Best Sightseeings in Chania

elafonisi beach

Located close to the southwest corner of Crete, Elafonisi is in fact an island taking its name from the Greek words ‘elafi’ and ‘nisi’ meaning ‘deer island’. The beach and island are quite tropical in style with fine white sand and clear turquoise waters. In fine weather you can in fact walk to the island through the shallow water. This beach is a destination in itself for travellers and locals alike.

While visiting Elafonisi you could include visits to the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa (5km from Elafonisi beach), the nearby ancient city of Polyrinia which is considered to be the oldest city that the Dorians built in Crete (following the Minoan period) as well as the Archaeological Museum of Kissamos housed in a Venetian-Turkish monument.

falassarna beach

Falassarna is an ancient Greek harbor and today serves as an agricultural area (with olive groves and greenhouses cultivating mainly tomatoes) and huge traveler attraction. Located on the northwest coast of Crete its beach highly visited as it offers a large stretch of sandy beach (wide section of sand before the sea) and crystal clear waters.

Falassarna beach is also filled with activities such as kite-surfing, surfing and even paragliding from the mountain which faces the sea.

balos lagoon
& gramvousa islet

Take a ferry from Kissamos port (depart daily from May to October) and spend a day sunbathing and swimming at Balos lagoon and the islet of Gramvousa. The tour includes a total 55 minutes spent travelling, while you tour the gulf of Kissamos viewing caves and dramatic landscapes.

Arriving at the private islet of Gramvousa you disembark for 2 hours. A 20 minute walk will get you to the height of a Venetian castle from which you enjoy panoramic views and then continue on to swim at the beach. A 15 minute ferry ride gets you to Balos lagoon – a uniquely beautiful beach with wonderful shells!

samaria gorge

A nature-lovers dream, the well-known gorge of Samaria, where thousands of visitors come to Crete to hike this gorge is a 16km (mainly downhill) hike. You can do it in one of 2 ways, either on your own by use of the local bus service from Chania central bus station or by booking an organized tour. Either way, this is a whole day event beginning early in the morning and returning between 19:00-20:00.

The Samaria gorge is a National Park of Greece (home to the Cretan goat ‘kri-kri’) and a World’s Biosphere Reserve located in southwest Crete. This 16km long gorge starts at Omalos at an altitude of 1,250m and ends at the shores of the Libyan Sea at the small coastal town of Agia Roumeli.

The only way back once reaching Agia Roumeli is to take a ferry (these run either to Chora Sfakion or Sfakia) where the regional bus or tour bus waits for the hikers and returns them to their starting point.

Chania Old Town

Visit the center of Chania as well as the picturesque Venetian harbor and town – this is considered the most beautiful urban district on Crete.

The old town has a heart-warming atmosphere with many narrow alleys, pedestrian streets, charming old buildings most of which have been wonderfully restored. The city center of Chania is alive with the hustle and bustle of daily life activity and offers every type of facility, store and convenience you may require.

Some of the more popular places there are the light house (which has been revamped and now you are able to enjoy a long walk to it), the Naval Museum, the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Museum, the Archaeological museum, the Turkish mosque (which now functions as an arts exhibit hall), the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, the Jewish Synagogue and Halidon Street (the most famous street of the old town which leads down to the harbor front).

Akrotiri peninsula (Monasteries and Venizeloi Tombs)

Explore the Akrotiri peninsula (this is where the airport of Chania is located). Just north of the airport, visit the Monastery of Agia Triada (open from sunrise to sunset) as well as Gouverneto Monastery (one of the oldest monasteries on Crete). From here you could even take a short hike to visit a chapel as well as see a cave.

On route to these monasteries, or perhaps on your return, you can also stop at the Eleftherios Venizelos Tombs – a historical site with wonderful views to the Venetian harbor of Chania – as well as at the Souda Bay War Cemetery.