that are dated by the 18th century until today. Core of the collection of works that are exposed in the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania was the donation of Lykourgos Manousakis during the end of decade 1950.

Tel. Number : +2821092294  or contact us for any further information

 

Etz Hayyim Synagogue,

Etz Hayyim Synagogue is the only surviving Jewish monument on the island of Crete. The building goes back to the Venetian period and became a Synagogue with distinctly Romaniote architectural features in the 17th century. Its Mikveh is one of Greece’s oldest functioning ones. Quite unusually there are several tombs in the South courtyard. Until 1999 Etz Hayyim was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of our 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 the island of Crete.  From 1996 until the year of its re-dedication 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’.  In 1996, the Synagogue was mentioned on the World Monument Fund’s list of most endangered sites, but today it stands as a vibrant statement of Jewish life, vitality and values.

We invite you to explore our rich history as well as our current activities and events.

Tel. Number : +2821086286  or contact us for any further information

 

Turkish Mosque Yiali Tzami (or Giali Tzami)

The Turkish Mosque Yiali Tzami (or Giali Tzami) is hard to miss, as it dominates the Venetian harbour of Chania.The mosque is an imposingly large, square building with a great dome supported by four flying arches.You will notice that the building also has six small domes, but no minaret. The minaret was demolished in the early 20th century.The name “Yiali Tzami” comes from the Turkish “Yali Tzamissi”, meaning “seaside mosque”. The mosque was a Muslim place of worship until 1923, when the last Muslims left Crete at the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. In the courtyard were palm trees and the tombs of various pashas.The mosque was dedicated to Küçük Hassan Pasha, the first Turkish military governor of Chania.It was the first mosque built in Crete after the Turkish conquest of the city of Chania in 1649.Recent research by the Archaeological Service has shown that the mosque was built on the site of a small church.From an architectural point of view, the Yiali Tzami is strongly Arabic in style.It housed the Chania Museum for a time but is now used for art exhibitions.

 

Venetian Neoria

During the Venetian occupation (1204 - 1669), the need for the closer presence of Venetians in Crete made them construct a large number of "Neoria" (arsenal) in Chania, where the ships would be repaired during the winter. The construction of the first two "Neoria" in Chania was completed in 1526. In 1593, sixteen "Neoria" had already been constructed.In 1599, the south "Neoria" complex was completed with the construction of the 17th "Neorio".  In 1607, during the expansion of the northeast rampart, begins the construction of 5 more "Neoria" at the heart of the port to the east. Two of them were completed, however, only the walls to the arch of the third one were constructed. During the Turkish period, the lack of maintenance works in the port and the degradation of the role of “Neoria" also resulted in the alteration of the original function of “Neoria” which were now used as military storage spaces. From the initial "Neoria" complex with 17 "Neoria", nine were demolished.Nowadays, a group of 7 continuous domes is preserved-along with another one further to the west, the "Grand Arsenal" (today, the Centre of Mediterranean Architecture). Only two "Neoria" are preserved intact from "Moro" complex, at the heart of the port, while in the position of the demolished "Neoria", the stone building of the new customs of Chania was constructed, which is today surrounded by two squares.

 

Neorio Moro, Sailing Club Of Chania

Until recently "head uncovered" by the Venetian shipyards in Chania, Neorio Moro as is known, recently renovated, with originally designed to house the Sailing Club of Chania.Located in the Venetian Port , and belongs to the impressive buildings on the east of the shipyards complex where it belongs and the Great Arsenal .The Neorio Moro takes its name from the homonymous Venetian foreseeable Chania who oversaw the construction of extremely impressive for its time (early 16th century) buildings.It is a large stone construction with arched facade. At the time of acne and its use, the Neorio Moro was open to the sea, to enable ships to come and go freely after work.Since 2010 delivered restored, is the "home" Sailing, members of which have a "particular aesthetic building, imposing, in a geographical key point, with infinite possibilities of use and countless symbolism."So far, the Neorio Moro has become a center of contemporary culture city of Chania and operates as a non-profit organization. Often hosts cultural events such as art exhibitions and performances, performances, installations, lectures, seminars, screenings, musical presentations.The Sailing Club of Chania was founded in 1990 as the "Sailing Club of Chania". Since 1993, it converted to a group, as today has constant active action in sailing races and training.

