CHANIA (Xania ) Crete
Crete is the largest island of Greece, and because of its size and the fact that it is far away from the mainland, it is quite different from the rest of the country. The people speak a very distinctive dialect, have many customs nowhere else to be found, and often refer to themselves as Cretan, not Greek. In Greece, the Cretan people are known to be the toughest. Family vendettas still occur, and authorities are desperately trying to stop the custom to fire guns at weddings.
Crete has everything: beaches, hidden villages, big cities, snow-clad mountains, archaeological sites, medieval fortresses, museums and beautiful surroundings.
The archaeological site of Knossos is one of the most famous ancient sites of Greece, and the island has the longest summer season because of its position. The summers on Crete usually get extremely hot, so be prepared.
wonderful array of quaint towns and villages, beautiful beaches and crystal blue waters, and a truly genuine and friendly local population.
One place worth stopping at is the famous Creta Aquarium. Situated along the coast between the city of Heraklion and the resort of Hersonissos, this wonderful aquarium is a great place to visit. Inside amongst the 2500 living organisms, you can see the huge variety of fish, sharks, shell fish, jelly fish and other magical sea life. The aquarium is open daily throughout the year and is a great day out for both adults and children.
From the hugely popular coastal town of Hersonissos that is located a short distance from the city of Heraklion, to the ancient sites of Archanes and Pirgos, the county of Heraklion is a very interesting and entertaining part of Crete, and one that many visitors to the island will pass through. Just how much you can see and enjoy depends on your holiday schedules, but if you can put aside a couple of days to spend in the county, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
The county of Chania ( Hania ) is the westernmost part of Crete and covers an area of over 2,300 square km. More than 50% of the county of Chania is mountainous, and the landscape is a remarkable combination of mountains and stunning gorges.
The region is very rich in natural beauty and vegetation, with the dominating wildlife being old, pine and chest but trees. The large plain of Chania, located in the north part of the county is protected on three sides by the White Mountains. It is here amongst the fertile land that most of the 17 million olive trees and orange groves on Crete are located.
The county of Chania is one that offers a truly magical array of destinations for perfect holidays and vacations. From the beautiful town of Chania, the capital of the prefecture, to some of the small towns scattered all over the region, Chania has much to offer visitors.
The town of Chania is the second largest populated part of Crete after the city of Herakleion.
The town is the commercial and administrative centre of the western county, and is one with a history stretching back many years. During the period of Cretan autonomy, and in the first period of unity with Greece, Chania was the capital town of the island.
Chania is a truly beautiful town, and the old Venetian houses and structures create a very inspiring and magical setting. The Old Town is surrounded by the impressive Venetian walls that date back to the 15th century.
From the wonderful old harbor and the postcard like scenery, to the winding streets and old alleys, the Old Town of Chania is one of the most unique and charming parts of Crete. The harbor and lighthouse act as testament to the fact that Chania was a very important commercial port.
The old Venetian buildings that line the streets create a very cosy and warm setting, and the old town is a place where you feel as though you have stepped back in time. There are a selection of cafes, bars and tavernas where you can enjoy a drink or tasty meal.
All around Chania and this truly wonderful county are a great selection of beaches – perfect for swimming and relaxation during the hot summer months. There are many wonderful beaches found all around this part of Crete. From the popular and often busy beaches along the northern coast, to some smaller less busy beaches along the west and south coast, you can always find a great place to swim and relax.
The county of Chania is also famous for the Gorge of Samaria. This truly magical work of nature is amongst the most beautiful gorges in the world, and is the largest in Europe. There are many people who travel to Crete simply to visit this world famous Gorge.
Organised tours and walks through the gorge are available, and the main section of the route is between a 6-8 hour walk. The walk is one that will take you along a magical route with stunning natural scenery. With varying landscapes of huge mountains and flat plains, the Gorge of Samaria is something that everyone who visits Crete should try and see. The best time to take the walk through the Gorge is May – June, just before the summer heat reaches its peak.
Chania is a part of Crete that has a great deal to offer those who visit it. With the international airport and port both offering easy access to this part of the island, and with daily flights during the summer months, Chania and the surrounding area is an ideal destination for your holidays and vacations in Crete.