Things to see
The city of Chania has two main large entrances. The first one is located in Akrotiri (airport) and the second in Souda (the largest port in the Mediterranean sea). Akrotiri is almost 10km far from Souda port and guarantees an unforgettable experience of various historical and religious monuments, monasteries (Tzagarolon Holy Trinity Monastery, Giouvernetou Monastery, Catholic Monastery, St. John Female Monastery, St John the Merciful Monastery etc) caves, canyons (Kalathas, Porofarago, Agiofarago, Agiou Antoniou kai Katevatis and Poro Maure), crystal waters and beautiful nature walks. Some of the most worth visiting caves include Lera (“Zorba the Greek” film played there), Arkalospilio, Ahairospilio and Arkoudospilio. If you come here, you can also admire Sofoklis and Eleftherios Venizelos tombs as well as the headquarter of National Resistance tomb. Some of the places most picturesque beaches include Kalathas, St. Onoufrios, Stavros, Marathi, Mahairidas and Tersana. Close there you can find excellent accommodation with various hotels (5*, 4*, 3*) and rooms that are ready to satisfy even the most demanding traveler.
Just 10 km far from Akrotiri, the city of Chania arises. The city is divided into two main places. The old town with the old port and the new city outside the walls. The old town was built around the Venetian harbor and is surrounded by the Venetian fortifications that took place there in 1538 (the east and the west sides survived). The old town of Chania is one the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean (the "Venice of the East"). It includes Topanas, Evraiki, Santrivani, Plaza and Kasteli hill areas. The city forms a single complex of, Venetian, Ottoman and Neoclassical architecture with narrow streets and buildings. Kasteli hill was inhabited since the Neolithic era and if you find yourself here you should visit the Venetian Palace, the Prytaneum of the Polytechnic School of Crete and various archaeological sites since the Minoan era.
In the east side of Kasteli you will find Splantzia and get magnetized by its atmospheric environment and St. Nikolas church. During the Turkish occupation period, that was the main mosque of Chania while during the Venetian period it represented Dominicans church. Here you can also taste local Cretan food through small, traditional restaurants that are located around the area’s picturesque streets. On the corner of Splantzia square you can also take some photos of St. Rocco Venetia church. If you take a walk close to the seaside, you will admire the Venetian shipyards that exist there since 1947. Although shipyards were constructed to manufacture war galleys, today are used repair the island’s fishing boats. The Center of the Mediterranean Architecture is here to remind you Chania Town Hall that was bombed by Germans in 1941.
Eleftherios Venizelos square represents the touristic “heart” of Chania and is found in the west side of Kasteli. If you arrive here don’t miss the chance to board in one of the area’s lovely boats and make a tour towards the Venetian castle as well as Gramvousa and Agioi Theodoroi islands. You can also visit “Trimartiri” metropolis and the archeological museum that houses St. Francesco Venetian church. Don’t forget to go for shopping at “Stivanadika” and “Mahairadika” too. “Stivanadika” («Στιβανάδικα»: traditional Cretan boots) shops treat skin and produce various leather products. “Mahairadika” (Μαχαιράδικα) area houses various local shops that sell traditional Cretan knives. Additionally, Ovraiki is considered as one the most beautiful districts in Chania. Ovraiki was a Jewish area until the mass extermination of Jews by the Axis powers until the World War II. In the area of Topana (comes from the Turkish “Top-Hane” - Venetian cannon bullets) you can visit Firka fortress (the flag of union with Greece raised, 1/12/1913) that today hosts the Maritime Museum of Crete.
The “new” city of Chania borders to Trimartiri square and guarantees a beautiful walk around picturesque shops and cafes. The station of urban and trunk buses is also located there. If you are a night life lover then you should join Kum Kapi beach (Kum-Kapisi, Arab: the Gate of the Sand) that is located in the east side of the old city. The area is surrounded by beautiful local tavernas (restaurants), cafes and bars. If you go southern, you can take some pictures of Chania National Stadium, the State Conservatory, the zoo (built through European park standards) and the open air local cinema. Other interesting spots include the Turkish Military hospital (19th century) that today houses the courts and the services of the prefecture, Peter and Paul church, Peace and Friendship Park along with the Youth Centre of the municipality, the War Museum and Crete Historical Archive. We also suggest you to visit Halepa since you will be attracted by the areas’ neoclassical buildings but also Eleftherios Venizelos house.
Falasarna and Elafonisi are two of the most beautiful places, that you should undoubtedly visit. Falasarna is an endless white sandy beach with crystal green waters. Apart from its beautiful sea , it occupies a historical importance since it is considered as one of the most important ancient cities in Crete. It was built on the top of Gramvousa peninsula (Cape Koutras) and was an important harbor of the classical era. Its archaeological space is surrounded by cist graves of the 6th and 4th century, a carved stone throne and small temples of the Greek era. Elafonisi on the other hand, will remind you of an exotic – “alien” island since is a place of amazing beauty. You can organize a day trip excursion since it is 75 km far from the city of Chania. You will arrive there by crossing various small villages, tunnels and narrow streets. The images of nature, lush vegetation, fabulous trees and wild beauty will magnetize you. Elafonisi beach is surrounded by red-brown sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. Before you organize your excursion trip to Elafonisi, we suggest you to choose (through your tour guide or information desk) a non windy day.
Minoan and Cretan Civilization
The island of Crete was the center of a great civilization, the first western-european civilization, known as the Minoan, which reached its zenith by 2000/1500 B.C.
Vegetable Stew with Okra
With our Vegetable okra strew you get all the flavours and aromas of a traditional soup, and a healthy dish!
Trahana and Okra Stew
A healthy and tasty recipe with okra straight from Crete.With okra there is a characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked. While many people enjoy okra cooked this way, others prefer to minimize sliminess.