Surrounded by busy tavernas, cafés and gift shops, this romantic harbour is brightened at night by a Venetian-era lighthouse.
South of Knossos, the peza region is prime wine country. Visit Boutari’s stunning showroom for a tour and taste. Chania is home to a wide range of natural beauties which include the famous gorge of Samaria, which is 18km long and contains running waters and ponds. There are also numerous picturesque villages to discover, such as Elos, surrounded by forests and famed for its Chestnut Festivals. Furthermore, Crete is bursting with churches and monasteries waiting to be marveled. These include monasteries such as Agia Triada Zangarolon and the Chrissoskalitissa Monastery which is placed on an enormous black rock overlooking the serene bay. Additionally, just off the coast of Chania is an uninhabited, small islet called Elafonissi, where one can spend the day relaxing on the deserted beaches or exploring the islands flora and fauna.
Iraklion, Rethymno and Chania have their share of a la mode nightclubs, but to experience the real Crete, look for presentations of traditional music and dance at tavernas or village festivals. Cretan dance and music is the most exuberant in Greece—no one can resist the spirit and enthusiasm of this most important aspect of local culture. After all, Zorba was from Crete! The prefecture of Chania, Crete is home to a wide selection of choices to keep you entertained throughout the day and night. Apart from water sports, sports activities also include deep sea diving, mountaineering, kite surfing and sailing. Furthermore, a stroll through the shops found within the villages can be a pleasant way to spend an evening as there is a large range of outlets from international brands to small quaint local shops. Local woodcarvings, potteries and traditional Cretan costumes are all things to look out for. Additionally, Chania, as well as Platanias and Paleohora are perfect places to spend the evenings as they are full of quaint taverns, trendy cafes and bars, and bustling clubs.
Apart from all the above reasons, what mainly keeps visitors coming back to Crete each year is the islands and inhabitants unique character. Local Cretans are known for their uncompromising pride for their origin and culture as well as their love for festivals, good food and great hospitality. The islands most prized possession is its famed olive oil, which is used as the base for the local cuisine and signature dishes, such as sun dried string beans in tomato sauce. The other famous specialty in Crete, Greece is the wide selection of cheeses and honey made throughout the island.
Cretans insist on eating only what is fresh and locally produced. In fact, many restaurants grow their own vegetables and herbs. You’ll marvel at how a simple village salad can be so satisfying and you’ve never tasted such tomatoes! On the coast, enjoy the briny crunchiness of tiny fried fish called marithes. Inland, wild goat dishes and grilled chops from free-ranging pork are outstanding!
For every resident of Crete there are 10 olive trees, and the oil they produce is the most prized in the world. It’s here that the wild olive tree was first cultivated thousands of years ago. The correct soil and the perfect climate create this unique oil, which is the basis for the famous Mediterranean diet. Don’t leave the island without a bottle!
Crete island has a rich history which reaches back to the Neolithic period where people first appeared on the island around 6000 BC. The most important historical factor of Crete is the domination of the island by the Minoan civilization for over 1200 years. Due to this civilization many ruins can be found on the island, the most renowned being the Palaces of Knossos, where one can find beautiful frescos and imposing architecture. Artifacts from all these civilizations can also be seen in several museums such as the Archeological Museum in Chania, which is housed in a 14 century Venetian church
Chania, Crete is home to outstanding beaches with long stretches of white sand and coloured pebbles. Some of the most famous are the Agia Marina Beach, and the Kalyves Beach which is one of the greenest locations in the area. If you are more adventurous, there are also plenty of deserted coves and lovely bays scattered along the coast to explore.