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General info about Chania in Greece

Chania Travel - Vacation & Holidays for Chania - Information on Chania Greece

Chania  Chania  Chania  Chania 


Chania is the capital of Crete’s most western province, the second largest town on the island and argueably the most beautiful city on Crete. Divided into a number of areas, the old part of town is a mix of colourful old Venetian mansions and winding laneways. Labyrinth like and evocative, colourful and crumbling, it is a city for adventurers and romantics.

Built on the remains of the settlement of Kydonia, Chania has had a chequered history. Around the vicinity, archaeologists have found remnants of Linear B tablets, similar to the Rosetta Stone, that indicate that the city was sophisticated and important. In the 13th century the Venetians invaded the island and Chania was fortified and build up to withstand attacks from the pirates who roamed the seas. The Turks invaded the island in 1645, conquering the city after a two months siege. The city became the capital of Crete and returned to Greek rule in 1898.

In World War II the city was home to many allied troops and it was savagely bombed. Thankfully, much of the old town survives, and with careful, considerate restoration, the city remains true to its Venetian roots. The old town is centred on the Venetian Port, a maze of narrow streets, colourful lanes and restored mansions, some of which have been converted to exclusive accommodation, others transformed into restaurants, shops and bars.

Chania's most noticeable tourist attraction is the lighthouse that greets visitors as they enter the port. The fortress to the west of the harbour is imposing, standing high over the port, and both of these Venetian marvels are there for exploration. The Splanzia, to the East of the old town is a muddle of narrow laneways and little squares, the perfect place to wander, find a meal in a little taverna and enjoy the atmosphere. The town also has excellent archeological and naval museums, as well as the site of Ancient Kydonia to the east of the city. There is also an excellent covered food market with an amazing array of delicacies for sale.

The town is also a base for many package tourists who take advantage of the many pristine beaches on the coast, and there are many resorts built near the city. Chania is also a great base for people want to take part in wate rsports and trekking, with many businesses able to supply mountain bikes and equipment for exploring the hills in the centre of the prefecture. It is also a very child friendly city with many activities around the town suitable for young children.

Around the prefecture, there is plenty to keep the independent traveller occupied. For the history lovers, the ancient sites of Polymnia and Falassama to explore. There is also many small towns, both seaside and inland, where one can discover the more traditional parts of Cretan culture. For those interesting in trekking and walking, the Samaria Gorge on the southern coast, now a national park, it is one of the natural wonders of Greece. A full trek around the gorge can take anything up to eight hours, but the cliffs that start in the mountains and trail down to sea level are one of the highlights of any visit to this region.

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