Chania (Greek Χανιά, also transliterated Hania or even Khania) is a beautiful port town on the north west coast of Crete, with an atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past. Highly livable spot.
Chania and the long row of beach resorts stretching 20 km west along the beaches of the Chania bay is a well visited destination for Scandinavian charter trips. Chania, being the nearest city, is a attractive destination for sightseeing and shopping for many tourists. Here is plenty of opportunities for eating and drinking on Greek tavernas and modern cafés that are open into the night.
The old town is centered around the harbor, it is a maze of alleys and houses that has been standing for many hundred years rebuilt,ruined and built up again with details from the different epochs. Old town is full of souvenir, art and crafts shops; the new quarters house the regular span of shops, here you can find the most of your needs for the hiking or other adventures. The beaches begin in the city a bit away but not far from the old town. Nearest one is Nea Hora, a 1 km. walk from the west end of the Old Town.
Summer season (April to October) is hot and dry with clear skies. Dry hot days are often relieved by a seasonal breeze from the north, Meltemi. Occasional heat waves. Winters are mild with relatively little rain and rare frosts but with a high level of humidity that drops the relative temperature.
The city is served by Chania International Airport (IATA code: CHQ) on the Akrotiri Peninsula a bit north-east of the city. The airport is named after Daskalogiannis, a Sfakiot hero who was skinned by the Turks in the 18th century. It is rather small with six gates. tel: +30 28210 83800
There are several flights a day from Athens to Chania, with Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines. From April to early November, there are many direct charter flights to Chania from the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and other European countries.
Ferry services from Athens (Piraeus port) to Chania (Hania) anchor at the nearby port of Souda. Daily ferries, one ordinary with ANEK and one fast catamaran with Hellenic Seaways.
Chania is connected with the rest of Crete by regular bus lines operated the KTEL company . The coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned. Fare is reasonable. Public transportation is fairly frequent and timetables quite trustworthy. Bus services along the north coast and towards the south coast are excellent, reliable, frequent and cheap.
Highway E75 (A90) goes along the North coast of Crete from Heraklion to Kissamos, it goes by the southern outskirts of the town. The old road, that still has the name 90, is parallel to the new highway and is the main road through all the small resorts west of Chania
If you are on Crete to see the 'real Crete', as opposed to the night clubs for tourists, then visiting the villages of the island is a must. All Cretan culture can be seen, heard and tasted in the villages. The Cretans at work or at leisure will always welcome visitors and show you how to do things the correct way. All villages have a central kafenion (coffee shop) which is where all people eventually end up. The kafenion, apart from being a place to meet friends for a coffee, raki or a game of tavli (backgammon), is used as the main information center of the village. Be aware, however, that the kafenion is still very much a male dominion and women are generally not welcome inside (as opposed to a kafeteria or regular cafe). Most villages have war memorials and the locals will willingly fill in any missing information. Gavalohori has a wonderful Folklore Museum where much about village life can be learned.
- Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Parados Kondylaki, 730 11, Hania, Crete, Hellas (GR) (The synagogue can be reached by walking up Kondylaki Street from the harbour and taking the second turn to the right (please check also the map icon bellow). This street is only about 25 meters long and leads to a cross street with no other exits. On reaching that intersection, the stone wall and entrance to the courtyard of the synagogue are directly in front of you.), ☎ +30 28210 862 86, . 10:00 - 18:00. Until 1999 Etz Hayyim was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of Crete's Jewish community in 1944. Essentially it stood as a monument to the success of the Nazis in obliterating 2300 years of Jewish life on the Island of Crete. Between 1996 and the year of its re-dedication in 1999, the structure was painstakingly restored. The philosophy that directed this work is summed up in the Hebrew Am Israel Hayy:'The people of Israel Live'. Today it stands as a vibrant statement of Jewish life, vitality and values, whereas until recently it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund's list of most endangered sites.
- Samaria gorge is an easy and popular day trip from here.
- The Archaeological Museum of Hania is well worth a visit.
- The village of Maleme, Old national road Chania Kissamos (15 km after Chania town), . See the German Cemetery on Kaukales hill at Maleme, the historical airport battlefield, the beach of Gerani where the sea turtle Caretta Caretta is preserved.
- Mpourakis in Kounoupidiana presents delicious traditional cuisine, cooking only with extra virgin olive oil. From Kounoupidiana center take the road on the right go towards Stavros, 100 meters on your right side.
- The Roadhouse Bar & Grill (Mike's Roadhouse), Kounoupidiana, Akrotiri (Go 7km east on Leoforos Venezelos (Main Road) out of Hania towards the Akrotiri Peninsula.), ☎ +30 28210 64072. Everyday 7PM. Mike's Roadhouse is a bar & grill with great cheeseburgers and chili. Mike and Petia speak fluent English, Bulgarian, and German. Pick up a microphone and sing Karaoke. $$.
- Mike's in Maleme, 17 km west from Chania. Home-style cooking .
- Pinaleon in El.Venizelou. Good tavern which serves tasty Cretan cuisine.
- Theo Restaurant, Paparigopoulou & Nikolaou Xilouri, 99 (2 km out of Chania, on Parigoria Hill), ☎ +30 2821093733 / +30 6979151577, 18:30.A new restaurant serving traditional Greek and Cretan dishes. The food is very fresh with very large portions. Their patio seating has fantastic views of the sea and city. 6-12.
