So much has been written about the infamous beaches of Crete. The prefecture of Chania especially boasts countless amazing and diverse beaches, however they all share one thing in common and that is the crystal clear waters. Either with golden sand or pebbles, either organized or remote, either with deep blue waters of turquoise shores, there is a beach around every corner, waiting to be discovered that will satisfying all tastes. Falassarna beach, Elafonisi, Balos, Sougia, Paleochora, Loutro bay in Sfakia are the ones that cannot be missed by anyone visiting Crete for the first, the second, the third time around.
Into the deep
Despite the mesmerizing Cretan coastline, Crete is a mountainous island with high altitude mountains like the White Mountains in Chania, and deep, serpentine gorges like the world known Samaria Gorge. Trekkers, nature lovers, travelers from around the world, visit the longest gorge in Europe, measuring 16km, and discover first hand its rich biodiversity. The gorge is open to public from May to October. There are also, other cross worthy gorges in the prefecture that one could include in their schedule like Aradena gorge and Agia Irene gorge.
The great outdoors
Crete and Chania in particular is the ideal destination for those that seek a bit of action during their holiday break. Trekking, hiking, mountain biking, hang-gliding, off road 4X4, motor crossing, climbing, cave exploring are some of the activities one can engage in, while enjoying the diverse Cretan flora and fauna. Chania’s countryside is full of chartered trails and paths, definitely worth discovering. Not to mention the E4 European path that after crossing the entire continent, it starts off again at Kastelli, the north-west tip of Chania, goes through Elafonisi and continues down south, following the southern coastal axis.
A day at the sea never gets boring in Crete. When choosing an organized beach especially on the northern axis of Chania you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of different activities you can engage in. Take you pick among surfing, water-skiing, wake-boarding, water parachuting, canoeing, paddle boarding, jet-skiing, water tubes and inflatable towables. You, your friends and family will have stories to tell! For those that have a more explorative spirit, you may prefer activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. You can easily find professionals to escort you at your underwater adventure.
Museums & Culture
Chania prefecture has a long history dating back to ancient times, and throughout the centuries many different settlers have passed and gone leaving their mark on this blessed island. That explains the large number of museums and spots of cultural interest that attract thousands of visitors every year.
In the city of Chania, worth visiting the Archeological museum, the Maritime museum, the Byzantine and Postbyzantine Collection,the Folklore museum, the Historical Archive, the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, the museum of Typography, the House of Eleftherios Venizelos. On the outskirts of the city, check out the Historical and Folklore museum of Therissos, the museum of National Resistance at Therissos.
Archeological sites & Historical Landmarks
Beside the numerous museums, for those that seek to immerse into Chania’s rich history, the city and the prefecture showcase a number of interesting places to visit. Just to mention the most noteworthy, these are: Ancient Kydonia , Ancient Aptera, the Byzantine Wall of Chania, the Center of Mediterranean Architecture (Grand Arsenal), the fortress of Firka, the Gate and rampart Sabbionara (Koum Kapi), the Giali Tzamisi, the Egyptian Lighthouse, the minaret of Agios Nikolas, the Municipal Market, the graves of Venizelos family, the Municipal gardens and the Watchtower.
Churches & Monasteries
Chania city and the entire prefecture present such a large number of old churches and monasteries that will satisfy most, especially those who are interested in religious tourism. These magnificent structures showcase unique architecture and craftsmanship and are spread across the entire prefecture from central locations to remote areas.
In the city center don’t forget to visit Trimartiri Cathedral across which you will find the Catholic Church devoted to Virgin Mary, the church of St Nikolas in Splatzia square and St Catherine as well, St Magdalene in Chalepa. As for historical monasteries of unparalleled beauty, one should visit Agia Triada monastery, Gouverneto monastery, St Ioannis Prodromos Monastery, monastery of Chryssopigi.