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, Kissamos, Paleochora, Kandanos and Chora Sfakion.
Chania is about 45 minutes (60 km) away from the town Rethymno and 1,5 hours (137 km) away from Heraklion. It is quite easily accessible from Athens by a few regular flights a day (45 minutes) during winter and durinng summer. The international airport of Chania (CHQ) is located about 11 km outside of the city, in the area called Akrotiri. There are also two daily boats from Piraeus (Athens) port to the port of Souda, which is about 7 km from the town center of Chania.
The prefecture of Chania offers tourism services and activities of all kinds. The city of Chania preserves the features of the Venetian rule times with the beautiful old town. The White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with the famous Samaria gorge, 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 clear, colorful waters in them are perfect for swimming and exploration. Some of the most famous sights of Crete are located in west Crete (Elafonissi beach with the red color sand, Falassarna beach with beautiful sunset, and Balos lagoon).
All guests can also explore the area of Akrotiri with a few very nice small seaside villages, nice beaches, and taverns (Kalathas, Tersanas, Stavros, Loutraki, Marathi). In the area of Akrotiri are also located three monasteries (Agia Triada, To Gouverneto, and the Katholiko Monastery).
The small 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 sq km and with a population of 140,000 residents (1991 inventory). 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.