Looking for a different summer city break this year? Then say hello to the spellbinding city of Chania. Located on the Northwest coast of Crete, it’s fast becoming one of the Mediterranean’s ‘must sees’ and a hot new destination for UK travelers and for good reason too.
The architecture and atmosphere of Chania will charm you from the moment you arrive, inviting you to explore it’s captivating streets and endless hidden treasures. With its utterly enchanting Venetian harbour and lighthouse, its Riviera-rivalling beaches and a seamless blend of Ottoman, Venetian and Greek architecture, Chania really is a wonderful destination.
If you’re a culture vulture then you will love Chania. It’s a place where different civilisations have flourished throughout the centuries. From Minoans, Dorians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Venetians, Genoese, Egyptians and Ottoman Turks, throughout the city you’ll see the influences of all these civilisations, evident in its architecture, elaborate places of worship and well-preserved historical monuments.
Move over Mykonos, there’s a new playground paradise. Chania is fast becoming known for its hip, trendy bar scene which attracts a new age of globe-trotting travellers from all over. There are lots of fabulous beach bars close to the city, offering a variety of all-day lounge bars and all nighter events hosted by international DJ’s.
Nature at your Fingertips
Not only does Chania have a gorgeous marina and city streets, it also has the UNESCO Biosphere reserve of Samaria Gorge, one of Europe’s longest canyons. You’ll be left in awe after walking the infamous narrow passage, Portes (only 3km wide). Filled with Greek wildlife and remarkable views, the scenery in this area is simply breathtaking. If you’re lucky you’ll see the famous, protected Kri-Kri goat which inhabits the islands. The pretty pebble beach of Agia Roumeli is also a must.
Image source: wikimedia
Top Tip: Domes Noruz, Chania offers one of the best tours of this area. You can organise day trips from their hotel where you will be collected and guided.
Chania is the ideal place for foodies and is full of local culinary delights. A must visit is the Chania Municipal Market. Here you can taste local cheeses like yraviéra (full fat sheep’s cheese) and anthótyros (soft, white cheese made of either sheep’s or goat’s milk). If you go to a local restaurant don’t miss out on dishes such as hohlioi bourbouristoi (escargots) which is a local specialty or staka (a local salty creamy-cheese). Kreatotourta (a meat-pie) is also delicious. And if you get a chance, try the Cretan wedding rice which is cooked in meat broth. Roasted goat and sea-urchin salad are also delicious specialities.
With some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in Greece, Chania boasts several stunning beaches to fall in love with at first sight. Take a trip to the predominantly green area of Agioi Apostoli where you can relax in the natural shade of the eucalyptus trees. Also go to Balos beach, known as ‘The Beautiful One’ for its crystal-like turquoise waters and rose coloured dunes.
Where to stay?
We love Dome Noruz, Chania. The hotel is absolutely stunning and offers a wellness package so you leave feeling energised with a renewed sense of well-being.