According to insidewatch, the city of Chania is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Crete in the eastern part of the Gulf of Chania, 150 km west of Heraklion. It is the second largest city on the island and the administrative center of the prefecture of the same name. Chania was built at the beginning of the 13th century on the site of the ancient settlement of Kydonia. The city has a rich history, which is reflected in its architecture – here you can see Venetian, Roman and Turkish buildings. Chania is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Greece.
The center of the city is the City Market. In the western part of Chania, called Topana, is the Old Town with the Old Port. Many Venetian houses have been preserved here, which stand along the narrow streets. Also interesting in Topana is the Firkas fortress (1629), where the Maritime Museum is now open . Opposite the fortress, a 16th-century Venetian lighthouse rises across the bay. South of Topana is the Jewish Quarter, where the Archaeological Museum is located. The museum exhibits finds dating back to the Stone Age. In the Middle Ages, the church of St. Francis stood on the site of the museum, which the Turks converted into a mosque. Also interesting in the quarter are the remains of the fortress wall and the Schiavo bastion. Be sure to go to the Castelli quarter, where the fortress wall stretches, which was built by the Venetians in the 13th century.
From Chania to the village of Kolymbari, which is 20 km to the west, sandy beaches stretch along which resort areas with hotels, sanatoriums and developed infrastructure are located. The most popular resorts in this part of Crete are Kato Stalos, Agia Marina, Platanias, Gerani and Maleme. The coastal waters here are calm, and the beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag of the European Union. Part of the beach of Platanias is protected by the state as a laying place for the eggs of the Caretta Caretta sea turtle. Not far from the coast there are small picturesque islands – Lazareth, St. Theodore and Gramvousa, where you can also sunbathe and swim.
In the vicinity of Chania there are opportunities for diving. The main dive sites are located east of the city of Chania near the settlement of Agios Onoufrios. The most popular dives here are underwater caves and tunnels. The immersion depth reaches 20 m, and underwater visibility is 40 m. In the caves, you can see two-meter seals, groupers, flocks of colorful fish, and in addition to the inhabitants of the seabed, fragments of ancient amphoras. Not far from the coast of the city of Chania is the island of Lazareta. This is a historical area where many sunken ships lie at the bottom. While diving near St. Theodore Island you can see octopuses and lobsters.
From Chania you can go on excursions to other cities of Crete. Souda is located 6.5 km east of Chania. This is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean. In the bay, on the shore of which Souda stands, there is an island of the same name, where the Venetians built a powerful fortress. In the south of Souda Bay is the city of Aptera. The ruins of buildings of the 7th century BC have been preserved here. 14 km southwest of Chania is the settlement of Alikianos, where you can see the Byzantine church of St. George with frescoes of the 14th century. On the island of Gramvousa, it is worth visiting the Venetian fortress, and the city of Platanias famous for its plane trees, after which it got its name.
In the southern part of Crete, the White Mountains stretch , which are completely covered with cypress forests. The highest point of the mountains is Mount Pahnes with a height of 2354 m. The White Mountains are a great place for hiking. Here is the Samaria Gorge – the longest and most picturesque in Europe. The gorge is located 43 km south of Chania. Its length is 18 km, and the sheer cliffs around it reach a height of 600 m. The Samaria Gorge is a National Reserve, it is open for tourists from early May to late September. After hiking through the gorge, you can go to the southern beach of Crete – Agia Roumeli, which is composed of black sand.