Take the ferry to Chania and visit the capital of Crete's north coast, where Venetian, Egyptian and Ottoman influences have left their mark over the centuries!
At the westernmost side of Crete,the traveler meets Chania, a small, picturesque city that is definitely a place worth getting to know if you decide to travel to Crete! Most of the things to see in Chania are located near the harbor in the old town and the Venetian harbor is the most characteristic point with the 16th century lighthouse is definitely the world famous landmark of western Crete.Wandering through the labyrinthine alleys of the old town with the beautiful unique buildings with Venetian and Turkish architecture will help you discover important archaeological sites, temples, squares which adorn this special city.Because of the unicity of the old city of Chania with the Venetian walls delimiting the boundaries between the old and new city and its ramparts, it was pronounced as preserved. Although the flow of tourists in recent decades is immense and the development is unavoidable, the old city retains its distinctive architecture intact!
The history of Chania dates back to antiquity,where during 3,000-2,800 BC the old port was used by the ancient Minoans as a crossroads of the whole continent. Furthermore, this port hosted the ancient Kydonia at the end of the 7th century AD, one of the most important cities of ancient Crete. Meanwhile, this port has been conquered many times during the past by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Turks, Jews, Egyptians and Arabs, until the end of the 19th century, when finally it was liberated. The city of Chania and the island of Crete in general was united with independent Greece in 1913 with the significant help of the great Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos. From 1847 until 1972 it was the capital of Crete and nowadays it is the second largest city in Crete after Heraklion and the capital of the homonymous prefecture.
Nowadays, this unique place with this attractive scenery with a touch of Venetian and Florentine culture offers travelers numerous restaurants with international gastronomy and of course traditional Greek taverns with local products, traditional cafes, lively bars and clubs, all located mainly in the harbor area, as well as many stores, and places for concerts and exhibitions and many cultural activities taking place in the beautiful city. In its surroundings, the traveler will discover secret and mountain villages, fabulous and impressive beaches, and well-preserved historical monuments.
If you plan to prepare your suitcases for this Cretan city of unique beauty and historical interest and enjoy incredible vacations, book in advance your ferry ticket because it tends to be one of the most popular destinations globally!
Athens to Chania ferry
If you are wondering if you can find Athens to Chania ferry, the answer is that there is a frequent daily connection with a total of 13 crossings per week, starting from Piraeus port. The crossing is operated by conventional ferries with sailing length from 9 hours to 12 hours and all routes in low season include overnight trips while in high season there are also launched noon departures. Currently, there is no direct ferry connection from Chania to other islands and vice versa. During your overnight ferry trip, we recommend that you book a cabin so that you arrive fresh and relaxed at your destination.
Chania port is located in the district of Souda, just 7 km southeast of the main city. It is one of the largest natural ports in Greece and of strategic importance in the Mediterranean for both commercial and military purposes as well, while it is hosting the NATO naval base. It is worth mentioning that Souda port is located almost in the middle between Chania town and Chania International Airport. The port is well equipped, providing tourists and travelers all the necessaries while, in the surrounding area, they can find cafeterias, restaurants and accommodations.
How to get from Chania port to Chania town
Once your ferry has docked at the port of Souda, after you disembark it is easy to get from Chania port to Chania town as the connections of buses and taxis are excellent. For those who are traveling with their own car, it is easy by following the directions.
There are regular intercity buses from the port, almost every 20 minutes all day long starting at 06.00 am. The bus stop is less than 2 minutes walking distance from where the ferries dock and the ride to Chania takes about 15 minutes. For more information you may visit the website of the local bus service, Chania Urban Buses.
The fastest and most convenient way to be transferred from Souda port to Chania city is to take a taxi which will cost you about 18 euro depending on the traffic. There are many private cab companies that offer reliable and high level services. For more information please visit Chania Taxis.
