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Kreta > Chania > Excursions in Chania area

Excursions in Chania area

Route 1 : Chania - Maleme - Tavronitis - Kandanos - Paleochora

Paleochora RoutePaleochora is located 76 km south of Chania and it has a permanent population of about 1,500 people. Paleochora is built in a small peninsula, it is washed by the waves on three sides and it provides one great sandy beach and another pebble beach.

We start with a visit to the seaside village of Maleme, a waterfront village, which is located 16 km west of Chania. We follow the New National Road until Platanias exit and then we follow the seaside road until Maleme. The village of Maleme played an important role in the history of Crete since it was the area that took place the famous Battle of Crete (in 1941), which led to the invasion of the island by the Germans. Here it is placed the German Cemetery.

Three more kilometres on the west we will find Tavronitis. At the crossroads, we turn south to Paleochora. The road to the west leads to the seaside villages of Kolymbari, Kastelli and Falassarna. We could also follow the New National Road from Chania until the exit outside the Tavronitis village (without stopping at Maleme) and then turn into the countryside to the south.

Kandanos is located 58 km away of Chania and it stands on the site of ancient Kandanos, which was built in the 10th century BC after the Dorian invasion. Kandanos has also played an important role in the modern history. On the 23rd Mai of 1941 the locals dispatced a group of Nazi troops, but two days later Nazis razed the whole village. There is a still visible sign at the start of the village, writing 'This is the site of Kandanos, which was destroyed in atonement for the murder of 25 Germans'. The village was rebuilt after the War. Paleochora is located about 15 km south of the village of Kandanos.

Route 2 : Chania - Kolymbari - Kissamos - Falassarna

Falassarna RouteOur destination is one of the nicest sandy beaches of Crete, Falassarna which is located 53 km west of Chania. The visitors can either follow the New National road until Kastelli or make a stop in the seaside village of Kolymbari.

We start with a visit to Kolymbari (23 km west of Chania) and the Gonia Monastery which is located one kilometre to the north. After that, we enter again the New National Road, and move to the west. We cross the plain of Kissamos to reach the seaside town Kastelli. It is located 42 km far from Chania (about 20 km from Kolymbari), a lovely small town with a long beach and a few cafes and tavernas.

We continue a little further to the west, towards Falassarna. At Platanos, 8 km from Kastelli, we turn right. In the distance, to the right, you can see the fertile plain of Falassarna. The wonderful beach lies on the edge of the cliffs and the sea.

Route 3 : Chania - Kolymbari - Kissamos - Balos

Balos RouteThe Balos beach is one of the purest, sandy beaches of Crete which cannot be reached by car. It is located in the Gramvousa Peninsula, a few km after the Kastelli village. The visitors can either follow the New National road until Kastelli or make a stop in the seaside village of Kolymbari.

We start with a visit to Kolymbari (23 km west of Chania) and the Gonia Monastery which is located one kilometre to the north. After that, we enter again the New National Road, and move to the west. We cross the plain of Kissamos to reach the seaside town Kastelli. It is located 42 km far from Chania (about 20 km from Kolymbari), a lovely small town with a long beach and a few cafes and tavernas.

We have two options to go to the Balos beach. We can either get a boat from the Kastelli harbour at about 10 am to the Balos beach and the Gramvousa peninsula, or we should go on foot. The road to the lovely sandy beach stops about 2 km before it and we have to follow a pave road with gorgeous views to reach it. It takes about half an hour and the climbing in the end is much more difficult, however the scenery is unique. There is a cafe next to the parking with bottles of water, juices and soft drinks.

Route 4 : Chania - Kolymbari - Topolia - Elos - Chrissoskalitissa - Elafonisi

Elafonisi RouteOur destination is one of the purest and the most natural beaches of Crete, Elafonisi, with blue and green waters and colourful sand. The visitors can either follow the New National road until Kastelli (then they have to turn) or make a stop in the seaside village of Kolymbari.

