Chaniá is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania peripheral unit. It lies along the north coast of the island, about 70 km (43 mi) west of Rethymno and 145 km (90 mi) west of Heraklion. The city enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with sunny dry summers and mild rainy winters. Chania and the rest of the island of Crete, unlike the mainland of Greece, it is not suffering from the economical crisis, as the local economy is based on the horticulture products like the olive oil.
The city of Chania can be divided in two parts: the old town and the modern city which is the larger one. The old town is situated next to the old harbour and is the matrix around which the whole urban area was developed. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; of them the eastern and western parts have survived. From the south, the old town is continuous with the new, and from the north the physical border is the sea. The centre of the modern city is the area extending next to the old town and especially towards the south.
Chania is a major city of Crete and the best way to explore it is by renting a car.
The prefecture of Chania proposes a varied and lively night life which is particularly intense in the capital (Chania Town), and in Platanias and Paleohora, some of the beach resorts of the prefecture.
Modern bars proposing all kinds of atmosphere and music are available as well as night clubs which are opened until dawn. The best way to get around is to rent a car and discover Chania nightlife at your leisure.
Beaches in Chania
10 km westwards of the town of Chania.
Rent a car and see for yourself the splendid sandy beach of Platanias and its aquamarine waters. The beach is extended for kilometres round the homonym village. The visitor has the chance to view an enchanting setting with the island of Agios Theodoros in the east and the peninsula Rodopou in the west. Certain parts of the beach are particular organised and deck chairs and umbrellas are available, but in the bigger part the beach of Platanias is unexploited.
About 5 km westwards of the town of Chania.
Hire a car to go along the splendid way to Kolympari where you will meet the first from a line of beaches with sand and pebbles the region allocates. Near the peaceful beach of Agia Marina there are enough hotels, suitable to offer pleasant stay in families.
In south-western point of the prefecture of Chania.
The most remote beach from the town of Chania, which is however worth the the long journey you have to make in order to reach it. It is an islet almost connected with the coast since it abstains only 100m. from the beach and one can approach it by walking in the sea. Elafonisi abstains 76 km from Chania and 43 from Kasteli. Visitors
come here in order to admire the astonishing sandy beaches with the dunes and the white sand and swim in the unique crystal waters. Even if the natural beauty attracts abundant visitors the region does not allocate developed tourist facilities. Elafonisi is one of the most popular beaches in Crete. Use a car hire service to ensure you will not miss this beautiful beach.
About 75 km westwards of the town of Chania, in the western coast of Crete.
One of the most popular destinations of Crete, Falasarna is a line of sandy beaches with deep blue waters. Near the beach there is only a certain number of rented rooms and thus the region is not very crowded. There is a regular daily bus service from the town of Chania to Falasarna but you can use a car rental service to go at your leisure.
In the south-eastern corner of the prefecture of Chania, about 65 km from the town of Chania.
One of the the most famous and popular localities of the prefecture of Chania, Fragokastelo is located about 15 km easternly of Chora Sfakion. Rent a car to visit Fragokastelo which has written golden pages in the History of Crete. In 1828, in the duration of Cretan revolt against the Ottoman sovereignty of the island, Turkish troops slaughtered more than 600 Cretan warriors that had found shelter in the castle. From then, according to the legend, in anniversary of slaughter, the ghosts of dead warriors, Drosoulites, as they are called, are raised by the adjacent cemetery, manned as then, and they shape a procession that passes through the castle and leads in to the sea.
About 45 km westwards of the town of Chania
Splendid, clean beach with pebbles and deep blue waters, in the tourist resort of Kolympari, that is the last point in the line from the resorts and the beaches that are extended westwards the town of Chania. Hire a car to experience this beuatiful beach.
At Kissamos bay, west of Chania, there is a group of small islands and peninsulas of exceptional attraction. Hire a car to witness the most beautiful spots which are the isle of Gramvousa and Balos beach at Tigani peninsula. Gramvousa island with its natural and magnificent scenery and its green-blue water, attracts visitors, not only for its natural landscape, but also for its long history. The castle which is laid at the summit of the island’s mountain, captures the attention of all visitors.