One of the most beautiful towns in Greece, Chania is known for its cobbled streets that are bordered with boutiques selling clothes, ceramics, and local artworks. Some of the tourist attractions in Chania consist of visiting old Harbour, Maritime Museum of Crete, Archaeological museum and many others. For those who wish to do something adventurous, there are many things to do in Chania such as exploring the Samaria’s Gorge which is 18-kilometer challenging hike, which you can do independently or as part of an organized excursion. People visit Chania to see the oldest lighthouse in Greece which is located in Chania’s old harbour. There are some museums that can attract you to this town such as Museum of Typography, Folklore museum of Chania, amongst others. The Monasteries of Akrotiri Peninsula are also historical and offer a travel into the world of past and spirituality. With an array of things to do in Chania, it is indeed one of the towns in Greece that you can’t afford to miss.
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What to Do in and around Chania
Enjoy 11 best Chania attractions and points of interest to choose from!
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Old Venetian Harbor, Chania Town, Crete, Greece
12:01 am - 12:00 am
This is practically the only reason people even come to Chania– A gem of natural beauty and history. As if lovely bars, cafes and restaurants in front of a seaside weren’t enough, tourists are particularly enchanted by the various monuments left behind by the foreign occupations – Venetian, Ottoman, and Egyptian. The harbour, built by the Venetians in the 14the century, quickly became known as a critical naval and commercial centre.
It’s best to walk the harbour from the west to the east, taking in the following highlights:
Firka Fortress, and the chain that connected it’s bastion to the lighthouse.
Akti Kountourio: The red building that was once a barracks and now houses the Maritime Museum of Crete.
Angelou Street: Classic Venetian architecture there and some great eateries.
Akti Tombazi: A line of artists capturing the harbour in paintings.
Giali Tzamissi: The oldest Moslem building in Crete.
Sourmelis Street: See damages leftovers from WWII.
Stairs leading up to Kasteli Hill and the Byzantine Walls.
Grand Arsenal: Once a repair dockyard for the Venetians, now the Center of Mediterranean Architecture.
Akti Enoseos: Old customs building
A collection of 7 venetian docks.
A marina for small boats.
The shipyards of Moro
The breakwater that leads to the lighthouse.
The Lighthouse, now defunct and closed, which used to hold the other end of the chain used in Defence of Chania.
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30 Halidon, Chania, Greece
09:00 am - 03:00 pm
This Venetian Church of St. Francis, which was reportedly once the largest church in Chania, was once also taken over by the Turkish and converted into a mosque. The Archaeological Museum was established here in 1963. Its exhibits, arranged in chronological order, mostly cover:
Pottery, carved stone objects, sealstones, sculpture, metalwork, gold jewellery and coins
Looking at this 20 hectare park, 18km from Chania, it’s hard to imagine this lush wonderland was ever a victim of fire… which happened in 2003; there’s a centennial olive tree here commemorating the fire. The highlights of the park are:
150 species of fruit trees; and the dozens of herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants that Cretan mountains are famous for.
Animals such as birds (around the lake area), butterflies, wild goat, hares, badgers, the Cretan rock ferret, the Cretan weasel and tree frogs.
The Amphitheare, which can be hired for presentations, wedding receptions, small concerts, and Cretan folklore evenings of music and dancing.
The restaurant with a majestic view of the mountains.
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Maritime Museum of Crete, Akti Koundourioti, Chania
09:00 am - 04:00 pm
The building was used as a barracks to house the Turkish army,to protect Chania from raiders from the sea. This was also the place where Crete’s union with Greece was celebrated. Check out the fantastic panoramic view of the harbour… and then come down to the museum.
The Maritime Museum of Crete is a red building that covers history right from antiquity to the Battle of Crete. Highlights are as follows:
Models of Venetian Forts and Chania
Sea shells of Greece
Amphorae from ancient shipwrecks
Ship models from the Bronze Age to Roman times
Shipping in Byzantine and Ottoman times
Exhibits from the Greek War of Independence of 1821
Exhibits from World War II
Reproductions of the Greek merchant fleet, cruisers, submarines
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Varipetro, Chania 73100, Greece
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Greece can get pretty hot. That’s why people of Chania head out to this fantastic little water park. It’s not got much, only 11 rides, but those 11 are spectacularly fun and addictive. This water park offers fantastic rides, slides and water fun. Limnoupolis is located in a green, scenic area which sets it apart from many other parks of its kind which are often sadly devoid of vegetation. There’s crazy rides, mellow rides, a play area for kids, a Jacuzzi… and even a video game area. A rope suspension bridge passes over the main pool to an artificial island in the middle. Check out the pool bar and restaurant too.
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Aptera, Crete, Greece
12:01 am - 12:00 am
13 km from Chania are the ruins of Aptera, an ancient city that was very powerful from Minoan to Hellenistic times. The name means ‘without wings’, and refers to a legendary battle between the Muses and the Sirens, in which the losing Sirens were stripped of their wings. The city was entirely ruined by a 7th century earthquake. Today, the highlights are:
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Agii Apostoli, Crete, Greece
12:01 am - 12:00 am
This small waterfront village takes its name from its church, the Agioi Apostoloi ("Saint Apostles"). Only 4 km from Chania, it’s famous for its summer volleyball tournaments, its sardine feast, its charming woods, its pretty and small coves, and beaches that are a favourite with Chania residents on the weekends. The three beaches are:
Chrissi Akti: Golden colored sands
The Horseshoe Beach: A lovely family friendly cove; has Blue Flag Status
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Halidon 46B, Chania Town, Crete 73134,Greece
09:00 am - 09:00 pm
Curated by Aspasia Bikaki and Irini Koumandraki the Museum is housed within the Firka Fortress, just like the Maritime Museum. It’s an improperly named, because it has little to do with storytelling and more to do with the agricultural way of life of the traditional Cretans. Highlights include:
Exhibitions on the agricultural implements and tools.
Exhibitions on household occupations such as embroidery and weaving.
Models of traditional work such as cobbler’s, tailor’s, and a rope- and basket-maker.
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Park of small industries - Building 1303,Chania Town, Crete, Greece
10:00 am - 02:30 pm
Yannis Garedakis, founder of the paper Haniotika Nea, was enraptured n his youth by the solemnity of typographers manually setting type. Year later, that led to him beginning a collection of printing presses and other typography associated art. Today that collection has expanded to:
Two elaborate, cast iron printing presses of the beginning of 19th century.
A true copy of the Gutenberg printing press.
Foot-operated Victoria printing presses.
Showcases for printing techniques such as lithography, offset lithography, wood engraving, copper engraving and silk screen printing.
5 km away from Chania, in an Olive Tree dominated landscape, is a lovely surprise of an attraction – GoKarting in Crete! Situated right next to the popular waterpark, this place has an ultra-modern cool kart track for both cart and Moto races! For those who have become mature in this art can test their skills on the separate Motocross dirt track. Moreover, the race track has an electronic time keeping function for each vehicle racing that you can watch after the race is over. The staff is brilliant, right from those on the ground to the bus driver himself! And yeah, they have a bus that will pick you up from the hotel itself. A visit to this place is one of the ways you can pump up your adrenaline and have fun upto its zenith. It is a fantastic fun with your kids.
After a thrilling day of racing, you can also visit its café from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the mountain, sea and plain while having your coffee, drink or tasty snacks. A day out here will offer you the best of fun, thrill as well entertainment.