Chania is the capital town of the area of Chania. This beautiful city, located on the north shore of Crete, is an ideal base for exploring the whole island. The prefecture of Chania covers the west part of the island and its important towns; Souda, Agia Marina, Platanias, Kastelli, Paleochora, Kandanos and Chora Sfakion.
Chania is about 1 hour (59 km) long from Rethymno and 2 hours (137 km) long from Heraklion. It is easily accessible from Athens by three regular flights a day (45 minutes) during winter and four during summer. The International Airport is located 11km outside the city on Akrotiri. There are also two daily boats from Piraeus (Athens) to Souda.
The prefecture of Chania offers tourism services and activities of all kinds covering all demands. The city of Chania preserves all the features of the Venetian rule times. The White Mountains (Lefka Ori), rising behind the city and diving south in the Livikon Pelagos in the area of Sfakia, consist of numerous gorges for nature-lovers and enthousiastic mountaineers. The sandy beaches and the deep clear waters in them (Elafonissi, Falassarna, Paleochora, Georgioupoli, etc) are ideal for swimming. The minoan, roman and byzantine archaeologocial sites are tempting for those interested in cultural and historical explorations.
Geographical Elements: The county of Chania covers the western part of Crete and has an area of 2.376 km2 and with a population of 140,000 residents (1991 inventory). The county is divided into 5 provinces with the capital the city of Chania (52.000 population). Since 1999 the county is divided into 23 counties and 2 provinces. The north area of the county with very welcome seas ends up to 3 peninsulas. Concerning the south side of the island towards the Libyan sea it presents the biggest amount of sunlight in Europe. North, west and south the county is surrounded by sea.
Why to visit Chania
Chania is regarded as a very picturesque small city of Greece, with a lot of life during the summer months, friendly people, blue sea and sky, and sandy beaches. The famous old town with its small streets and the Venetian buildings, the picturesque Venetian harbour with the Lighthouse and the Firkas castle create a majestic, romantic atmosphere which can be rarely found in Europe.
Chania is an ideal destination to combine the romantic atmosphere of the Venetian Town with the touristic facilities that have been created during the last years; the well-organised sandy beaches west and east of the city, the numerous cafes, restaurants and tavernas along the old harbour and the seaside villages, the endless waterfront to the west and the east of the city, the beach-bars on the sandy beaches, the seaside clubs and bars outside the city.
Chania is also an ideal location to explore the rest of Crete since the distances are not really a big deal; you can find some of the most unique sights and natural beaches of Crete in less than 60 minutes distance in south and west Crete, the most famous archaeological sites of Knossos and Phaestos dating thousands of years ago in the nearby districts of Heraklion and Rethymnon, the remaining of the Turkish and the Venetian castles dispersed in many remote villages of the island, the existing Venetian Monasteries and Churches. Here you can also try to pass the longest gorge of Europe - Samaria Gorge, 17 km length - and visit some of the purest, traditional villages of Crete.