Top 10 things to do in Chania
1. Elafonissi beach
Elafonissi beach is a true miracle of nature. Apart from a stunning beach with spotless white sand and aquamarine clear waters, there is also a lush cedar forest in the White Mountains, as well as canyons and gorges to explore for those looking for a more active holiday. Allocate a whole day to visit Elafonissi but do get here early in the morning as it is extremely popular.
2. Chania Old Town
One of the top 10 things to do in Chania is to visit the Old Town, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Crete. It is a miracle that the historical part of the city survived the bombings of WWII, and even today we can see the Venetian houses, narrow streets, covered with vines, parts of the old fortress and feel the festive atmosphere of this place. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous indoor market Agora, opened in 1911, where you can buy hand-made souvenirs, olive oil, fresh pastries, organic fruits and vegetables and more.
3. Aquapark Limnopolis
If you are tired of sipping cocktails on the beach or relaxing at your hotel, head for a day of fun at Chania’s aquapark – Limnopolis. Multilevel twisted slides of various difficulty, a relaxed lazy river, various pools and a children’s section will keep you occupied. There are also numerous cafes, restaurants and bars on the premises if you wish to have lunch or a snack, or simply read a book under the shade on one of the sunbeds.
4. Samaria Gorge
Stretched over the length of 16 km, Samaria Gorge is one of the top 10 things to do in Chania. While its width varies from 3 to 300 meters, this Gorge, located in the White Mountains is considered to be the largest and most impressive canyons in Europe. This National Park is home to a myriad of species of birds and animals, trees and plants. Come here to enjoy the magnificent scenery, unity with nature and the breathtaking flora and fauna of Crete.
Being the most Southern island of Greece, Crete is one of the places that is famous for its seafood. An endless number of traditional taverns and restaurants are open to visitors from morning till late at night, where you can try delicious delicacies, such as fava, grilled octopus, fried red snapper, small squids as well as grilled fresh fish that you can choose from the day’s catch in the kitchen.
6. Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada is one of the most impressive monasteries found in Crete. Located north of the city, the monastery is framed by Doric columns and is built in the Renaissance architectural style. This male Orthodox monastery has had a powerful say in the history of the island and was the only monastery in Crete during the Turkish rule. Right now it serves as a religious school, a library that has a collection of stunning icons, and local monks have their own production of olive oil, herbal tea and honey that you can purchase.
7. Archaeological Museum
Visiting the archaeological museum is one of the top 10 things to do in Chania. The museum is first of all valuable because it is situated in a building with a rich history. It was originally a Catholic monastery that was converted into a mosque, which a century later was turned into a cinema, used also as an exhibition hall and then a warehouse for military equipment. Since early 1960’s the building became the Archaeological Museum and shows various exhibits found during the excavations in Crete, namely jewelry, ceramics, mosaics, ancient coins, stone sculptures, weapons and even sarcophagi.
8. Aptera Fortress
During the Minoan era, Aptera was an important port city, over the centuries it was ruined and what is now preserved is a 4km fortress wall, as well as various buildings from different period. For example visitors can see the sanctuary and the remains of a theater from the Hellenic era; the Monastery of John the Evangelist from the Byzantine Empire; and the ruins of a necropolis and the House of Parliament from the Roman era.
Located in the shadow of the White Mountains, Fragokastelo is a beautiful castle with a rich influence on the history of the island. Built in the 14th century, the castle has almost preserved its original structure. Consisting of 4 towers, connected by straight vertical walls, it is decorated by gorgeous carvings and symbols. It serves as the symbol of freedom and independence of Crete, as this is where in 1827 about a hundred of local Sfakians defended the castle from a week’s siege by a large Turkish army.
10. Maritime Museum of Crete
The Nautical museum of Crete, founded in 1973, is located in the Old Town of Chania. The permanent collection includes 2500 items, including ship models, nautical instruments, navigation equipment from various time periods, maps, shells from around the world, paintings, interesting photos and more, presented in a chronological order.