Chania

Chania (Greek Χανιά, also transliterated Hania or even Khania) is a beautiful port town on the north west coast of Crete, with an atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past. Highly livable spot.

Understand

Kastelli district

Chania and the long row of beach resorts stretching 20 km west along the beaches of the Chania Bay is a well visited destination for Scandinavian charter trips. Chania is an attractive destination for sightseeing and shopping for many tourists. There are plenty of opportunities for eating and drinking at Greek tavernas and modern cafés that are open into the night.

The old town is centered 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.

Climate

Summer 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.

Get in

Centre of Mediterranean Architecture

By plane

The city is served by Chania International Airport (IATA: CHQ) on the Akrotiri Peninsula a bit northeast of the city. The 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. tel: +30 28210 83800

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.

By ferry

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 bus

Chania 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 car

Highway 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.

Get around

If you are on Crete to see the 'real Crete', as opposed to the night clubs for tourists, 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 center 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.

See

The 14th-century Agios Nikolaos Church

Eat

Janissaries Mosque (Küçük Hasan Pasha Mosque) and surrounding buildings

Sleep

Chania Harbour at night

Chania and environs has a range of accommodation ranging from hostels to 5 star hotels. The historical backstreets by the old harbour in Chania are full of old Venetian houses that have been renovated into hotels, some of which are very well priced with a unique atmosphere, friendly proprietors and, obviously, an excellent location. However, most of these are not advertised online, so unless you are going at the peak season (June–August), consider not making a reservation and shopping for accommodation once there.

Hotels in Chania City:

Outside Chania city:

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.