- The Well of the Turk, Kallinikou Street 1-3 (Olde Town, historic Turkish district of Splanzia (Rouga Sq)), ☎ +302821054547, . Dinner until late.Long before you get tired of standard taverna fare, take a wander into the labyrinth of the old Turkish quarter and discover this delightful place. Owner Jenny's cooking is excellent, thoroughly authentic with undertones of the Levant and the atmosphere is casual and welcoming. The service is efficient without being pushy and the staff seemed to get it right in several languages. The inside room (actually several small rooms) is perfect for cooler evenings; as soon as it gets warm the tables outside are the place to be. A friendly mix of diners of all types and backgrounds. It makes a great change of pace from the harbor scene; coffee and raki under the stars in a pedestrian backstreet straight out of the middle ages. Winner of Gourmet's award for the best ethnic food in Crete for the last two years. Open daily for dinner except Tuesdays. Moderate.
- Gramboussa (Restaurant), Gramboussa Kissamou (Kaliviani), . Traditional Cretan cuisine in quiet surroundings. Moderate.
- Restaurant Kariatis (Old Venetian Harbour), Katechaki Square, Chania (Next to the Arsenali, Old Harbour), ☎ 28210 55600, dinner 6-12.Situated amongst the beautiful Venetian ruins of Chania old harbour. Open for dinner all year round. 12-30euros.
- Italian Restaurant Zafferano (Platanias, Chania), Platanias - opposite the Minoa Palace Hotel (14km west of Chania situated on the old coast road.),☎ 28210 38180-1, . Dinner 6-12. Very stylish Italian restaurant set on a beautifully decorated, spacious roof piazza overlooking the coastline of Platanias. Fresh seafood, pasta, risotto, succulent fillet steaks and wood-fired oven gourmet pizza all created with premier ingredients from Crete and Italy. Open every evening from May until October for dinner and take-away. 12-30 euros.
Chania and environs off accommodations ranging from hostels to 5 star hotels. The historical backstreets by the old harbor in Chania are full of old Venetian houses that have been renovated into hotels, some of which are very well priced with a unique atmosphere, friendly proprietors and, obviously, an excellent location. However, most of these are not advertised online, so unless you are going at the peak season (June-August), consider not making a reservation and shopping for accommodation once there. You will likely find yourself happily surprised.
Hotels in Chania City:
- Iro Apartments, 36 K. Paleologu Street, Tel./Fax: (0030)2821074269, Small hotel combining vicinity to the centre of Chania and the old town (within 900 m) as well as the sandy beach of Nea Hora (30 m away). Great atmosphere.
- Hotel Helena - Lovely hotel, very reasonable prices in the off-season (one traveler paid a total of €40/night for a triple in April; the prices listed are somewhat more at €35/n for a single and €55/n for a double), with a very friendly and chatty proprietor who was always available to provide advice or assistance. Just two streets down from the waterfront.
- Kalliopi Studios - Apartments- Holidays Crete.
- Ontas Traditional Hotel, Epimenidou and Ikarou, +30 28210-27691, - in the old town.
- Vilelmine Hotel, 32 Betolo St., +30 2821 0 46048, & . Quaint, clean, centrally located in the Old Town.
Outside Chania city:
- Esthisis suites and maisonettes, Platanias - Chania, , Tel. +30 694 8581232, With spectacular view to Cretan sea, the coastal zone and the village of Platanias, provides full equipped suites and maisonettes of one, two and three bedrooms equipped with all modern comforts for a pleasant and relaxing stay.
- Frideriki Studios & Apartments - in the village of Platanias
Mike Hotel & Apartments - in the village of Maleme
- Sunrise Studios Chania - in the village of Kalathas
Corissia Group Hotels in Chania Georgioupolis Crete.
- Villalux, Kalathas Beach, . Luxury Villa rental in Kalathas/Tersanas
- Blue Beach Apartments in Stavros - Akrotiri - Chania, , TEL.: (0030) 28210 39404/5, FAX.:(0030) 28210 39406. The spotless, well appointed, villas and apartments (recommended by "Rough Guide to Crete"), which can accommodate 2 to 6 people, come complete with private bathrooms, kitchenettes and balconies with wonderful view. The villas and apartments vary in style and location. All are within two minutes from the beach and provide clean attractive accommodation.
- Alexis Hotel, Parigoria (just 2 km from the city centre), ☎ 28210-93733,. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. A family run hotel, with friendly and helpful staff who really want their guests to be happy. It's near the national road which is important if you want to easily go on an excursions and explore the island. It is close to the beach and the rooms have fantastic sea views. Booking a room with breakfast and dinner is a good thing to do. The hotel restaurant is called Theo. 28 euro/night low season.
- Villa Anna Maria (holiday villa in Gerani),. a high aesthetic holiday villa in Gerani that accommodates up to 8 persons
- Villa Clio, ☎ +306944415898, A 3 bedroom villa with private pool and sea views. The views from its sea facing veranda and the pool area are stunning and there is a private terrace area and gardens surrounding the pool to one side of the property.
- Villa Corallium, ☎ +306944415898, A luxury villa with amazing sea and mountain views.
- Villa Klio (west of Chania), ☎ +306944415898, . A two bedroom holiday villa with private pool and sea views to Sfinari bay
- Yakinthos Beach Hotel, (Near Chania), ☎ +302821033456, checkin: 12.30; checkout: 12.00. 3-star beach hotel in Chania prefecture, right near the beaches of Agii Apostoli and Glaros.
- Hotel Phaedra Studios & Apartments (Hotel Phaedra), Kato Stalos (7 km from Chania), ☎ +30 28210 60690,. checkin: 14:00; checkout:12:00. Family beach hotel with swimming pool, on the beach, awarded the “Blue Flag” of the European Union and supervised by lifeguards. It consists of 22 apartments and studios with private balcony or patio with sea view. A bus-stop is close to the hotel.