A land of unprecedented beauty
Called by many the "Venice of the East", Chania is an amazing city bearing a rich, long history and culture. It is a blessed and privileged land with mild climate throughout the year, countless beauties and all kinds of attractions. A crossroad between the East and the West, Chania (the second biggest city of Crete), has been continuously inhabited since Minoan times. For more than 5000 years people have been living in this city, one civilization following the other from Minoan to Mycenaean, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Turkish. All the way up to the present day these inhabitants engraved their indistinguishable traces and contributed to this, full of history, island.The old city of Chania, built upon the ruins of Minoan Kydonia, has managed to preserve its cultural heritage and traditional architecture and to successfully blend it with modern lifestyle. A walk in the narrow streets of the old city offers nostalgic images from the past. Unique monuments such as the Grand Arsenal, the Egyptian Lighthouse, the Venetian dockyard ("Neoria"), the Jewish synagogue, the mosque of the Janissaries, the archaeological and byzantine museums and the numerous churches impress even the most demanding visitor. Gifted with a stunning and beautifully preserved Venetian harbor, Chania’s old town with its daedalus cobbled streets, teetering Venetian ruins, atmospheric neighborhoods, splendid markets, sophisticated cafes and picturesque tavernas resembles no other city. As for accommodation, travelers’ options vary from luxury 5 star seafront resorts to quirky small bed&breakfasts and from aristocratic neoclassical mansions to secluded mountain retreats. When night comes, enjoy a drink at one of the lively cafeterias and bars the old town or head to the nearby coastal village of Platanias, the center of local night life. In the same area, one can also find the sandy Agia Marina, a long stretch of daily beach bars which cater to local and foreign youth. But the old city and the nearby coastal villages are far from being the only attraction in this magical land. Chania countryside proudly boasts five hundred villages, mountains with snow covered peaks, hidden valleys of citrus orchards, rivers and streams, numerous orange and olive groves, endemic wild herbs, venetian monasteries and miniscule Byzantine chapels, hundreds of miles of coastline and beaches of all types. From long umbrella-filled to small coves that can only be reached by dirt roads and footpaths, the crystal turquoise waters of Balos, the long stretch of Falassarna beach, the magical Elafonissi beach with shallow warm water and pink coral sand to the spectacular dark blue of the Paleochora Libyan sea. Also: one hundred mountaintops, fifteen hundred caves, as well as countless hikes and gorges of incomparable rugged wilderness - the most famous being the “Samaria” gorge - one of the longest and prettiest in all of Europe. From the small coastal village of Agia Roumeli (the end of the Samaria gorge) one can look opposite at Gavdos islet; this cedar tree filled and white sandy beaches tiny island is the southernmost border of Europe and one of Greece’s best kept secrets. Ancient ruins such as the Roman colony of Aptera, with stunning views over Souda bay (the biggest natural port of Mediterranean), the Turkish castle of Itzedin and the Frangokastello, a beautifully preserved castle that legend says that it is still inhabited by ghosts which appear at dawn each May, the region of Apokoronas with its pretty villages and Toscanesque landscapes, the medieval old town of Rethymnon (a stunning blend of Venetian and Turkish architecture) only escalate excitement and make vacationing in Chania a treasured memory. One could never forget Crete’s culinary tradition. Following scientific research the Cretan nutrition and diet is not only unique in taste but has also been proven to promote health and longevity. A diet which, unchanged since antiquity, consists exclusively of products that the people of Crete produce naturally. The two indisputable protagonists amongst these are olive oil and wine. Their fame, untainted quality and exceptional taste reveals a long story (dating back to the Minoan times) and reflects the uniqueness of Cretan soil and local microclimate. The modern visitor will have the chance to visit one of the innumerous local wineries and olive grove estates/factories. After all, this is not just some island. This is the island praised by Homer, the heroic battle field of the second world war (as beautifully described by George Psychoundakis in his critically acclaimed book ”The Cretan Runner”), the land which gave birth to Zeus and more recently to..…."Zorba the Greek".
Flights on time 86%
Within 1 hour 94%
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