 

Byzantine & Post - Byzantine Collection of Chania, Theotokopoulou St.

This small, interesting collection is housed in the former church of San Salvatore, at the harbour end of Theotokopoulou St. It includes icons, mosaics, frescoes, pottery and jewellery and is well presented, with good written information.

Tel. Number : +2821096046  or contact us for any further information

 

 

Gavalochori Folklore Museum, Gavalochori Village

Not far from Chania, the village of Gavalochori is the location for this small museum with a very interesting array of exhibits, including pottery, coins, woodcarving, embroidery, lace and many household objects of historical value. The interior of a traditional Cretan house has been faithfully reproduced on the ground floor.

Tel. Number : +2825023222  or contact us for any further information

 

Aptera

Aptera was one of Crete’s most important cities, from the 5th century BC, into early Christian times. It is located about 3 km from Megala Horafia, a short distance off the main highway, east of the Akrotiri and Souda. You can see the remains of the massive walls, a Roman theatre and water tanks and a classical Greek temple. Of interest also, is the abandoned monastery of Saint Ioannis Theologos and, at the western tip, a Turkish fortress, from which you have stunning views over Souda Bay. Aptera is the place in legend from which Sirens, after defeat by the Muses in a contest of music, plucked off their wings and plunged into the sea below, to become islands at the mouth of Souda Bay.

 

Ancient Town, Falasarna

The ancient town of Falasarna, is located at the west base of the peninsula Gramvousa and was one of the major towns of Crete during the Hellenistic Era. The city was famous for its port, the only natural harbor in western Crete, built in a small lagoon.In Falasarna the archaeologists have identified parts of buildings and the acropolis overlooking the harbor with traces of strong walls. Moreover, east of the port a cemetery with 43 archaic graves has been found. The territory of Falasarna extended up to the tip of the peninsula of Gramvousa, where there was a temple. Also, a carved throne has been found within walking distance from the town, which was probably dedicated to the god of the sea, Poseidon, or was simply throne for speakers.The most interesting part of town is definitely its port, which has now elevated up to 9m from the sea surface due to the lifting of Western Crete by the earthquake of 365 BC! It's really impressive to see port facilities on land. The harbor was protected by four towers (2 of them have been identified) and the port was accessed through a narrow artificial canal.It is believed that Falassarna was a refuge for pirates. This forced the Romans to destroy the city in 69 BC and seal the port forever. The town since then could not recover and regain its former glory, thus it was abandoned during the 4th century AD.

 

Therisso National Resistance Museum, Therissos Village

The Museum of National Resistance of 1941-1945 is located at the entrance of the village Therisso. The opening of the museum took place in May 2003 and remains open every day thanks to the voluntary offer of a lady.The museum hosts weapons and relics, the printing press and the typewriter of the Resistance, many military objects of the German Occupation (helmets, bayonets, bullets, grenades, etc.), the file of the German Gestapo at Chania, manuscripts, maps with the major battles that took place in Crete during the German occupation and many photographs of the guerillas of the Resistance against the German occupiers.The museum is very active and organizes workshops, speeches, lectures, guided tours of the site, anniversary memorial celebrations, book publications, exhibitions and installing commemorative plaques in places where battles took place.

Tel. Number : +2821078004  or contact us for any further information

 

Botanical Park of Crete,  Skordalou Kidonias Chania Crete

Nearly 20 hectares of land are waiting to welcome you, full of fruit trees from all over the world, herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants in a park different from others, where the land’s formation and the region’s microclimate make it a paradise for hundreds of plants and animals! In the midst of this colorful and vivid landscape stands a burnt centennial olive tree, a memorial and a reference to the dismal fires of 2003, the park’s history and origin. The newest and one of the most interesting sites of the Prefecture of Chania lies only 18 kilometers outside the city, on the feet of the White Mountains. It is ideal for visitors of all ages, combining enjoyments that only Crete can offer!

The Botanical Park is the ideal alternative proposal for a day’s escape from the city’s noise and the fashionable beaches. The dramatic scenery here is composed of rare samples of the local flora and fauna, as well as tropical and subtropical species from all over the world, with new samples added daily, changing the look of the Botanical Park and providing visitors with a motive to enjoy it over and over again!