We start with a visit to Kolymbari (23 km west of Chania) and the Gonia Monastery which is located one kilometre to the north. After that, we enter again the New National Road, and move to the west. We cross the plain of Kissamos to reach the seaside town of Kastelli. It is located 42 km far from Chania (about 20 km from Kolymbari), a lovely small town with a long beach and a few cafes and tavernas.

We can either stop in Kastelli for a coffee or turn towards Elafonisi at the crossroads 4 km before the village of Kastelli.  We pass through the green, countryside villages of Topolia and Elos (with lovely tavernas) to reach and visit the Chrissoskalitissa monastery. A few km southeast of the Monastery there is the wonderful Elafonisi beach resort.

Route 5 : Chania - Lakki - Omalos Plateau / Samaria Gorge - Agia Roumeli - Loutro - Sfakia

Samaria RouteThe visit to the Samaria Gorge is a MUST during your holidays in Crete. It is the longest Gorge of Europe and the best walk in Crete.

We leave Chania with an early bus to reach the Omalos plateau and the entrance of the Samaria Gorge in the first morning hours. At 24 km from Chania, we reach Lakki, a village of great historical importance for Crete. We continue the curving road to the top of the mountains.

The Omalos plateau is 39 km from Chania. Here is the Tzanis cave, the deepest in Greece with a deep of 280 m. At the end of the plateau there is the entrance of the Samaria Gorge, the Xyloskalo.

It will take 6-8 hours to pass the wonderful Samaria Gorge. If we are lucky enough we can see or even meet the famous Kri-Kri (Capra aegagrus cretica) or some of the rarest birds of Europe; the lammergeier, the golden eagle, the Hieraaetus (Bonelli's eagle) and the griffon Vulture.

In the end there is the quiet, seaside village of Agia Roumeli with a lovely sea with clear waters. We can stay here for a couple of days or get a boat and visit Loutro and Sfakia.

From Sfakia we will take the bus which left us in the entrance of the Samaria Gorge to come back in Chania. It is a one and a half hour drive through the Gorge of Imbros and the Plateau of Askifou.

Route 6 : Chania - Georgioupolis - Lake of Kournas

Kournas Route

The lake of Kournas is about 45 km east of Chania and 15 km west of Rethymnon. It is the only freshwater lake of Crete covering 1,2 square km and its depth is up to 25 m.

We enter the New National Road to the east of Chania. We can firstly visit the quiet waterfront village of Georgioupolis which is about 5 km far from the lake. There is a long sandy beach here, many shops, cafes and tavernas.

The lake of Kournas is suitable for swimming (if you like swimming in the lakes), canoe and water-cycling. There are tavernas and cafes on the edge of the lake with great views if you want to try traditional food or have a coffee here.

Nearby the lake of Kournas is also the village of Kournas with a few more traditional tavernas. The road from the center of the Kournas village towards the sea leads us to the seaside village of Kavros.

Route 7 : Chania - Alikianos - Sougia

Sougia Route

Sougia is a small, quiet, picturesque, fishing village to the south of the Chania district (75 km far) where you can do really unwind and relaxing holidays.

The visitors have to follow the road to Omalos until the village of Alikianos (11 km from Chania), which is the administrative center of the district of Mousouron.

We cross the old stone bridge over the Keritis river and we continue the road to Sougia. We pass through orange grooves, chestnut trees, bushes, and a terrain of shrubbery. It is a long, curving route but in the end a large pebble beach with crystal waters waits for us.

Route 8 : Chania - Sfakia / Fragokastello

Sfakia Fragokastello Route

Sfakia is a small, picturesque village built around a coastal port in the south Crete, 62 km from Chania. The visitors have to follow the National road towards Rethymnon and turn on the village of Vrisses (33 km east of Chania).

We are going to pass through the Askifou terrain and the gorge of Imbros to reach Sfakia. The clear waters and the remote pebble beaches wait for us.

Fragokastello with its sandy beach and the famous castle of Frangokastello is about 10 km to the east. From Sfakia we can visit Loutro and Agia Roumeli by boat.

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