Vacations in Chania
Vacations in Chania attract travelers because there is a variety of landscapes and amazing places to visit! Explore the old town by walking in the narrow alleys among the crimson bougainvillea in bloom that give a romantic scent all around, visit the small stores with leather and ceramic articles and, of course, the main market to taste the local products honey, herbs, cheese and olive oil. In the northern part of Chania, which is more developed, there are many luxury resorts and organized beaches, while in the southern part the visitor gets in touch with a more secluded and traditional scenery, with small seaside villages and unorganized beaches with an authentic style! The historical monuments are also always of great interest to visitors, but also the unique landscapes such as the famous gorges ideal for trekking and of course the possibility of day trips to other regions of Crete, including Rethymnon, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and others.
What to do in Chania
There are so many ideas on what to do while you are in Chania and we will try to summarize some of them in the following lines:
- Visit the traditional villages
- Hike the world famous Samaria Gorge
- Taste the local famous Cretan Cuisine and the famous Raki
- Visit Kastelli hill and admire the sunset
- Visit the aristocratic suburb of Halepa, in Chania town, with its neoclassical buildings
Must-see Attractions and Sightseeing in Chania
- Municipal Market of Chania
- Archaeological Museum of Chania
- The Nautical Museum of Crete - Naval Museum
- Visit the Ancient Kydonia (Proto-Minoan settlement of Kasteli)
- Walk from the Venetian Harbour all the way to Halepa and the Tambakaria
- The Mosque of the Janissaries operates as exhibition center
- Frangokastello Fortress
- Lighthouse of Chania
- Venetian Neoria
- Samaria Gorge
- Ottoman Baths
- Lake Kournas
- Monastery of Chrissoskalitissa
- Fortress of Itzedin
- Clock Tower
- Ancient Aptera
- Turkish Castle of Aptera
- Folklore Museum
- Church of Virgin Mary
- Botanical Park
- Ancient Falassarna
- Temple of Asklepion
- Fortress of Selino
Beaches in Chania
There are so many beautiful beaches in Chania prefecture that you will be satisfied whether you want a fully organized beach or a deserted one. Most of them have incredibly soft golden sand and sparkling waters. Beaches like Balos, Falassarna and Elafonissi are among the best in the world, while there are countless other incredible beaches around the coast.
See below the best beaches in Chania prefecture:
- Balos Beach & Lagoon
- Elafonisi Beach
- Marathi Beach
- Sougia Beach
- Falassarna Beach
- Chrissi Akti Beach
- Stavros Beach
- Pachia Ammos Beach
- Seitan Limania Beach
- Platanias Beach
- Loutraki Beach
- Agia Marina Beach
- Kasteli Kissamos
Hotels in Chania
Since many years, Chania is the choice of thousands of tourists from different parts of the world for their holidays, with the development of the island being great especially in accommodation options in all categories in order to cover all tastes and budgets. Super luxury hotel complexes, with great facilities and services at a short distance from the city of Chania, but also preserved wonderful small and charming hotels in town!
Please find below some of the best rated hotels and accommodations:
- Casa Cook Chania
- Casa Delfino
- Royal Sun Chania
- Euphoria Resort Chania
- Kydon Hotel Chania
- Irene Hotel
- Arkadi Hotel
- Ammos Hotel Chania
- Cabana Mare Beach Resort
- Kalliston Resort
- Fatma Boutique Hotel
- Alcanea Boutique Hotel
- Porto Veneziano
- Casa Leone Boutique Hotel
- Minoan Palace Resort & Spa - Imperial Beach Wing
- Mythos Palace Resort & Spa
- Kriti Hotel Chania
- Samara Hotel Chania
- Panorama Hotel Chania
Day trips and excursions from Chania
Start early in the morning making short getaways to beautiful beaches that can only be reached by caiques and drive to Rethymno and Heraklion to get to know the other cities of Crete with great archeological interest.
- Day trip to Balos Beach
- Full day trip to Elafonisi
- Day trip to Matala (a small village where in the '60s a group of backpacking hippies expressed their motto of life)
- Visit the famous Knossos Palace in Heraklion