This adventure in nature which lasts one to two hours, follows paths of unique natural beauty and provides visitors with the opportunity to get acquainted with the numerous different plants and trees that grow on the two hundred square kilometers of the well-designed planted hillside. The appropriate signposting of the paths leads the visitor to various sections of the Botanical Park (tropical trees, fruit-bearing trees, citrus trees, herbs and vineyards). The lush landscape is completed by the lake in the lower part of the part, offering accommodation and protection to ducks, geese and other water birds (and rare species), even to hawks that fly in the area. The park also has an open-air, stone atmospheric amphitheatre suitable for small (capacity for approximately 250 persons) events. Depending on the time of the year, you will have the opportunity to enjoy flowers, plants and trees through all phases of their life-cycle, parallel to the various species of wild flora and fauna which they attract each season. Any time of the year you visit the Botanical Park, you will be impressed by the colors, fragrances and variety of species. During the summer months, the best time to schedule your visit is early in the morning, avoiding the strong heat, and having the opportunity to complete your experience with an excellent meal in the park’s restaurant. Its totally local, organic and seasonal philosophy will be unforgettable.

Tel. Number : +306976860573  or contact us for any further information

 

The Monumental Olive Tree in Vouves, Vouves Village ( Municipality of Platanias )

The Olive Tree Museum of Vouves is ideally located next to the Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves, the oldest olive tree in the world, which is visited by approximately 20.000 people every year from all over the world. The number of visitors is expected to increase rapidly in the years to come. The Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves has been declared as “natural heritage monument” by decision no 603/17-2-1997of the Secretary General of the Region of Crete, due to its special ecological and historical importance.There are at least ten more monumental olive trees in this area, namely the same number of trees as in the whole of Crete. This fact testifies to the long-standing relationship between the residents of this area with the olive tree that dates back to antiquity.For all of the above reasons, the Municipal Council, having full knowledge of the responsibility that it bears to safeguard this great legacy, has decided to expand the present Olive Tree Museum and to update it so that in the future it may be turned into the Olive Tree Museum and Mediterranean Centre for the Study of Monumental Olive Trees. Our Municipality has already purchased a plot of 600 square metres in area near the Museum in the settlement of Pano Vouves, in addition to the rest of the land that it owns in this area, and it has begun the preparation of relevant studies for that purpose.

Tel. Number : +2824022279  or contact us for any further information

 

 

Exploring   District of Chania

Samaria Gorge

The gorge of Samaria is situated in the National park of Samaria, in the White Mountains in West Crete. This majestuous gorge is considered one of the great attractions of Crete and many tourists want to visit it. But you must realise that it is a long (5 to 7 hours) walk on rough terrain.

The Samaria National Park has traditionally always opened to the public at the beginning of May. It has often been possible to enter the gorge of Samaria at some point in April from the bottom part but this depends on the weather and the amount of work needed to restore the path after the winter rains. The gorge of Samaria closes to the public at the end of October. but may close earlier if autumn rains (not uncommon in October) damage the path or make some cliffs unstable.The gorge will also be closed on rainy days (when there is a danger of rock falls).In winter, high water makes the gorge of Samaria dangerous and impassable.

If you go to Omalos with your own car in order to walk through the gorge of Samaria you will be forced to get back to Omalos to retrieve your car and it is not always such a good solution.Alternatively there are public buses ( KTEL ) going to Omalos from Chania every morning (only when the gorge is open). Once you have walked through the gorge and are in Agia Roumeli you take a ferry boat* returning to Hora Sfakion (or Sougia and Paleochora if you prefer, but there may not be a connecting bus to Chania) and take an evening KTEL bus back to Chania.

 

Elafonisi

Elafonissi is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea.It is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 70km from the city of Chania.Elafonisi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made its wonder in Elafonisi.That's why Elafonissi beach is such a popular destination in the prefecture of Chania, and a top of the top things to do.What characterizes the area of Elafonisos and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.The beaches with the very shallow sea and the fine sand are perfect for everyone and offered to play racquetball and volleyball literally in the water. For several meters from the shore, the sea depth is approximately below the knee.Don't go to Elafonisos on a windy day. Choose to go another day. Why? Because if it is blowing, the wind will constantly bring the sand on your naked body and your eyes. You will live an experience not so pleasant. You will not be able to relax for a moment.

 

Falasarna

Falasarna is located on the West coast of Crete and, similarly to Elafonisi is popular with daytrippers because of its stunning beaches and clear turquoise blue sea.It consists of several sandy beaches of various length, all facing the West (which makes it a wonderful place to watch the sunset from). The sea is generally very clean and with lovely colours because of the sandy bottom.If you are interested in archaeology you can also visit the remains of a fortified Hellenistic harbour. Because of a sudden uplift of the West of Crete 1500 years ago the harbour is now located inland.Because there is a good area of flat fertile land running along the coast, a lot of greenhouses have been erected in the last 20 years or so and Falasarna, especially seen from above as you drive down the hill, is not as beautiful as it once was. But when you are on the beach you won't notice them anymore.

 

Sougia

Sougia is a small seaside village in south Crete, 70 kilometres south of Chania. Sougia lies at the mouth of the Agia Eirini gorge, west of the bed of the Ageriniotis seasonal stream. It stands out for its large, beautiful beach which is never too full of people and its relaxed, carefree atmosphere.Sougia first became popular with those young in body or spirit, who spent their holidays under the tamarisk trees on the beach.Twenty years ago, especially, Sougia was a completely hippy scene, but today it has begun to change. The tents still appear every summer and the east side of the beach still attracts nudists, but less so than formerly.

 

Paleochora

Paleochora is located 77 kilometres south of Chania in south-western Crete.

The town of Paleochora is built on a long, narrow peninsula that stretches into the Libyan Sea on the south side of Crete, and offers, among other things, a different beach on either side: sandy to the west. pebbly to the east.Paleochora is a place of sparkling appeal with such an abundance of gifts that it’s called the Bride of the Libyan Sea.

 

 

beaches

Pachia Ammos Beach.

Pachia Ammos (meaning ‘Thick Sand’) is the large, kilometre-long beach on the west coast of Paleochora.Pachia Ammos Beach is proud to fly the EU Blue Flag, showing that the water is clean and the beach has all the necessary facilities for safe swimming.

 

Halikia or Votsala Beach.

The second beach in Paleochora itself is the pebble beach on the east side, Halikia (‘Pebbles’) as the locals call it.The beach is in front of the street with the most restaurants and tavernas in Paleochora. Cast off your clothes and dive into the sea, then head across the street for something to eat.Halikia Beach is also ideal for those who hate sand sticking to them. Especially on days when a north wind is blowing, there’s no sand to sting you on the pebble beach

 

East of Paleochora, about 4 kilometres away, is a treasure trove of little beaches at Gianiskari or Gyaliskari. Follow the smooth dirt road that runs east along the coast after the campsite, to its end.The three beaches at Gianiskari are next to each other. Two of them are also called Anidrior Anidri Beach, as they are at the mouth of the gorge from the village of Anidri.Two of the three beaches have pebbles, a taverna and umbrellas, while the eastern most beach is sandy. Here you may well see some nudists, especially in the quieter months.

Four kilometres west of Paleochora is Grammeno, a lovely peninsula with cedars, many beaches, a campsite and a canteen for anyone who feels like a bite to eat after swimming.

One beach has small pebbles and stretches west, while on the east side is a sandy beach. There are also two or three little inlets among the cedars on the Grammeno peninsula.

Krios Beach. About 10 kilometres west of Paleochora is Krios, a large beach which is well worth a visit. It’s after the village of Koundoura with its many greenhouses. Krios is a pebble beach with a canteen and umbrellas.

 

Gramvousa & Balos daily trip

Please ask our staff for information

 

Marathi

The beach Marathi is located 17 km east of Chania, in Akrotiri. It is one of the beaches in Chania that has been awarded Blue Flag. The sandy beach, in combination with shallow water and the protection from meltemi wind, due to the location of the beach, is ideal for families and children.The beach is well organized providing visitors food and drink as well as swimming facilities (umbrellas, sunbeds, showers etc.) and lifeguard services. The beach includes infrastructure for disabled persons.

 

Seitan limani

Seitan Limania (i.e Satan harbours) or Stephanou beach is located 20 km north east of Chania town,  at the east side of cape Akrotiri, near the airport of Chania. The beach is completely unorganised so make sure that you carry water and everything you need with you. This exotic tiny beach with impeccable emerald waters is one of the best in the area of Chania and we all need to show respect so that it will be enjoyed as the exotic hideout it is. It is surrounded by huge rocks, though they provide little shade. As it is rather small, it can easily get overcrowded so try to avoid visiting at weekends and during the peak of the tourist season. Seitan Limania is accessible only by rented cars and motorbikes.

 

Chora Sfakion - Illigas

The county of Sfakia is one of the most mountainous in Crete and one of the most heroic, beautiful and interesting.Sfakia are centred around the White Mountains mountain range, "Madares", as they are called in Crete with 110 peaks and the most and biggest gorges. Sfakia remain the most wild and unspoiled landscape in all Crete. Hora Sfakion, the seaside capital of the county, is a coastal village located on the Southwestern coast of Crete, 70 km from the city of Hania and 150 km from Iraklion. In its picturesque, enclosed harbor, the small boats from Agia Roumeli dock in the summer, bringing the hikers from the Samaria Gorge. Visitors can enjoy the quiet and calm of the village , on the seaside cafes and tavernas. The 500 inhabitants are occupied mostly with fishing and sheep and goat raising, producing excellent cheese such as Anthotyros, mizithra, etc. Recent years

 

Loutro Sfakia

Loutro evokes some great emotion - produced perhaps by the unique combination of the steep, harsh, rock mountainsides - audibly decorated with the clinking of goat bells - the sun visibly changing the panorama in view as its ark lights different aspects of the slopes forming the bowl - the bay that houses Loutro, the often-warm sea, the history and the people. No road leads here - therefore no mopeds, cars and trucks disturb contemplation, conversation and consumption of food or drink. A port of shelter for St Paul we hear, and one of the best shelters from a stormy workplace or busy professional life. Small, stunningly beautiful - no nightlife or discos, just a multinational, multi-everything group of visitors staying in its closely grouped buildings. During the day even when all rooms are full, Loutro can be almost empty - many have gone to sauté gently on nearby beaches, or tackle books, strolls, walks and - let's be serious - hikes. You are left to act as your own custodian of the semicircular bay, with small pebble beach, edged with hotel, rooms for rent and waterside tavernas. So gaze at the ruins on the hilltop, measure the approaching ferry, decide whether to read a few pages more, walk over the hill to the taverna of Phoenix, or plot your ascent to Anopolis a thousand meters above...it's up to you. Time passes.

 

Orthi Ammos , Frangokastello

Frangokastelo sandy beach is a long drive away from Chania, or Rethymnon but has adequate facilities and is not crowded. There is a Venetian Castle by the beach.On the northeast side of the Chania Prefecture; the Frangokastelo (Castle of the Venetians) beach with the remains of a Castle attracts many visitors. The drive from Chania is long but impressive since you cross Lefka Ori mountains and Imbros gorge. Once the Libyan Sea appears before your eyes, you start descending, feeling the excitement of reaching the beach and diving into the sea. There are facilities on the beach along with rent rooms and taverns. The thick sand and lush green waters are combined with a romantic sunset by the castle for those spending a whole day relaxing on this beach. In late May, early June morning hours Drosulites appear on the beach. Myth has it that they were great warriors that fought with courage against the Ottomans to protect the Castle. Those of them that died in the battle were not buried, instead they were covered by sand which was carried by the wind.Walking further to the east, the Orthi Ammos beach is an option for those wanting

more quiet and private relaxation under the sun.

 

Imbros Gorge, Chania

The gorge of Imbros is the second most popular gorge for walkers in Crete after the gorge of Samaria. It is much easier to walk than Samaria: walking distance is 8 km, total descent is around 600m and the average walking time is about 2.5 hours. The path is generally easier underfoot. This is the sort of walk that you could easily walk with children. It also would not need to take a whole long day. The gorge of Imbros is easier to access: there is a good road (to Hora Sfakion and South Crete running along the upper part of the gorge) and no ferryboat trip is needed to get you back. Despite being much smaller in size than Samaria there are some very spectacular sections, especially the several very narrow passages. The gorge is open all year around. This makes it especially popular in spring time (April) when the gorge of Samaria is generally still closed.

 

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